Sticky Spelling

Make the learning stick!

Reflect- What's working?

My escalator moment during a Friday spelling test.

Stuck on an escalator
Big image
Big image

Writer, Eric Jensen says that we discard 98% of everything that comes into our brains.

What do you need to make a piece of velcro stick?

Big image

Find someone to Stick with and have a conversation.


A learner must be able to connect to what is being taught!

Telling is not teaching! One side of the velcro cannot stick!

If the information is not meaningful, in other words relevant, to the learner, learning will not occur.

It makes no difference if it’s interesting, meaningful, or relevant to the teacher. It must be relevant to the student.

Big image

Connect to Prior Knowledge!

Effective spelling programs replace rote memorization with study techniques that get students actively involved in their own development as spellers and writers.

  • Acquisition
  • Retention
  • Automaticity

Growing pains are ok!

Easy learning isn't long-lasting. It's the effort required to learn that results in true retention. Professor Robert Coe says that, “learning happens when people have to think hard.”

Chunk & Check!

Chunk the instruction and practice into small portions. Give the students immediate feedback while they practice.

The following instructional ideas are from:

The Science of Spelling by: J. Richard Gentry, Ph.D.
Big image

Choose the words that teach the patterns they need to know.

The lists should reflect words and patterns likely to be used by writers at developmentally appropriate grade levels. Spelling must be taught explicitly.
1. Word patterns

2. Latin and Greek root words

3. Affixes

4. High-frequency words

5. Commonly misspelled words

Big image
Big image

Personal Spelling Journals = relevance

The journals are used for ..."making the spelling–writing connection. Misspelled words are gleaned from writing or recycled through the Spelling Journal. Not only is the Spelling Journal an excellent record-keeping device, responsibility for adding words to the journal constantly keeps writers in the habit of checking their writing for misspelled words and collecting them. Correcting spelling in writing naturally becomes a good habit."

Have the students track their own progress & self correct.

Data notebooks can be included with their spelling journals to help them reflect on their own learning.

♦ BOLO (Be On the Lookout) words.

Students are on the lookout for words that are difficult to spell.

Misspelled word "head hunt"

Proofreading opportunities are all around...

Have the students bring in spelling errors that they find from anywhere and everywhere they go.


"Connecting spelling to writing maximizes a natural transfer from words learned in spelling lessons to correct spelling in writing. Teachers should not assume that the transfer will occur without efforts to make the connection."

How are the students APPLYING the spelling rules?

Word Study


Big image

Have the students create the games


This is a fun activity whose only purpose is to invite students to focus on the spelling of a word for a few minutes. Students create visual designs using spelling words to convey the meaning as well as the letters. Try Sketchnoting with DoodleBuddy or Seesaw.

Try it out...

Big image

Word pyramids

Students begin with 1 letter and then write a 2-letter word that begins with the same letter. This is followed by a 3-letter word, then a 4-letter word, and so on. The goal is to build a pyramid of words that extends to 10 letters or more. When students can go no further, they write a sentence for each word in the pyramid (Fearn & Farnan, 2001).

Add your Word Pyramid to Seesaw

Big image

How important is practice? It takes 24 times to acquire a skill!

Mix it up & spiral the practice!

The research in the book, Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning, by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel, tells us that repeating one skill to perfection is not the best path toward long-term learning. Our learning is actually more durable if we mix it up with other skills or information before we master it. That “mastery” feeling we get from massed practice is really just our short-term memory hanging on to stuff. Sometimes we think students have mastered a skill only to find that it was only short term. To entrench learning in long-term memory, we have to space out our practice and mix it up with other things. In the classroom, that means we’re better off giving students shorter, spaced out practice on a regular basis, rather than clumping it all together (so 5 math problems every day is better than 20 all at once).

It takes 20 hours of deliberate practice to show mastery!

Frequent retrieval is necessary!

Quizzing that requires recall should occur frequently. This should not be multiple choice type of quizzing since that type does not require retrieval of information.

How do good spellers handle the tricky words?

  • Students should recognize which words are “troublemakers” and identify the tricky parts.
  • Use mnemonics, a memory device that helps you remember something. Some common spelling mnemonics include a friend is there to the end, it is definite, and piece of pie. While we don’t encourage kids to overuse this strategy, mnemonics can be helpful for remembering Rule Breakers and troublemakers. Just remember that if these devices are overused, it may difficult to remember all of the mnemonics, which defeats the purpose!
Lap 5 and Practice

Watch your verbs! Align the work to the TEKS!

scavenger hunts

Word Sorts

Give them an audience and you give them reason to produce quality work!

Big image

Allow them to contribute and/or manage the class blog.

Seesaw is ideal for this purpose!
Big image

Check out this student friendly blogging site!

Big image


Big image

Students need to do, to participate, and to create!

Engagement means being involved or engaged in the process, and students need to be allowed to participate in and not be passive recipients of their education.

Let them discover!

How can we let students "discover" the spelling rules being used in the world around them?

It's not about what we are putting down, but about what they're picking up! (Berryism)

When students learn the material for themselves, it becomes their learning, not our teaching, and because it is their learning, they own it. They will remember it, they will be able to apply it, and they will be able to use it as the foundation for new learning and creating.

Muscle Memory!

Get the students moving and engage the body and brain connection. Check out this article that shares some current research.

Beyond the word wall

Spelling cheerleading

Spelling cheerleading is a whole-group activity that fits comfortably in the creation of a Word Wall or the practice of spelling the words in the weekly spelling list. As an occasional alternative to sitting at their desks, students chant and clap the new words.

Can the kids create their own spelling + movement videos?

Try the green screen for some extra creative fun! Here are a couple of apps we have tried:


Touchcast studio