Monday, October 22, 2012

Struggling Spellers

How many of us can say that some of our students are just really terrible at spelling?  If you have zero students who are absolutely horrific spellers, than I need to know what program you use, because this year, I've got about 5 who are just awful.  So I was searching and asking around for ideas of how to help these kiddos (besides our small group instruction during word study) and someone had suggested introducing them to Keywords.  Ok, some of you may be asking, "What do you mean keywords?" and others of you are probably like "Oh yea, that's old news.." :).. but my team and I decided to go with it and this is what I came up with...

The keyword list is a list of the 38 most common rhyming spelling patterns.  My team decided on a keyword to use for the whole second grade so everyone would be on the same page.  There is one keyword for each ending, and knowing how to spell that word, will help you spell many other words.  Here is the list, if you'd like it.. Just click & save!

I boxed around the rhyming endings.. you can obviously change the key words if you want to, these are just the ones we decided on as a team.

Ok, so this is how I go about teaching these keywords with my entire class, and then with my 5 really awful spellers...

I've chosen to introduce one new keyword a day until we've hit them all.  I introduce the days keyword in our morning meeting and as a class, we come up with as many other words that we can that have the same spelling pattern/rhyme.  Then, during either Reading Workshop when I'm working on word study with my little friends, or during our normal word study time, my terrible spellers fill in their personal "Keyword Dictionary".  Each keyword has it's own page with the rhyme/pattern boxed, and multiple lines for students to add words they can think of that go with it.  Then, after they add this to their repertoire of keywords, I expect them to spell words with the same pattern right MOST of the time.   You have to make sure you keep in mind those homophones/similar sound spelling patterns when the word could be spelled both ways.  

So far, this seems to be working with my strugglers.  If they're trying to spell a work that they are having trouble with, I remind them.. "Will any of your keywords help you??" Then they can take a look.  I put the dictionary I created on TPT, so click on the picture below if you'd like a copy :)

**Update: I had this set on my school computer and they must have cleaned  out the drive without warning us.  UGH!  I spend SO much time on this :(.  Will work on redoing it, but I probably won't finish for a while, sorry!  I knew I should've put it on my USB! Rawr*

Let me know what you think and if you have any other ideas of how to help your struggling spellers.  I would love to hear what's worked for you! I'm always up for new ideas :)

Now off to watching the rest of this debate and heading to bed!

Goodnight my fellow bloggers - 


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog this week! Happy to have you. I'm a new follower of yours, too! :-) I DO have some interactive notebooking examples. Look forward to hearing more about you and your successes with your first class! :-)

  2. We have done the "If I can spell __________, then I can spell ______, ______, ______ anchor charts. My kiddos love them. I then let them create their own "If I can..." lists and let them use Mr. Sketch markers to highlight the spelling pattern. We also have race to see how many words we can list in 2 minutes. They love this! =)

    Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day. I would love for you to visit again and become one of my followers. =)

    I just shared a Tally Dem Bones activity that my kiddos ADORE especially since they get to EAT bat bones. =)

    Heather's Heart