With everything from phones to computers correcting misspelled words, your students have no doubt petitioned, “Why do I have to learn spelling? Spellcheck does it all for me!” While children—and even adults—rely heavily on spellchecking software, 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 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, language arts, 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.
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, and 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 and exceptions of spelling and vocabulary, the more dynamic their ability to string words together becomes. What seems like a simple task any hand-held device can do is actually crucial for any 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 frequently used in writing are also included. In addition, each lesson allows space for words from students’ classroom reading or writing.
Or perhaps you are looking for a program to combine spelling with other concepts that your students can apply in everyday writing. With Sitton Spelling and Word Skills, skills are addressed multiple times in each lesson and extend beyond spelling to include capitalization, punctuation, and writing. The program also has an embedded school-to-home connection with many easy-to-follow take-home tasks.
Published by EPS Literacy and Intervention, Spellwell makes an organized, effective spelling program in just 30 minutes of class time per week a reality.