Spelling Test Advice for Parents and Teachers

This post is based on a long twitter post @spelling_thing. If your child has a teacher who is sending home illogical or overwhelming spelling lists, please point them here. I’m happy to answer their questions and yours! ***************** A parent has asked me for some advice on what to do with a … Read More

Spelling Photosynthesis

Over on Twitter @ChrisHallsEd says: Of course #syntheticphonics is vital, but does it help a child spell photosynthesis in Yr. 5? We need to equip ALL children with ALL the tools to succeed. #syllables The only reason phonics doesn’t currently help a year 5 child to spell photosynthesis is that year 5 … Read More

Conquering the ‘Dirty 30’ spelling words

At That Spelling Thing, we believe every single secondary teacher, no matter what their subject, should have an easy to implement strategy for spelling in their classroom. A good strategy should capitalize on what students already know and remove the need for remembering every word by sight. Our unofficial motto is No … Read More

Spelling words with ough

This is a slightly modified excerpt from That Spelling Thing. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words and it worries people because <ough> words look so similar. However, by thinking in sounds and using the TST script, anxious spellers no longer have to … Read More

Spelling Complex Secondary Science Words

Struggling spellers tend to think of short words as easy and long words as hard when it’s often the little words that require more memory. The best way to convince a student of this is to use the TST ‘building with puzzle pieces’ lesson rather than going right into spelling. Building is … Read More

Spelling with a Dyslexic Adult

A treasure from 2005: how to morph That Reading Thing into That Spelling Thing for a dyslexic adult. I was working with a severely dyslexic 27-year-old whose huge sight vocabulary put him beyond TRT lessons for reading but not for spelling. He struggled with the idea of words as collections of sounds … Read More

Spelling Maths Vocabulary

Leading a session with a group of secondary teachers from various departments, I boldly ask for words their students struggle to spell so I can show them how our strategies work. The maths teacher says, ‘isosceles’. Oh, super. Have I mentioned that I’m a normal speller? That Spelling Thing doesn’t come out … Read More

Spelling Mnemonics – how to spell ‘because’

Here’s the second part of thinking about making up sentences as a way of remembering how to spell words. ‘Big elephants can always understand small elephants’ is by far the most popular one I’ve heard at all levels. What’s the alternative and why is it better? When you’ve got a word that … Read More

Spelling Mnemonics – sentences for words

Click on a line to jump to the post. Will open in a new tab. Part 1 Intro to Mnemonics Part 2 Making up sentences to remember how to spell words Part 3 Building ‘because’ instead of the elephant story Making up sentences to remember how to spell words Making up sentences … Read More

Spelling Mnemonics – Do’s & Don’ts

Click on a line to jump to the post. Will open in a new tab. Part 1 Intro to Mnemonics Part 2 Making up sentences to remember how to spell words Part 3 Building ‘because’ instead of the elephant story Intro to Mnemonics Thinking up mnemonics (memory devices or tricks) is second … Read More

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