I remember when my daughter was in 1st and 2nd grade the teacher would send home spelling words and/or flashcards to review to learn the words that were expected for those grade levels. I also remember how much my daughter hated to use these flashcards and/or review the spelling words. I remember her bouncing, jumping and walking around the room or house as we practiced these words. We even wrote them with colored soap crayons in the tub!! Now that was an experience worth seeing, but she did learn those spelling words!! However, I, on the other hand was racking my brain to come up with ideas so I did not pull out my hair practicing these word with her!! That was about 26 years ago and before I taught full time as a first and second grade teacher. I had taught part time,but not everyday. It was my daughter's reaction to practicing these words that I decided to come up with a list of ways to practice spelling and/or sight words with your child. When I became a full time teacher, I gave this list to parents to use in place of flashcards. They also had fun coming up with their own ideas as well, which were so creative!
In today's world with early age sports, video games, pre-school cheerleaders, tablets, i-phones and such, it is even more important to devise ways to practice words in a hands on or kinesthetic way. Of course there are many spelling and sight word programs that can be used on electrical devices, but not all children learn tethered to a device. Let's remember Howard Gardner and his Multiple Intelligences.
So, I thought I would share with you some ideas I have created, over the years, to practice words whether they are spelling words, vocabulary words or sight words or even names.
I would be crazy to think that you have never heard of these ideas and I am sure...no actually positive that you may already be doing or have seen some of these posted elsewhere, but I can assure you that some of us have been recommending these strategies for years!!! Some are not new, but, then again, some may be new to you and worth a try! I don't know if you are like me, but I can always use a little refresher course on pretty much everything because I usually see some ideas that I completely forgot about!
Above are some ideas that can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop in the packet entitled :
Sight Word, Spelling Word Work Fun Bundle for K, first and Second...it is an "oldie but a goodie!"Along with these ideas are also worksheets to practice spelling and sight words.
Here is also a list of other tried and true ideas you might want to use:
- Write words in shaving cream on a cookie sheet...fun for everyone!
- Form words using Play-doh.
- Form the words using pipe cleaners or Wiki Sticks. Sight Word Practice
- Spell words using letter beads on pipe cleaners or using sticker letters on paper.
|Here my Grandkids are spelling their names with sticky letters|
- Put copies of the words around the floor and ask the child to jump onto a certain word and spell it without looking( feet covering the word).
- Use an Etch-a-Sketch and write the words.
- Write words on the i-pad or computer.
- Paint the words on an easel.
- Type the words in different fonts on the computer. The to have from like
- Write the words in sand in a tray or right on the beach with a shell if it is summer time.
- Cheer the words...vowels arms up, consonants arms down...this was a favorite with my class! You can even buy or make pom-poms for spelling words or have a Brain Breaks and spell the words! if the word is T O...it might look like this:
It gets more fun as the words get longer and longer. For a Brain Break you can write words on the board...sight words....spelling words or even vocabulary words and have a blast cheering and spelling those words.
- Spell the word using different voices...For example: mouse voice, Elvis voice, old person voice, robot voice, opera voice, cowboy voice, baby voice or any other voice you can think of to use that might be a little silly. I even have some great Silly Voice Sight Word Games on TpT for the fist 100 Fry Words that would be super to play at home or school or even Homeschool and also for the second set of Fry Words: Here you go!
- Spell the words in Cheerios, Fruit Loops, M and M's, Skittles...if the word is spelled or read correctly, eat the word!( or switch to beads or buttons and give a piece of candy as a reward so a sugar high is not created!) I have also put copies of the word in muffin tins and kiddos toss a small candy into the tin and then read the word. If it is correct, you get to eat the candy. If not leave it there and when you do know it the reward is more!
- Sky write the words saying each letter as the word is written in the "sky". We have been known to imagine and visualize that our favorite color is spraying out of our pencils or fingers when writing the word...great for handwriting practice as well!!!
- Form the words using pasta or broken spaghetti.
- Form the words using Unifix blocks or Legos.
- Write Letters with sidewalk chalk.
- Have you tried writing sight words in the SNOW? We have...this is with a mat underneath, but if you now it will be snowing, get out there and have some fun with your child's sight words...if you are a homeschooler...what a fun way to learn your words!!!
- Circle or find your words in books, magazines and newspaper or online and write them in a notebook.
- Write your words using seashells on the beach.
- Stamp your words with alphabet stamps.
- Cut letters that you need to spell your words from Magazines or type up the letters, cut them a apart and scramble them and then spell them...Look for my new Scrambled Egg Sight Word Game coming SOON!!!
- Use letter tiles and baggies. Put tiles in the bag to spell a word and unscramble it to spell it correctly.
- Use a paintbrush with water and "paint" them on the sidewalk. better be sure to read the words before the sun dries it up!!
- Put magnetic letters for each word in a bucket filled with water and have children pull the letters out and spell the word correctly....or no water!!! A variation is that you pass the bucket and everyone chooses, without looking 3 letters and the letters accumulate see if children can make words with the letters!
- Use packing peanuts and put the letters or whole words into a basket with the packing foam peanuts and pull them out and read or spell the words.
- Give each child a letter or a baggie of letters to a group of students and have them form a HUMAN Word with their letters.
- Snowball Fight...this is a great way to bring some winter fun into the classroom. Write a certain number of sight words on blank white paper. So if you have 16 kiddos in your class, (wishful thinking!) you will write 16 different words on the paper. Then crumple each up into a ball or pretend snowball. Give explicit rules about throwing and playing. I have been known to say the following: Toss carefully so the ball aims at knees or below, toss lightly so we are safe, and stay within this area. Then each child gets a "snowball" and the "fight" begins with everyone tossing for a few minutes 1 or 2 is plenty. Then ring your chime and everyone carefully picks up a snowball and sits on the rug. Each child reads their word as you go around the circle...then repeat as many times as needed to get a break and learn the words! PS My kiddos LOVED this!!!
New Ideas from Readers:
- Here is an idea from Margo Gentile! She commented that it is a good idea to write the words you would like your children to know in places that they will see the words frequently. For example, Use lipstick and write the on the bathroom mirror...thanks for sharing this awesome idea!!
I hope this brings a little sunshine your way on this cold winter day( if you live in a place where it is snowing or cold today)! Please let me know if any of these strategies helped your students or children spell or learn their words! Also comment with your tried and true ideas and link up your SIGHT WORD resources below!!!
You might also be interested in Variations of the game BANG!