Friday, October 17, 2014

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16 Pre-Spelling Activities for Preschoolers AND All About Spelling!

These preschool activities do more than just entertain...they actually prepare your preschooler for future spelling success!  And, keep reading to find out why I love the All About Spelling program!

Spelling is an exciting and challenging skill, and there are loads of things you can do with your preschoolers to prepare them to be successful at spelling.

These 16 activities develop skills that will be helpful for your children as they learn begin learning to spell words, whether that is very soon or a couple years down the road!  Keep reading to learn more about my favorite spelling program!

Pre-Spelling Activities for Preschoolers:

* Visual Games and Activities:

1- Red Light, Green Light
2- Pretend play games with cars, dinosaurs, fairies, action figures, etc..
3- I spy...
4- Coloring pages
5- Memory or matching pages like these
6- Lego or other block-building activities
7- Which One is Different activities like these cards
8- Sequencing activities

* These activities help develop the ability to discriminate between letters, words, and numbers that are visually similar (like b and d).
* They also help develop the ability to focus on one object (or letter) in a sea of background images.  (foreground-background discrimination)
* Sequencing activities help your child "see" letters and sounds in order.

* Auditory Games and Activities:

8- 20 Questions
9- I'm thinking of an animal that...
10- Finger Plays
11- Rhyming Games
12- When I say ___, you ___ - style games
13- Dragging out words (instead of telling your child to "put his shoes on," you say,
"put your shoes oooooooooooonnnnnnnnnn."
14- Singing

* These activities develop the ability to hear differences between and within words (auditory discrimination). 

* Multi-sensory Activities:

To be sure, any of the activities above could be made into a multi-sensory activity.  The two activities that I am including here, though, have an incredible amount of power to prepare children to read and spell.  They consistently show up in research as indicators of student success in reading.  Any preschool experience should include as much of these two activities as possible!

15- Talking and (language rich) playing with your child
16- Reading with your child

* These activities create a language-rich background and a wealth of background knowledge for your children to draw on as they continue to learn reading, spelling, and other skills.

Once your child is ready to begin learning to spell, you will want to find a structured spelling program that covers the 44 English phonemes in an engaging and memorable way.  All About Spelling is, hands down, the best program I have found to teach spelling.

{Affiliate links below}

We began using All About Spelling last spring with my then 6-year old.  She is dyslexic and had struggled with spelling in the past.  I was originally attracted to All About Spelling because it is multisensory and boasts an ability to help dyslexic students.  Only two weeks later, I saw a significant improvement in both her spelling and reading skills!

 As we have worked through Level One (seven levels complete the program on a high school level), I have been consistently impressed with the program.

Here are my top 7 reasons for loving All About Spelling:

1- It is hands-on!  My daughter loves physically manipulating the magnetic letter tiles.  My younger kids love to join in too--they are actually learning the letters as they play with them!

2- It is multi-sensory!  In addition to the tactile letter tiles, there are activities that involve writing, listening, and visually analyzing words.

3- It is adaptable!  There are skills she already knows, and she flies through those lessons.  On the other hand, it is really easy to spend an extra day on skills that are more challenging for her.

4- It reviews material well!  New skills must be reviewed if they are to be retained, and All About Spelling does a fantastic job making sure you remember new skills.  AND, the reviews are built into the lessons so that you (the teacher) do not need to worry about it!

5-  It is easy! It is easy for the teacher and it is easy for the student.  Neither needs any special skills!  You just need to spend about 15-20 minutes a day working on spelling!

6- It is positive one-on-one time with my daugther.

7- We can both see improvement!  While I appreciate seeing my daughter improve, it is even more important that she see her own spelling skills increasing. This motivates her to keep working and makes the challenging lessons "worth it."  This is probably my favorite part of All About Spelling:  She can see herself improving!

Spelling Can Be Easy When It's Multisensory

What does a typical lesson look like?

There are several types of lessons, but most of the lessons have the following elements:

1- Review

2- Alphabetizing practice
3- Phonics, spelling rules, or other spelling concepts
4- Practice with the tiles or other manipulatives
5- Practice writing the words
6- A chart to mark off each "step" in the lesson.  I have to comment more on this one because it is one of my daughter's favorite parts.  She is very list- and goal-oriented and loves being able to put a sticker on each step as it is completed!

I honestly can not think of anything negative to say about All About Spelling.  Because I have seen so many good things from it, I intend to start using All About Reading as well.  Both programs were written by Marie Rippel, an educator who rose to the challenge of creating a spelling curriculum as she worked to teach her own child who struggled with dyslexia.  It has now expanded into a wonderful, family-owned company that I am happy to recommend to everyone.  In fact, I have been recommending it to anyone who asks me about curriculum!


What kinds of activities do you use to teach spelling or pre-spelling skills?  Do you have a favorite?  I'd love to know!

Disclaimer: We received an All About Spelling Level 1 set and a Deluxe Spelling Interactive Kit for review purposes.  All opinions shared are mine!  I only share materials that I expect my readers to love!

I may share at any of these parties!

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