Spelling mistakes: they seem like a never-ending battle! “How do you spell…..?” “I don’t know how to spell…” may be familiar statements in many classrooms. It is common for kids to make spelling mistakes, early readers and writers aren’t going to have perfect spelling. When kids struggle with spelling they can become frustrated and want to abandon the writing or task they are working on. When you take the stress out of the spelling, students can begin to focus on the writing.
I’d love to say that students can always use a dictionary when they don’t know how to spell a word, but sometimes a dictionary is not helpful for misspelled words because you can’t look up a word in the dictionary that you truly don’t know how to spell.
Students end up spending time worrying about spelling mistakes and looking up words in the dictionary rather than writing. It takes time away from their writing. While dictionary skills are so important to learn; during independent writing time, you would much rather have students writing. Dictionary skills can be taught during a mini-lesson and students that are truly struggling with spelling can use writing or reading conference time with the teacher to get to the root of the problem.
How can you help students with spelling mistakes?
One thing to do to avoid interruptions and distractions because of spelling mistakes is to create an interactive, spell-check anchor chart called a “spelling parking lot.”
Not sure how to spell a word? Park it here!
- Create a table on an anchor chart with enough space for sticky notes.
- Create a station that has sticky notes and pencils or markers available for students.
- Hang the anchor chart.
Throughout the day, when students are unsure how to spell a word, they can use the parking lot. Students can simply grab a sticky note and put their word on the chart to fill up the “parking spaces.”
When you have a free second throughout the day, take a look at the parking lot and correct any spelling mistakes on the words in the lot. When students see their word is corrected, they can grab their sticky notes and fix the misspelling in their work. If other students look at the parking lot and know the spelling, they can jump in to help correct it too.
You will no longer have interruptions for spelling questions while you are trying to conference with students or work with small groups. Your writing conferences will no longer seem to be taken up with fixing spelling mistakes. A few short minutes out of your day at the parking lot will help students fix their spelling mistakes without taking the focus off of their writing.
You can grab a free anchor chart-topper here:
Please note: using a spelling parking lot is a helpful spelling tool that is meant to be a quick fix for spelling mistakes, but is not meant to replace dictionary or spelling instruction.
Are you going to create a spelling parking lot? Tag me on Instagram @two.little.birds.tpt! I'd love to see it!