Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kindergarten Spelling

About this time of year we have learned the sounds for all the letters of the alphabet. (Vowels are last because we learn more than one sound for each vowel.) Students are now ready to begin writing words. We practice using our ears to tell us what letter to write. We call it Kindergarten Spelling. I send a note home to parents assuring them that we will teach correct spelling but for now, we are teaching them a new way to communicate
It was always interesting to see the way childen would spell things. If they misspelled a word I would ask them if they would like to see the "book spelling". I would write the book spelling (correct spelling) beside the "kindergarten spelling". (Some people call it "ear spelling.)
I am convinced that learning to pronounce words properly is a big key to correct spelling as is illustrated by the following example:
A student was trying to spell the word spaghetti and was using a b to start the word. Another student was trying to help and said. "Watch my mouth. It's "pasghetti". She emphasized the sound of p at the beginning of the word.
We would start with words then move on to sentences and stories. We had a word bank. This consisted of a giant piggy bank drawn on the board with commly used words in it such as "the".

What I learned: It was magical to see students learn a whole new way to communicate.

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