Phones and computers quickly correct misspelled words, and your students have no doubt asked, “Why do I have to learn to spell? Spellcheck does it all for me!” This can lead some teachers down their own line of questioning. You may find yourself wondering, “Does spelling instruction still matter?”
While children—and even adults—rely heavily on spellcheck, learning to spell remains an essential classroom skill. And devoting class time to spelling has reverberating effects in other areas of literacy and language development.
Benefits of Effective Spelling
There is a general set of spelling rules that can be rewarding and even enjoyable for children as they build a feeling of mastery when learning and applying new words. This newfound spelling ability trickles down to affect attitudes toward reading, English Language Arts (ELA), and other language-based subjects.
At a basic level, students must be able to recognize letters and apply phonics principles to identify the sounds that correspond with each letter or letter pair. Learning to sound out and spell words helps them develop this phonological awareness.
Spelling Supports Reading and Literacy
Partner that awareness with the spelling rules that govern the English language, and all of these skills work together to support reading and literacy. Your students will begin to understand spelling patterns. Words will become recognized on sight rather than sounded out each time. This improves reading speed, fluency, and comprehension.
As your students gain confidence in their ability to spell accurately and read with fluency, they will be able to apply spelling words to writing through important skills like editing and proofreading. The more familiar they are with the rules of spelling and vocabulary, the more dynamic their ability to string words together. A simple task any handheld device can do is actually crucial for developing a child’s ability to read and write.
Spelling in Your Classroom
As a teacher, incorporating spelling into the modern classroom requires commitment. However, even 30 minutes of spelling instruction per week using a program such as Spellwell can support overall language and literacy skills.
Each of the eight books is consistently organized to include grade-appropriate words that follow a particular spelling rule or pattern. Sight words often used in writing are also included. In addition, each lesson allows space for words from students’ classroom reading or writing.
Published by EPS Literacy and Intervention®, Spellwell makes an organized, effective spelling program in just 30 minutes of class time per week a reality.
Sitton Spelling and Word Skills®
Perhaps you’re looking for a program that combines spelling with other concepts for students to apply in everyday writing. With Sitton Spelling and Word Skills, students address skills multiple times during each lesson. And they even extend beyond spelling to include capitalization, punctuation, and writing. The program features an embedded school-to-home connection with many easy-to-follow take-home tasks.
National Spelling Bee Week
Each May is the Scripps National Spelling Bee, an event celebrated by schools across the nation. Be sure to take full advantage of this time of spelling excitement. Introduce some of our fun spelling games and activities suggestions during National Spelling Bee Week!
What do you think? Does spelling instruction still matter in your classroom? Let us know in the comments!