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Basic Spelling Rules That Every Child Should Know

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By displaying patterns between seemingly unrelated words, spelling rules can help take the mystery out spell-checking. These rules can help you to see connections between words that are unfamiliar and words that you know. There are many exceptions, as English is constantly evolving and borrowing words from other languages. These spelling rules are important. These rules may not always work, but they will help you succeed.

You can learn to spell better. Learning to spell words is an ongoing process. Everyone must pay attention to spelling and continue to work at it.

Basic Spelling Rules

1- The Short-Vowel Rule: If one-syllable words contain a vowel in the middle, the vowel typically has a shorter sound.  This letter is often twice as long if the letter following the vowel has f, l or s. 

2- Two-Vowels together: If two vowels are placed next to one another, the first vowel will usually be long (the sound is the exact same as the sound in the letter).

3- Vowel-Consonant e Pattern: If a short word or the last word of a longer one ends in this pattern vowel–consonant–e, the first vowel will usually be long and the silenced e is silent. Examples: place, cake, mice, vote, mute.

4- Y as a long i: When the letter y is at the end a short word with no vowels, it makes the long sound i. Examples: cry.

5- Y as an extended E: When y (or ey) ends a word within an unaccented line, the y has a long sound of the e. Examples include money, honey and many.

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6- I before E: Use i to indicate that the sound before e is longer than e, except for the letter c. Examples are relieve, relief, reprieve. If there is a preceding c, it will be ei: receipt, receive ceiling, deceive or conceive.

7- E before I: When the sound is long, write e before it. Examples: weight, freight, reign. When the ie/ei combination does not sound like ee, it will usually be spelled ei.

8- Oi or Oy:  Use oi at the beginning of a sentence and oy at its end. Examples: boil, soil, toil, boy, toy.

9- Ou or Ow: Use or in the middle of words and ow at the ends of words that do not end in n, d.

Spelling Dictation 

Dictation can be a powerful tool to teach spelling. It allows children to apply their spelling skills in a real-world setting. Simply put, students record a sentence or phrase containing their dictation words and then they repeat it to others.

Spelling dictation is an extremely useful tool that is included in all lessons of All About Spelling.

How Can Dictation Improve Your Child’s Spelling

The problem with traditional spelling instruction is that children often forget how to spell words they have learned. However, it is possible to make new knowledge stick by using it in meaningful ways such as writing sentences. You can also learn from the Spellquiz.com website.

Writing original sentences can be difficult when you are just starting to learn how to spell. It can be difficult for children who aren’t yet proficient in spelling to concentrate on every aspect of writing a sentence, including mechanics, creativity, and grammar.

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Simple Steps For Dictation

Step 1: Dictate a sentence.

You will dictate between two and five sentences per day depending on the level of your child. If you’re using the All About Spelling program to dictate sentences, instructions are included in your teacher’s guide. Your student should be aware that you will only be uttering the sentence once.

Step 2: The sentence is repeated by your child.

Repetition of the sentence can help your child retain it in their short-term memory long enough for them to write it down.

Step 3: Your child will write the sentence.

Even if your child starts to spell mistakes, don’t correct him as he writes the sentence. It’s better to keep your child from looking at the screen while he writes. He will be able to focus on his work without feeling judged or monitored, and he will feel like he “owns” the spelling process. After the next step, there will be enough time to correct spelling.

Step 4: Have your child proofread the sentence she just wrote.

Your child will read her writing aloud to you or to yourself during this step. This is a great time to teach your child self-correction. You can help her check that she has correctly spelled all the words. Was it correct to use capital letters and punctuation?

Step 5: Next, review the sentence and then dictate the next one.

You can correct spelling errors by following these steps if you spot a typo. This is an important lesson! Do you have a rule or generalization that needs to be reviewed now or tomorrow?

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