To practice the week's spelling words, I use a technique I call Supersonic Spelling. On Monday, the students copy the ten words (usually based on a theme or vocabulary from a story). During the week they alphabetize the words, use them in sentences, copy them, etc. for homework. On Friday we take the spelling test. Just before the test I use the supersonic spelling technique. I ask the students to write a word over and over as many times as they can for thirty seconds to one minute. I write the word on the board covering it with my hands and body then say: "On your mark, get set, go." Using a stopwatch for timing is very motivating. The students really concentrate on each word and try to outdo each other. After they have written the word I ask them to count how many times the word was written and circle that number at the top of the list. Try to make them write in a vertical list. I go around the room to ask them their numbers. Continue with all ten words. I do not give prizes, but you could initiate that as a reward. This technique helps even the laziest speller remember most of the words for the test. The silence during the supersonic spelling is amazing! I use this for third, four, and fifth grades, but older students could profit as well.
Faye Madigan - Charlottesville, VA
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