Tuesday, 19 April 2011


No beginning teacher should be without an Oxford Dictionary! Oxford’s are a fantastic tool to keep in the classroom as they tell you about the origin of a word, which helps when trying to explain why it is written the way it is to a student (Hickman, 2007). Let students get used to using a dictionary and discovering words, and you can create many spelling games via the utilization of  a dictionary!

Anything you can teach a student about history is a positive, and will help students make sense of words. “The history of English spelling is about understanding the mistakes of the past” and why words are spelt the way they are (Hickman, 2007, p. 16).

Teach students the logic of words. Demonstrate to students why there are double consonants (bubble) and “take them through the short and long vowel sounds and the patterns that go with them” as well as the prefixes and suffixes (Hickman, 2007, p. 16).
Additionally, educate your students with skills such as the silent ‘w’ words, where a ‘w’ is silent in front on an ‘r’ (write, wrong, wrist, etc.), and silent ‘k’ words when in front of an ‘n’. Bring in word-building (can and cane) and show them ends of words such as ‘ous’ (mischievious) (Hickman, 2007).

Tell your pupils stories and have them enjoy learning new words through fun and imaginative activities!

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