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Tuesday, January 25

How to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words

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The knowledge of spelling words and patterns is crucial for our learners. As teachers, we understand the importance that these skills have in reading and writing, but how do we get our students to practice their 3rd grade spelling words? Even more, how can we help students master 3rd grade spelling words? Let’s dive into it! Read more to explore my favorite methods for helping students master 3rd grade spelling words.

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Using Differentiation to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


If I was a basketball player (mind you I’m not due to my lack of coordination and athletic abilities), I would need to practice shooting skills. If I master making a free throw shot but my other teammates have not, do you think my coach would have me continue to only practice free throw shots until the entire team mastered them? No way José! A great coach recognizes their player's abilities and customizes practice to strengthen each player’s needs. Teachers are just like great coaches! Teachers know that differentiation is key in driving our students forward. 

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Be sure to give a spelling pre-test before assigning any 3rd grade spelling words to your students. A spelling pre-test is simply a spelling word quiz that is given before the weekly word pattern or word list is taught. This will allow you to see which students are struggling with a list of 3rd grade spelling words, and which students are ready for a more challenging list of 3rd grade spelling words. Once you have that data, you are golden and ready to differentiate for your kiddos! Providing your students with spelling words that appropriately match their current abilities is key. Use spelling pre-tests to keep students in that sweet spot of their zone of proximal development. When students feel the next rung on the ladder is achievable, you'll be amazed at how high they will continue to climb!


When I am differentiating my 3rd grade spelling words for my students, I like to use editable spelling activities and editable "3rd grade spelling words" worksheets. Editable spelling activities allow me to type any word list into the document and then the word list will autofill my 3rd grade spelling words onto each 3rd grade spelling words worksheet. Talk about easy-peasy differentiation! I love using editable spelling activities and worksheets because I can easily differentiate word lists and the activities still appear the same to my students the only thing that has changed is their individual word lists. Easily differentiating spelling word lists through pre-tests and editable spelling activities is one method I use to help students master their 3rd grade spelling words.

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Using Engaging Centers to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


F-U-N is not usually the word that comes to mind when our students think about spelling practice. Elementary students typically find spelling activities repetitive and boring and thus are completely disengaged when doing them. What if we tried to change that? I place a big emphasis on fun in my classroom and student engagement holds a special place in my heart. This is why using engaging spelling activities is another one of my favorite methods for helping students master their 3rd grade spelling words. I know what you’re thinking, great another thing I have to find online, create or make! No worries teacher friend! Creating engaging spelling centers can be as simple as adding paper clip spinners, allowing students to draw the visualization of their spelling words, or write in funny fonts! Try writing the alphabet on a pop-it fidget or using erasable sleeves and letter beads for even more student engagement in your spelling word centers!

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My kiddos loved practicing their 3rd grade spelling words using these simple and engaging tips! I noticed a huge increase in their desire to practice spelling words. They also had much improved retention of 3rd grade spelling words and spelling skills after implementing more engaging spelling centers in my classroom. You can explore the editable spelling centers that I use by clicking HERE.

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Using Weekly Spelling Homework to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


Let me be honest teacher friend, I hate giving homework! I push my kiddo's brains all day at school. I want my students to enjoy their downtime when they are home; play sports, spend time with their families, and not stress about my assignments. However, I do acknowledge the benefits that homework can have. From increasing home to school communication of current skills to additional skill practice time, homework can really help your students master their 3rd grade spelling words. However, If you’re not a fan of assigning homework like me, allow me to share an idea with you. Have you tried weekly spelling packets before? The keyword here teacher friend is weekly, not nightly. I print out homework spelling packets for my students and pass them out on Monday. I will typically assign three 3rd grade spelling words activities in the packets I create. I then tell my students that their 3rd grade spelling words homework packets are not due until Friday. My student's families love this flexibility! Assigning weekly spelling packets instead of nightly 3rd grade spelling words worksheets allows students to practice their 3rd grade spelling words on nights that are best for their schedules. This flexibility increases the completed spelling word packets that I receive each week and thus my students are practicing more each week. This weekly extra practice is a great help in your students mastering their 3rd grade spelling words.


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I hope you enjoyed reading my favorite methods for helping students master their 3rd grade spelling words. If you want to explore the resources/ teaching tools that I have used to help my students master their 3rd grade spelling words, CLICK HERE to see them now.

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If you want to learn about my no-prep fall spelling activities, click here to read my blog now!