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Monday, July 25

3 Tips to Make Spelling and Grammar Practice Fun in Your Classroom

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Real talk time, I hate spelling and grammar. As a student, I struggled with spelling and grammar and when I began teaching, I still carried a strong disdain for those subjects that had me on the struggle bus every day after snack time. Because I hated and I do mean I truly hated spelling and grammar as a student, I made it one of my missions to make spelling and grammar lessons and practice exciting for my students. Through many failed lessons, headache-causing center ideas, and years under my belt, I can finally share that spelling and grammar time with my students is a fun time! Want to learn how you can make spelling and grammar engaging for your students this year? Read more to explore my top three tips to make spelling and grammar practice fun in your classroom now!


Tip #1 in My 3 Tips to Make Spelling and Grammar Practice Fun in Your Classroom: Get Hands On!

spelling-and-grammar



One of the main reasons that I hated spelling and grammar when I was a student was because it was so stinkin’ boring! Every day we would practice memorizing the weekly word list by writing them on lined paper folded “hotdog style,” or write that same list on notecards and quiz ourselves. Can we say snoozefest! I struggled with spelling and grammar academically, and let me tell you, boring memorization activities were not the strategy to help me enjoy those subjects more.  


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If you want to boost student engagement around spelling and grammar, you have to bring the fun factor! What is more fun for kids than when they get to use their hands? Get hands-on with spelling and grammar in center activities, independent work, or at the small group table. Some easy hand-on spelling and grammar activities include: using magnetic letters and a cookie sheet, using Pop Its fidgets with the alphabet written on them, and using erasable sleeves paired with spelling and grammar worksheets. The list goes on and on. If you want to explore more ideas for making your spelling and grammar activities hands-on then CLICK HERE to read my spelling blog post.


Tip #2 in My 3 Tips to Make Spelling and Grammar Practice Fun in Your Classroom: Try Going Digital

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Students love using technology in the classroom. Teaching to the technological intelligence and increased student engagement are two reasons that I love using technology in class. The question now is, how can I incorporate spelling and grammar practice with technology? Easy! My top two favorite ways to increase spelling and grammar tech fun in the classroom are to use YouTube and digital interactive notebooks. Try utilizing Youtube as a hook for your whole class spelling and grammar lesson, or as a brief review before students begin a center. As for digital interactive notebooks, these can be used during independent task time, spelling and grammar center time, or even as an engaging homework assignment. My students love using digital interactive notebooks to click, drag, move and explore spelling and grammar concepts. Want to explore the digital interactive notebooks that I use for fun spelling and grammar practice? CLICK HERE now.


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Tip #3 in My 3 Tips to Make Spelling and Grammar Practice Fun in Your Classroom: Tier and Differentiate 


Differentiation in reading is key. You would not ask a child reading at an F&P level M to read and comprehend a level R text. The same goes for spelling and grammar practice. In order to increase enjoyment and engagement, we need to keep students inside the zone of proximal development. When we meet students where they are at, we can help them make small continuous gains towards their goals without feeling overwhelmed and defeated. Try taking an inventory of your student's spelling and grammar knowledge at the beginning of the year. You can assess high-frequency words or specific spelling patterns that are appropriate for your grade level. Then use this data to split your students into three groups, below benchmark, benchmark, and above benchmark. You will use the data you collected to differentiate and tier spelling lists for your three groups and give them words and patterns that meet them at their current level and push their thinking. When I create spelling and grammar tiered groupings I often give them animal names (for example lion, dolphin, moose) so that my students do not realize that their word lists are differentiated by groupings. Tiering my student's spelling and grammar practice helps students feel successful and have more fun with the activities. When our students feel successful with spelling and grammar, they will not only enjoy the lessons but push their thinking to try more. I easily differentiate across my three spelling and grammar groups by using editable spelling activities. These editable spelling activities allow me to type in a word list and then that word list will automatically fill into each activity word bank. At the beginning of each week, I simply type in my three different word lists and generate a week-long activity and practice packet for my three differentiated groups. Easy differentiation and fun spelling activities, make this tip one you want to try! If you want to explore the editable spelling activities that I use, then CLICK THIS LINK now. 


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Do you incorporate spelling lessons into your writers' workshop? Are you ready to get rocking, rolling, and writing with your own writers’ workshop? Then be sure to download my writing workshop checklist and launch your best writers’ workshop now! CLICK HERE to download.


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