Need spelling ideas 5th/6th grade

Discussion in 'Secondary Education Archives' started by MissaG, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Jul 25, 2006

    I am having trouble coming up with a plan for spelling for the upcoming school year. I will be teaching language arts and social studies to 5th and 6th grade (separately). The kids at my school definitely need all of the spelling help that they can get, but I found last year with my fifth graders that when assigned the words on Monday and the activities througout the week, they still did terribly on the test on Friday. I tried spelling contracts, which most students just didn't do them. I need something that will help these kids to become better spellers, but at the same time isn't the same boring spelling assignments. I considered a word wall but don't know how to go about implementing it.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 25, 2006

    Hi. I have no idea, since I'm secondary math, but I'll throw this out anyway:

    How about crosswords? Word search puzzles?

    I know that I personallly learn things by writing them down. (I can copy a set of directions and leave them home; copying them down is usually enough.) So for a kid like me, the old standby of writing it 3 times (or whatever) would do the trick.

    Also, as a former Speech and Debate coach/judge, I can say this much: I imagine that a lot of the poor spelling is a result of poor prounouciation. (And, yes, I live on Lawn Guyland, Noo Yawk) Maybe that coudl be part of the focus?

    Good luck!
     
  4. mlowie4444

    mlowie4444 New Member

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    Jul 25, 2006

    Usually what I do with my fourth graders is on Monday they make their word list which is usually some from the set word list and then words that they have in their journals and individual writing that they have misspelled to make it more individualized. Tuesday they have to write the words multiple times each and then create sentences using the word and a little bit of the definition or a one or two word synonym in the sentence so they are not only learning how to spell the word they are also learning how to correctly use the word. I have them make up crossword puzzles for each other or word searches with some one elses list and then they have to find their spelling words in the created list from their buddy. Thursday they play spelling mat games with their words such as spelling soccer or checkers. THey switch word lists with their partner and the partner says the word and the only way the opponent can move their piece is if they spell the word correctly. I hope some of this helps.
     
  5. mrs. dub

    mrs. dub Companion

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    Jul 26, 2006

    Hi MissaG,

    I'm too computer illiterate to post the exact thread links, but if you click on "Search this forum" on top and do a search on "spelling help" and also "spelling contracts", you will come up with some good threads. Try the general forum first--I know we've had good spelling exchanges there.

    Good luck!
     
  6. Ms. K

    Ms. K Rookie

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    Sep 5, 2006

    I also teach 5th grade and am wondering about teaching spelling. The 4th grade and 6th grade teacher both do spelling packets. My students need spelling help, but I am not sure if the weekly spelling tests are the way to go. Does this really help or is there something better out there?
     
  7. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2006

    OK, I've never taught anywhere near 5th grade, so take this with a grain of salt, but... I remember in my wonderful 5th grade classroom, we did a weekly game called Spell-Up to review for our weekly spelling tests. I can't remember how it worked exactly now, but it was something like: the kids all started (in random order on the first day?) in one row. The first word is given to the first person in the row to spell, and if they spell it right, they stay where they are and the next word goes to the next person. If the first person misses the word, it goes to the second, and the third, down the row until someone gets it right, and that person gets to move up the row to be in front of the person who originally got it wrong. Then when you finish that day, record what order you're in and start in that order when you play it again next time. I remember we thought it was really fun and always looked forward to playing it, seeing if we could move up in the line! You could easily add in words from past weeks to have a bigger list to use and help with retention too.
    I don't know if I'm remembering it correctly now, 5th grade was too long ago! Does this sound helpful, anyone?
     
  8. PurpleTweety

    PurpleTweety Companion

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    Sep 6, 2006

    You can play Spell Around the World in class. Pick one student to start. They go and stand behind the next person's chair. You give the word. Whoever can correctly spell it first wins and moves to stand behind the next person. Continue. If one person manages to make it the whole way around, they have "spelled around the world". Corny, but I will do this with my 6th, 7th, or 8th graders once in a while.
     
  9. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Sep 7, 2006

    The teachers' moved the tests to Monday and the kids seem to do better.

    Also, Remember to assign in odd numbers...
    The human brain remembers in odd increments...3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 19, etc.

    (Kids will ultimately do worse on tests with even numbers of spelling words! Research has proven this time and time again.)

    Rounds of SPARKLE and Baseball Spelling still work as well. Also "Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check" still works.

    Its still pretty much the same for 5th at my kids school...
    Monday...Test and Pretest
    Tuesday...3x and 5x each
    Wednesday...Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check
    Thursday...ABC order
    Friday...Dictionary sheet
     
  10. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Sep 7, 2006

    When I student taught I set my schedule up like this.

