home Language Arts Connections, New Teacher Make your spelling program SPARKLE!

Make your spelling program SPARKLE!

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How can we support students who may be frustrated with spelling while keeping it fun for the students who find spelling to be very easy?

Each week, for my fourth and fifth grade students, I would assign 10 of the 200 most commonly misspelled words. I put the tricky homophones together, like one week was to, two, and too and another week was there, their, and they’re. If I didn’t put them together on the list, it would become “This is the week for two Os in too.”

culminating gameWe took a pretest Monday and shared strategies for knowing how to spell words that sound the same, completed a puzzle Tuesday, practiced with a friend Wednesday, played Sparkle on Thursday, and finished the week with a posttest.

Of course, I would support individual students using other strategies that helped them learn their spelling words.

What’s the Sparkle game played on Thursday? A great game that lets kids who struggle with spelling occasionally knock out the kids who never do. It’s fun because the game goes fast and students who sit down soon get to stand back up again.

I found a blog post by Denise that explains the game. Her example is skip counting but there’s more, like spelling, in her variations at the bottom of the post. She’s a TPT seller – check out her store!

What are your suggestions for helping a struggling student with spelling? Do you have other fun ways to learn homophones like to/too/two and there/their/they’re?

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.” ~~~Mark Twain

3 thoughts on “Make your spelling program SPARKLE!

  1. Whoops! I’m guilty of misspelling some of the “200 most commonly misspelled words”. A good resource for supporting my own life-long learning! Great for the kiddos too!

  2. I would write “they are” on a sentence strip and then fold the strip to hide the space and the a. While students watched, I placed a clothespin over the fold. I’d drawn an apostrophe on the clothespin so students were now looking at “they’re”. For many students this helped them understand the contraction. Try it!

    1. I think what you are describing would look like this:


      While I was looking for a list of irregular contractions like “will not”, I found this great resource that has a different suggestion for presenting contractions to students. They’ve included a list of contractions you can download. Check for the link at the bottom of the page!

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