Spelling Practice Sticky Style: Teacher’s File Drawer

My eldest son, (who is now an adult teaching English in Korea!) had the hardest time learning to spell in elementary school. Needless to say, many of my middle school students had the same problem, and so over time I have become a collector of “learning your spelling words” strategies.

Here’s one that utilizes one of my favorite office supplies—sticky notes!

Using a small pad of sticky notes (you can use a large one if you want, but you’re going to be using a lot of them so you might want to conserve by using the smaller ones) write out each word from the spelling list using one sticky note per letter. When done, mix the “stickies” up.

Sit down with your child, give him his list of words and the stack of stickies, and instruct him to use the letters to build each word from the spelling list. Explain that there is a sticky note for every letter he will need, and that when he is done there will be no more sticky notes left to use. Sit with him or do something else nearby—depending on the level of support your child needs.

When he is done, come look over his work and congratulate him on his accomplishment. Then point to each word, have him say it and spell it out loud spelling bee style. This will add hearing to the seeing modality already used to put the words together; using multiple modalities to learn helps better cement the material in the memory.

If you want, you can make a game out of it. Sit down with your child and take turns drawing a letter and placing it into position to spell one of the spelling words. Whoever completes a word gets to say it, spell it, and collect all its stickies. Whoever has the most stickies at the end wins. Have fun together, and learning to spell won’t feel like such a chore.