    Monday-5times each and sentences (they had 30 words-which I thought was a lot)
    Tuesday- workbook pages that paralleled reading.
    Wednesday-5times each and a pretest.
    Thursday-more workbook practice
    Friday-test

    the workbook invovled activities from abc order, dictionary work, phonetic work. This was 5th grade

    (the good thing was the spelling activity book paralleled with reading and sometimes english)
     
  11. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    Sep 7, 2006

    I forgot to post about this...which the class seemed to enjoy. My teaching partner did a spelling bee. The class all stood up and spelled the word. Whoever was left standing got extra credit.

    Oh for my pretest if they passed they were not excused from Friday's test. They recieve like 10 extra credit points toward a previously missing or low grade assignement. The students were out of control on turning in work and it provided good insentive for them to try to pass both the pre and regular test. I always had the pretest worth the number of spelling words and the test worth 100 points.
     
  12. rhassinger

    rhassinger Rookie

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    Sep 8, 2006

    I have been thinking seriously about this recently, and I've come to the conclusion that if the class is large (such as more than... three) then things like group work and spelling bees aren't going to help raise all boats. A few who don't really need practice are going to get a little practice, and the others who don't want to be there are more than willing to miss the first word if it means that they can go back and zone out. The same goes for hangman-on-the-board. So what makes good practice? I think it's writing on their own.

    Here is one idea. A worksheet that I've come up with has perhaps 3-5 words on it with sentences, and blanks where the word goes. The student takes the partial sentences as clues and then writes the words in the right places. Then, on the second sheet (or back), the student has the same sentences, but this time they are not given the words and they have to spell them out from memory. The downside to this is that it really works best when you're one-on-one with the student and can encourage them, give them a hint when they're stuck, or ask them if they want to go take a look at the right spelling. Invariably, the student catches on and spells the words right the second or third time they see them (if you repeat the same worksheet on other days).

    Second suggestion is a word search, especially if the words are not given. If you read the words aloud to the class and they try to write them down phonetically, then when they look in the word search they automatically figure out the correct spelling. One place where you can give your own words and get a puzzle back is http://www.worksheetworks.com/puzzles/wordsearch.html, although it shows the words on the bottom of the page and you'd have to cover up the words and then make copies if you want to try this trick with reciting the words to them.

    There is also crosswords, but these are harder to create with your own words because a computer doesn't know how to put together a nice crossword. You need to use a tool such as http://www.crosswordweaver.com that will guess at how to lay it out and then let you fine-tune it until it looks right. I am sure there are other tools but this one I think is excellent and works like a windows application should.

    One more idea is an encoded word sheet, Caesar-style (each letter is replaced by another)... not sure where to find something like that though, but it should be easy enough to create yourself in MS Word, maybe even write a Word macro to automate the task.

    Also, something I just thought of... if your word list all starts with the same couple of letters (or not), give them a sorting exercise.

    You get the idea. Something about forcing the student to put pencil to paper seems to be effective where other activities are not.
     
  13. jenniferteach

    jenniferteach New Member

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    Sep 9, 2006

    How do you play baseball spelling?
     
  14. lhoelmer

    lhoelmer New Member

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Spelling Ideas

    I am a middle school social studies teacher but have also taught French for many years and spelling is definitely an issue in this subject.
    Some of the things that I have done that have been helpful are:
    Devising spelling lists that put words into phonemic families to help enforce spelling rules and help kids to see patterns. I have also had students make flashcards at the beginning of the week and given them time each day to work with the flashcards both individually and with partners. I've also played games where I put the kids in teams based on their rows and given them a list of words. Taking turns, the students must write all the words correctly on the board. The first team finished wins. The kids are allowed to work together and help each other, so long as everyone on the team has to spell at least one word. It's a lot of fun for the kids and has been a favorite. I hope this helps.
     
  15. Ms. K

    Ms. K Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2006

    Thanks so much for all of the ideas. I am going start spelling this week - the kids were actually asking for it! :D Also based on the first week of school, I can tell that they need it. Thanks again.
     
  16. MissaG

    MissaG Companion

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    Sep 11, 2006

    Thanks for the thoughts and ideas. I definitely have some sparks going, but I am still trying to steer away from lists and tests. I have implemented a word wall for each grade, focusing on spelling rules. I am trying to decide how to assess and how to allow students to add in some words that they often spell incorrectly in their writing. I am getting there...hopefully whatever I come up with will be more effective than last year which was memorize and forget it after the test. I am aiming for lifelong spellers...

    Thanks again! I will keep everyone updated with how things go.
     

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