Five Fun Ways to Learn Spelling

Spelling

Spelling test? Love it or hate it, we just have to face it. Most preschools in Singapore start spelling test at K1 level, but for Edison’s school, they start a year later at K2.

He has English spelling test on Monday and Chinese spelling test on Friday. From Monday to Wednesday, he will practice for his Chinese spelling test. From Thursday to Saturday, he will practice for his English spelling test. And the cycle repeats again for the following week.

I admit it – it is no fun. When he didn’t have any spelling test last year (K1), I was worried that he might be missing out something important. But this year when he finally has it, I dread practising spelling with him.

Edison dreads learning spelling too because he finds that spelling practice is very boring. Instead of plain writing and memorizing, I’m trying to practise spelling by using a variety of mediums and games. Thankfully, these ideas increase his motivation to practice spelling.

Spelling practice doesn’t have to be B-O-R-I-N-G!

1. Use a white board or chalk board

Instead of using plain papers, I use a white board or chalk board that he enjoys for drawing. We try to use colourful fun markers so that he can enjoy writing on these mediums. It saves on papers too!

2. Use a computer

I let him type the words on my computer. I also show him how to change to different fonts and colours to make it fun. To a kid, typing a word on the computer is fun and cool. So, it motivates him to practice his spelling too.

3. Use letter magnets, letter flashcards or Scrabble pieces

This is quite fun. Let him arrange the letters to form a word using letter magnets, flashcards or Scrabble pieces.

4. Learn spelling in the car

When we’re on the go, we’re usually in a good mood. That makes learning spelling easy. So, I bring along our iPad and using an apps called Chalk Pad, he can practice writing and spelling when we’re on the go. By the time we reach our destination, he has sufficient to learn at least five new words.

5. Create a crossword puzzle or word search puzzle

You can make your own puzzle or create online using various tools. I like to use the puzzlemaker from Discovery Education.

If spelling tests are stressing you out more than your kids, try the above creative fun ways to liven your spelling practice. And if you have other creative ideas, do add-on to my list by leaving a comment here. I love to hear from you too!

It’s Where Practice Makes Perfect

The phrase ‘Practice makes Perfect’ is well known amongst many, but is it true? Particularly when it comes to Maths, I think it is very TRUE. If we want to be good at it, then we need to practice. Repetition is the mother of all skills. With daily practices, Little Edison is becoming better and better in his Maths.

In March this year, I’ve set a time table for our daily home practice with Little Edison. But recently, I changed my priorities. Since our boy is able to do his Maths and Chinese writing independently now, I give him 12 Maths questions and one page of Chinese writing as homework for him to do in the afternoon.

After school, he returned to my parents-in-law’s house, showers, takes his lunch, followed by his afternoon nap. When he wakes up, it’s time for him to do his homework – the Maths questions and Chinese writing that I’ve prepared for him.

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Initially, I would give him a call at about 3pm from my office to remind him to do his homework. After a few days, it gradually became a routine and he will do his homework without being reminded.

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He is able to do addition up to 30 and subtraction for 10 and below independently now. Initially, I taught him addition by drawing balls and adding them up. Once he is familiarized with the concept of addition, I taught him to count with his fingers – starting from the smallest number. I also taught him how to use an abacus, but he didn’t like it.

Subtraction comes pretty easy for him. Since he is counting with his fingers, he can only perform subtraction of 10 and below now. I need to think of a method to teach him subtraction for 10 and above. Any ideas to share with me?

My priorities are now on Chinese reading and English Phonics. So, we spend more time at night reading books (English & Chinese) and phonics readers.

 

Photographic Memory Game

I’m going to play this photographic memory game with little Edison. It is similar to what our sensei taught in the class.

What we need to prepare for this game?
1. Print out the pictures attached HERE. Total: 3 pages.
2. Cut the three pictures on page 2 (along the dotted lines)

How to play this game?
1. Show them the picture on page 1 for about 3-5 seconds. Tell them to take a picture using their “special camera”.

photo-page-1… Page 1

2. Give them the three pictures that we cut from step #2 above.

photo-page-2… Page 2

3. Now, tell them to arrange the three pictures into the boxes (page 3) according to the positions that they saw a moment ago.

photo-page-3… Page 3

4. After they arranged the pictures, show them the picture on page 1 again and check for accuracy.
5. Don’t forget to praise them if they managed to arrange correctly.
6. Give them encouragement if they did not get it correct.

Try it; I hope your kiddos will like this game.

DIY Flashcards #11: Human Body

 

human body

Another new set of DIY flash cards for download today.

Tips: When I flashed these cards to Edison for the first 3 times, I did it at a slower speed. I pointed to the respective body parts when I flashed the card and read out the words. It works! He is now able to point to the body parts correctly.

Title: Human Body
Contents:
1. Eyes
2. Nose
3. Mouth
4. Ear
5. Hair
6. Neck
7. Finger 
8. Hand
9. Leg
10. Foot
11. Toes

Click HERE to download it. 🙂

[10 Nov 09] Update: Download URL updated.