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How to Teach 1st Grade Spelling

Aug 17, 2007
Parents are expected to help their children entering first grade to learn how to spell at that level. The children will be memorizing vocabulary words under the guidance of their teacher but they will be able to retain these words better if their parents assist them at home.

Parents can do this by getting a copy of the vocabulary words assigned to their children by their teacher, then going through them with their children. This reinforces the teacher's efforts and helps the parents to bond with the children through a shared activity.

To drill them further, parents can create their own list, place each word on a flash card then quiz their children patiently with these cards. Although the vocabulary lists created by the parents will not be graded at school, this method can help children improve their own vocabulary.

Another shared activity which parents can do is to bring their children along on errands like shopping at the supermarket and have their children point out objects and spell out their names.

Reading is also important to get children to be familiar with various words. Introducing children to the world of reading is essential to help children gain more knowledge about words and their spellings. Parents may buy their children books with drawings. Children love to see pictures and drawings and this will help them to be interested with books.

Teachers can help their wards correlate words as the names of objects by attaching labels to objects within the school then removing the labels and asking the students to spell out the names. This is particularly useful when the students are already learning longer words which are more complicated to remember.

Another activity that teachers can spearhead is to form the children into teams which have to spell out words on the blackboard as they compete for a prize like maybe a fruit or candy bar. This activity helps children to form a healthy attitude towards competition in addition to enhancing their spelling capabilities.

Achievements in spelling at the first-grade level are important because this is the foundation for accomplishments in later grades of spelling. It is vital that parents do not spank or hit their children for mistakes in spelling as this can lead to bad habits such as stuttering.

Instead, parents should make it a point to reward their children for giving the right answer. Rewards can take the form of stickers on the children's work or a special treat placed in their children's lunchbox for recess.

Teachers should also make it a point not to favor one child who spells well over another child who may not be so good as this shows the children that the teacher plays favorites.

It also shows the child who doesn't do so well that his meager accomplishments are not recognized by his tutor. Rather, teachers should make it a point to give extra attention to those children who are not so good at spelling in order to boost their morale and skill level as well.
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