Tuesday, March 1, 2005

March 2005: Spelling Practice with Gel Pens & Construction Paper!


March 2005 America Learns Strategy of the Month

Sometimes, tutors and mentors best support their students by simply changing the tools they're using (as opposed to altering an entire tutoring or mentoring process).

University of Utah

This month's strategy highlights how one University of Utah tutor introduced new, nontraditional tools into a teacher-directed process of learning spelling words.  While your own students' teachers may not require that students learn spelling words in the same way, we hope the tutor's strategy will inspire you to think of simple tools you can use to reach and engage students.

The Strategy

Using Nontraditional Writing Utensils & Surfaces

Created by: America Reads at the University of Utah
Topic: Spelling
Grade Levels: Kindergarten – Sixth
Arrangements: One-on-One
Materials: - Construction paper
- Gel pen

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Situation: My student has a spelling test every Thursday, and was not the least bit interested in studying for one of them.  For homework, he was supposed to write each spelling word down every day for practice.  These practice sheets would not be turned into the teacher.
Step 1: To help make the assignment more interesting for him, I gave him a dark piece of construction paper and a gel pen to write his words with.

This made all the difference. The really simple idea made writing the words more fun for him, and I found that he began to look forward to the spelling part of our tutoring sessions.

Additional Resource for America Learns Network Members: If you need strategies describing new spelling practice processes, check out these links:

Find more than 50 other relevant spelling strategies here.

How Have You Addressed this Issue?

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