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Best of Works 4 Me: Spelling & Vocabulary

These tried and true teaching tips will help you teach two essential cornerstones of language arts: spelling and vocabulary.

Found in: advice & support; spelling; vocabulary



Spelling Scattergraphs
This learning activity starts in the beginning of the school year. Once a week, students are asked to spell words on a list they received when school started. Results are graphed, not graded, and this method has improved spelling skills greatly!

Students Create Spelling Sentences
Ms. Schiff came up with a routine to reinforce spelling words - and her students love it! Best of all, she's noticed that this exercise encourages students to be more creative when doing their homework.


A Cheer for Spelling
Give me an S-P-E-Double-L, and what have you got? A really fun game that challenges your students to get their spelling words right. Ms. Carlos’ teaching activity is simple and easy to implement, and great for all learning styles.

Backwards Spelling
Ms. Sennett plays a fun spelling game with her students. There’s backwardness, and there’s spelling, but students learn to spell the right way!



Donde esta la Rana? (Where is the Frog?)
Here's a unique way to see if your students learned their vocabulary words: instead of a test or quiz, use this activity. You'll see their progress and they will have fun!

Getting Students Attention
Here's an interesting activity to motivate your vocabulary learners: read about Mr. and Mrs. Beyer's activity that starts before students even enter the classroom!


Group Vocabulary Games
Learning vocabulary CAN be all fun and games. This educator's students have a great time creating a lesson from some of their favorite board games.

Sight Word Practice
Ms. Moss has a creative idea for helping her students with word recognition. Read about how she uses bingo cards in a hands-on game that children really love.

Vocabulary Frisbee
Ms. Fielder uses paper plates to "launch" this game, which involves groups of students mathcing words to definitions. Lots of laughing an learning ensue. Best of all, this game works with any subject requiring vocabulary words.

Spelling & Vocabulary Across the Curriculum

Differentiated Spelling Ideas
Ms. Kempin takes spelling lessons across the curriculum. Read about her tip that could help develop spelling and many other student skills.

Making Vocabulary Come to Life
When Barb B. was looking for a dynamic way to teach vocabulary, she found it in her school's drama department. See how she incorporated basic acting techniques and why it's working for her - and her students!

Math Scrabble
Ms. Thoreson writes 16 random letters on the board and assigns point values to each letter. Her students work in teams to spell math words and calculate point totals.

Spelling & Vocabulary for English Language Learners

Building Vocabulary by Acting Out History
A two-for-one tip for your English Language Learners! See how this educator teaches powerful history lessons while her students "act out" vocabulary for better understanding.

I Read, You Read, We Read
If you're working with younger ELL students, here are some tried and true tips and resources from Ms. Iversen.

Recorded Spelling
Ms. Gumz found a great way to communicate and teach her English Language Learners and their parents. She used a simple tape recorder and noticed her students' improvement and their families' appreciation.

Teaching Spelling & Vocabulary Through Reading

Differentiated Reading
Teaching reading is challenging when your students are at a wide range of skill levels. Here are some tips that can keep your higher level readers challenged and your lower level readers improving!

Learning Difficult Vocabulary
Elizabeth C. shares a few vocabulary activities that are not only fun, but really help the students remember tough words from their reading.

Writing Vocabulary Stories
Mr. Carter uses important vocabulary words from the next novel they are about to read in an activity that each student must finish prior to reading the new novel. Find out why the result is better focus on reading for meaning.


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