A question I get asked regularly is: “Should I teach spelling in K-2?”
I think this question arises from a few different concerns:
- Invented spelling is a good thing – it gets kids to apply their phonics knowledge. So is it okay to correct their spelling or teach correct spelling to begin with?
- “Traditional” spelling instruction or rote memorization is often ineffective. So what should I do instead?
And these are valid concerns!
So…should we be teaching spelling in K-2?
I shared my thoughts in this video (a recording of a Facebook Live session):
- Teaching correct spelling is a GOOD THING! We just need to follow best practices when teaching spelling.
- We want to avoid activities that emphasize rote memorization. We need students to notice patterns in words – and apply those patterns to read and write other words.
- As much as possible, we need to differentiate our phonics instruction.
- There are ways to teach irregularly-spelled words that don’t rely on memorization. Check out this post for an in-depth look at how I’ve learned to teach high-frequency words differently.
If you need a phonics and spelling program, check out From Sounds to Spelling. I developed this program because I couldn’t find a resource that included ALL of the following:
- Lesson plans
- Word sorts
- Multi-sensory work
- Decodable texts
- Games and independent activities
You can learn more about the program here.