It sounds like a dream, doesn't it? Your whole class, focused independently on meaningful language development so you have time to pull an intervention group, meet with a behavior student proactively, touch base with your IA so she knows what to cover with her small group today, or any of the thousands of things we do as teachers. Here is a huge list of ideas to help students develop their spelling & language pattern identification independently. If you're a parent, you can use these strategies at home to help your child become a better speller. Experiment with these ideas, find what works best for your student, and stick with it! Because there is so much variety, students don't get bored, and many different learning styles are addressed.
*Write a synonym & antonym for each word.
*Body Spelling is something we do in class. For tall letters, like t, h, and l, raise your hands. For, letters that go below the line, like p, y, and q, bend over. Bring your arms to the sides for the rest of the letters. Practice each word with this method daily for results.
*Stamps/Beans/Wikki Stix/Pipe Cleaners/Scrabble Letters/Alphabet Blocks- Use these or other small manipulatives to spell each word and find patterns between them.
*Read the words aloud, letter by letter. Then read them aloud as students write them down.
*Write each word 10 times as you say it aloud.
*Stencils-Use stencils to write out each word.
*Rainbow-Use three different colors, and write the word three times, overlapping the colors.
*Ladder Words- Write the word horizontally, then write it vertically from the same starting word.
*Circle the vowels & underline the consonants in each word.
*Keyboards - have an old keyboard laying around? It doesn't matter if it doesn't actually work or even if it's missing the backspace. I collected a set of obsolete keyboards for my students to take to their desks to practice typing in their spelling words on. They simply type the word, then write it on their page. This also helps with keyboarding skills since the computer lab is always booked for testing from winter-spring!
*Stair Step- write the first letter of the word on the first line, the first two letters of the word on the next line, and so on until the word is spelled completely.
*Sort the words, by length, sounds, vowels, alphabetically, or any other attribute.
*Chalk- Write each word with sidewalk chalk outside or on a chalkboard.
*Make flashcards with the correctly spelled word on one side and a picture about that word on the other. Practice with these by first holding up the word side and having them repeat the word aloud, followed by how to spell the word (“Dog. D-O-G. Dog.”). Then flip the card over to remind them of the picture they drew that symbolizes that word for them. Then practice the words by showing them the picture side, having them tell you the word and how to spell it.
*Make the words with play-doh or cut them out of paper. I get the bag of tiny Play-Doh containers at Target during their Halloween clearance and it lasts my class well for the year. I organize my Play-doh, pipe cleaners, and beans in a set of drawers for students to easily access.
*Look up each word in a dictionary and thesaurus. I usually have my students write down the definition or synonyms.
*Wipe boards- Have your students write each word on a wipe board.
*Use each word in a sentence, or make up a story with all the words in it.
*SpellingCity.com has great ways of practicing spelling on the computer and you can put your own words in for students to manipulate on the website.