Spelling is challenging for many students, particularly beginning readers. However, for a student with dyslexia or poor working memory, spelling can be downright exasperating. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Spelling can be understood and mastered by applying a handful of straightforward rules. For example, it does not appear to make sense that “cat” begins with ‘c,’ while “kitten” begins with ‘k.’ However, this makes perfect sense once you learn that when you hear the /k/ sound, use a ‘c’ unless it is followed by an ‘i,’ ‘e,’ or y.’ Examples include kite, kept or…kitten!
How We Teach at Syllables Learning Center
A spelling deficit is often the sign of an underlying reading problem: reading, grammar and spelling rules overlap in our language. That is why at Syllables Learning Center, we embed spelling into our reading program. During our one-on-one tutoring sessions, we teach the meaning of words, the history of their spelling and the role they play in our language. We make information meaningful and relevant to our students so that spelling rules and concepts “stick.” We steer away from rote memorization, which is soon forgotten. Syllables makes memorizing word lists a thing of the past and students leave with strategies to spell successfully for a lifetime.
We teach non-phonetic “high frequency words” that require us to “keep digging” to discover their spelling (e.g., was, should, who) to our students as they proceed through their tutoring with us. We use multisensory activities to create mental orthographic images (MOI’s), until these non-phonetic high frequency words are mastered and become part of everyday reading and writing.