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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 12:44 AM

Tips on teaching a kindergartner to spell?

My munchkin will be taking part in a kindergarten-level spelling bee through his after school program. He probably will not win, but he's determined to try and it's great incentive for him to learn. I wonder if anyone out there has a good technique. Right now we're doing it the old fashioned way (repetition), but I that it will become tedious after a while.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 12:47 AM

1. Maybe you could try fonyx???

The spelling skills of children today will never come close to their predecessors since the computer corrects things anyway.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 01:08 AM

2. We used scrabble, played down a bit to their level, and

 

changed the rules so that the learners could look up both words for themselves as well as have free challenges to us (adults) where the adults were held to the usual higher standards.

This both helps them repeat spell what they already know, but also go on the hunt for words that start with __ __ __, or whatever. And with using real dictionaries, not on line ones, there would of course be a full page or two of words in front of them every time they opened the dictionary, even if they didn't focus on every word, it none the less exposes them and at that age they retain a lot of peripheral stuff.

Anyway, great game, kids loved the focused parent time, and learned both spelling and definitions.

Edited to add: Playing down to their level simply meant limited words they didn't know, does not mean kindergarten level words. For example if the child knows what spaghetti is, then spaghetti could be used by an adult. If while hunting to see if a hopeful spelling is actually a word, they find some random word that isn't what they were looking for but is a word, then that word would be allowed by children, even if they didn't previously know it was word, but they had to read out loud the definition in order to use a word they hadn't already known.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 01:54 AM

3. My mom taught me how to read when I was 2 by putting signs on everything

"chair", "bed", "fork" etc

I had to spell out stuff before I could use it or sit or whatever. I remember looking at old photos and seeing those hand lettered signs in the background and asking my mom what they were for because I had no memory of it.

It seemed to work - I have always scored off the charts in vocabulary, reading comprehension, etc. I made it through college and law school with a love of reading.

Now math, whole different situation - always sucked at it.

So maybe try that? At least it will make for fun family photos (surprised my dad - who was an abusive ass - didn't have a sign with "Jerk" or something him).

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Response to nadine_mn (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:17 AM

7. Mine put a sign over the toilet that said "potty" and one over the trash can that said "not potty"

 

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 07:54 AM

4. Use your finger to write the letter on his back. Use sand in a tray. Use playdough to make letters

 

My wife is a master (literally) at this and she's got a few hundred techniques, but those are the top three. Repetition doesn't provide the tactile visualization that ingrains the words. Think about how you learned to tie your shoes - "the rabbit..." or whatever technique your parents used. Spelling is far more than memorization.



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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:07 AM

5. that is good. i had forgotten about that on the back. visual is very important.

 

that is how i remember the spelling of words. some kids need that, others not. but i found both my boys did better with visual.

repetition is what works for us. when we started and they didnt know the words well, i would often ask for spelling then hand sheet for them to look. until they had it down enough, it became just verbal. hoping they were visualizing the word

and HH, per your other thread, ..... i so get your woman.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:16 AM

6. Our middle daughter has what's basically dislexia and disgraphia

 

(not sure about the spelling of either and too tired to look them up)

My wife really is a master - B.S. Elem. Ed/Early Childhood and M.S. Elem. Ed.

My daughter couldn't tell the difference between p,b,q,d in second grade - they were all the same letter. If you asked her to spell a word, she could answer what letter it started with but would often start spelling it with the last letter - twenty or so times in a row. It took a lot of work both on my wife's part and the school districts, but she was awarded the language award last spring (her senior year) and got a check for $200.00 from the school district. Not bad for someone with a handicap. She took four years of Latin, three of French, and one of German and was also in Honors English. Nobody had ever done that in our school district before.

And as per my other thread - how come she didn't tell me about that!!!!
Just kidding. She's totally perfect. I don't know why she puts up with me, but I'm glad she does.

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:38 AM

9. she puts up with you because being an ass is not all of who you are..... and

 

as you say, she is one smart woman.

i say, in love, lol.

hey... that is so cool, and fascinating. i love that stuff. if my kids were younger, i would be all over this. i dont know what is up with the kids today, but i see so much in their learning styles and abilities.

that is way beyond what my kids have done in school, though they have their own place of excellence, but for your daughter to struggle so with that, and then excel in the area she did is truly wonderful. i love it.

my son had/has a real sequential issue. totally clueless on following things in order. kindergarten, i was called in to watch him in class. teacher would have instructions across the board. numbered 1, 2, 3, 4. he would start at 3. wtf??? long division was hard cause if he got out of order, which was a norm, he would be lost. couldnt figure out order for anything.

it is all fascinating.

i could have sat and chatted with your wife forever on this stuff.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 09:01 AM

10. If you are ever in the Harrisburg area, I know a few nice bars for such a chat.

 

She lets her hair down when we go out (and it is pretty hair). Don't worry about the sequential issue. That will work out with time. Think about it. Some people never get past "1, 2, a lot" - we call those "Republicans". He's got excellent guidance and he'll come around. My wife specializes in Kindergarten/Early Childhood so I've heard thousands of war stories. Those with the greatest challenges are often the geniuses of the next generation. Those with the helicopter parents are usually the morons.



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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 09:22 AM

11. this is why i never bash teachers. the kindergarten teacher gave me a book on learning styles.

 

it was kick ass and so informative with that son, and helpful. i dont remember the name, but gave to a friend and never got it back. the book was very helpful. second grade he had an unorganized, free flowing type teacher. it was hell for the kid. for so many reasons. sat in a class mid year and said, no wonder the kid is having such a tough time. allowed me to be much more patient and do most of the teaching at home, with no expectation of the teacher. some kids did well in that environment. it was total fail for son. i talked to principal and he said, i know just the teacher for 3rd grade. it was a woman that was getting a masters on this stuff. she and i worked on all kinds of things to give son the tools he needed to work beyond his issues. the BEST gift for him. but through out the years, i would talk to the teachers prior to the year, and we were able to work over under around his issues. no excuses. an acknowledgment. and tools needed. high school, i let him go. still issues, lol. but it is his to do and figure out.

but it is like you say. we have talked about his oddity. but he likes that about himself on one hand, cause it also gives him wonderful gifts.

just who he is.

and i would be on it in a minute... having a drink or two with you all.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 09:45 AM

12. Like I said, give me a heads up if you're going to be in the area.

 

LynneSin grew up a few miles north of where I am. Maybe we can all get together.

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Response to RandySF (Original post)

Mon Jan 23, 2012, 08:37 AM

8. COOKIES! I forgot the COOKIES!

 

We have a set of alphabet cookie cutters, but even if you don't, you can easily make your own letters from any cookie dough. Have the kid make the letters, bake them, use them for spelling lessons and then let him EAT THEM!!!

COOKIES!!!!

(I like Cookie Monster)

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