|Photo by Gaetan Lee BB-CY|
As a special education teacher, I feel it is important to teach using a variety of methods. We are constantly reminded that not all students and children learn the same way. Yet, it can be hard to meet the needs of all students in the same lesson (especially when you are controlled by a curriculum).
One area teachers can give students more freedom is in how they learn their sight words and spelling words. Not all students will learn the words by writing them repeatedly or by spelling them aloud. Different methods work for different students.
Tips for In-School Use
The list of ideas can be used as centers. They take little preparation. We create plastic bins with the materials needed for each activity selected. Students can rotate through the centers to practice their spelling or sight words in a variety of ways. We try to use a variety of methods at our centers. Unfortunately because I am home bed rested, I don’t have the ability to take pictures of our set up. Here is a list of some of the stations we like to use together:
- Tactile writing (we use trays and salt)
- Mold the Words
- Magnetic Letters
- Hangman (we use our Whiteboard)
- Rainbow Writing
- Spin-a-Word (another activity I will be sharing soon)
You can also use these methods with students learning how to write their alphabet, numbers, name, etc. It doesn’t just have to be used with sight words and spelling words.
Tips for Teachers and Homework
Send these documents home for homework or additional practice. All you need is to make copies or send them in an e-mail. There is one for sight words and spelling words depending on the grade you teach. Parents are always asking me what else they can be doing at home; this is a simple list of activities they can be doing with their student. This is something especially send home with my students that are struggling to learn their sight words or spelling words. Homework and sight word practice can be frustrating for both the students and parents, this provides them with some fun alternatives.
Instead of requiring all students to complete the same spelling homework, my co-teachers and I have found it beneficial to allow students to select from this long list of ideas (or even come up with their own!). As long as a parent can verify that the student practiced their words in some way, we accept their homework.
Tips for Parents
If you are parent reading this, these are some great at-home activities you can use with your child to practice their sight word or spelling words. You can even ask your child’s teacher if you can use one of these methods in place of their current spelling homework. Younger students especially love the hands-on methods for learning their sight words. Children will love learning their words while they use play-doh or mud.
You can also use these methods for your children that are learning the alphabet, numbers, and how to write their name. They are simple techniques require very few materials (that you mostly have already in your house).
Click the links below to download the files. After the file opens, go to File, Download (or CTRL + S).
Files to Download