Spelling ah… can you remember all those spelling tests? How about writing the words 3x every evening… We can definitely say, “You’ve come a long way wa, baby!” about this subject!
At our house, spelling is still vitally important, but it is completely different. We use an online program that allows me to enter my choice of spelling lists, but provides games, practice, and even sentence writing for each of these lists. To top it off… on Friday… the infamous test day… they take their tests online and it scores and records the grades for me. I must admit I love it. But not just because it has taken away the headache of teaching 5 levels of spelling. I love it because it supports what I believe are strategies for an effective spelling program.
1) It uses multiple strategies to teach the learner. A variety of games and learning tools is a must.
2)Words need to be used in the context of natural writing/communication. Sentence writing is part of the drill and practice.
3)It encourages the learner to self correct.
4)Gives them a multitude of opportunites to practice the words, so their success can out weigh any failures.