Google+ Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas: 75 Fun Ways to Practice and Learn Spelling Words

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

75 Fun Ways to Practice and Learn Spelling Words

My first grader has a spelling list of 10 words each week that she has to learn. As a teacher, I was always on the giving end of these lists but now as a Mama on the receiving end, I have experienced first hand how boring and tedious it can be to help your child learn these words.... in 4 days.

So of course the only thing to do was to spice up our weekly spelling homework and make it fun. Psst, you know this also makes it more memorable - right?

I compiled this list from things we have done at home, things I plan to do and things I have done over the years in my classroom as a teacher.


Writing & Fine Motor Practice - you can do the old stand-by and write your words on a piece of paper, maybe even the dreaded 5x each or you can.......

1. Play Dough Words - use play dough to form letters to spell out each word.

2. Pipe Cleaner Words - use pipe cleaners and bend and form to make letters used to write out the words.


3. Yarn Words - supply some yarn and scissors and let kids snip and create letters to spell out the words.

4. Puffy Paint Words - mix up a batch of puffy paint, write words and pop them in microwave to watch them puff up. :)

5. Stamp It! - use alphabet stamps and ink pads to stamp out words or let child use fingerprints to write words if you don't have letter stamps.


6. Paint It! - use a paintbrush and paint to spell words.

7. Finger Paint - let them get messy and have some sensory fun and finger paint  to spell their words

8. Reverse Chalk Writing (aka Water Writing) - an easy and fun twist on writing words on the chalkboard. Use chalk to cover the chalkboard and have your child use a paintbrush dipped in water to write their words over it. The Lil Divas love this reverse chalk writing.

9. Type It! - if your kiddos are anything like my Lil Divas they love getting computer time, so let them type their spelling words on the computer/ipad/lap top.


10.  Rainbow Words - spell words using different colored markers or crayons for each letter.

11. Salt/Sand/Flour Tray - spell words using finger or paintbrush (great sensory experience too). Put colored construction paper under the salt, sand or flour to make the letters really pop.


12. Trace - have fun and let kids trace their words on your back or palm. Have them focus on properly forming each letter so you can feel it being drawn.

13.  Sidewalk Chalk (or Paint) - go outside and spell your words using sidewalk chalk. Just taking the spelling practice outside makes it more fun for kids.

14. Shaving Cream - This is another fun sensory experience. Make a thin layer of shaving cream on a tray and use a paintbrush or better yet a fingertip to spell out the words. Have some napkins on hand.

15. Trace in the Air - watch as children trace the letters in the air to spell each word.

16. Alphabet Blocks - use ABC blocks to spell words

17. Letter Beads - use alphabet letter beads and pipe cleaners to build words

18. Letter Tiles - spell words using letter tiles


19. Alphabet Stickers - build words using ABC stickers

20. Small/Medium/Large Words - How boring is it to write words 3 or 5 times each? I used to hate doing it as a kid myself so I understand the Oldest Diva not being thrilled about doing it. How about jazzing it up by having them write the word using the smallest letters they can possibly write (this one is a fave), then doing it normal sized and finally jumbo sized. It makes tedious writing practice so much more fun.

21. Build a Word with Legos - using some tape write the letters needed for each word ahead of time on some legos. Mix them up and then call out a word and have child(ren) build it using the appropriate legos and you will end up with some spelling word towers. Now that's a fun way to spell.

22. Crayon Bits - use your broken crayons to make letters and spell the target words.


23. Q-Tip Writing - Use q-tips and paint to dot letters to spell the word or write the word using the q-tip as a paint brush.

24. Magnet Letters - Take a cookie sheet or head for the fridge, add some magnetic letters and spell out the words.


25. Glue & Glitter - Write out spelling words in glue and sprinkle some glitter on top. Glitter makes everything fun, doesn't it?

26. Wikki Stix - What a fun bendable material and perfect to use in building letters to spell words.

27. Alphabet Rocks - If you have a set of painted ABC rocks these can be a fun way to build and spell words.

28. Marble Words - The Lil Divas enjoy using our flat bottom decorative marbles to form the letters needed to spell words. You could also use small rocks, decorative gems or whatever you have handy.

29. Coffee Filters & Markers - let your child write the words using markers on coffee filters. Once you are all done, hand them a spray bottle of water and let them turn their spelling practice into art!

30. Hidden Spelling Words - on a white piece of paper let your child write out the spelling words using a white crayon. Once all words have been written use watercolors and paint to make hidden words appear.


31. Paint (or Hair Gel) Bags - Pour paint into a ziplock freezer bag and seal. Use fingertips to write words on bag. To erase, simply squish bag and you are ready for the next word.

32. Alpha-Bit Spelling - Use Alpha-Bit cereal, alphabet pasta or even alphabet cookies to spell words - this can even double as a snack when done reviewing if you use the cereal or cookies.

33. Print Words - Use newspaper or magazine print to cut out fun letters. Have child make words using clipped letters.

34. Novelty Erasers - use small erasers to spell words. I always stock up on seasonal erasers to use for math, etc and they actually work great for spelling too.


35. Q-Tip or Toothpick Letters - use q-tips or toothpicks to build letters and make spelling words.

36. Flower Words - draw a flower for each word, 1 petal for each letter of the word.

37. Other Hand - if you are right handed write your words using your left hand, if you are left handed write words using your right hand.

38. Alphabet Cookie Cutters - use ABC cookie cutters to make words. For extra fun, go ahead and make some word cookies.

39. Window Writing - use Crayola Window Markers and write words on windows or sliding glass doors. They wash off easily and writing on windows or doors is so much more fun than boring old paper.

40. Clothespin Words - Write letters on clothespins and have child pin letters to make words. They can pin onto hanging string (think clothes line) or even an index card.

41. Snap Cube Words - Those colorful snap cubes aren't just for math. Use them to build letters and form spelling words.


42. Flashlight Words - set up an Alphabet chart, turn out the lights and use a flashlight to shine on each letter (one letter at a time) to spell words.

43. Craft Stick Spelling - write the necessary letters on craft sticks, mix them up and have child build words using the appropriate sticks.

44. Scrabble Spelling - use scrabble pieces to build words. For some sneaky math fun have child total the amount for each word.

45.  Tub Spelling - use foam letters in the tub and stick onto the wall to make words.

46. Shower Spelling - Yes, more spelling fun in the tub. This time spread some shaving cream on your shower door or tiled wall over the tub and let your child(ren) finger write words.

47. Bathtub Paint - Still feeling adventurous about the tub? Use bathtub paint and write or paint words onto your shower door, tub or tiled wall. It washes out!

48. Cheez-it Spelling - use ABC Cheez-it crackers to spell words. Then enjoy a yummy snack.

49. Cereal Words - using circle shaped cereal like Cheerios or Froot Loops build letters to form spelling words. Then have a sweet, crunchy snack.

50. Penny or Coin Spelling - use pennies or other small coins to make letters and spell out words.

51. Lima Beans - Another fun manipulative to use are lima beans. Write letters on beans, mix them up and put them in a pile for the children. Call out spelling words and have child search for the appropriate beans to spell each word.


Oral Practice - sure you can just practice spelling your words out loud but wouldn't it be more fun to........

52. Sing - Use whatever song or beat you like but a simple B-I-N-G-O like song & some clapping works wonders especially on that first day of practicing words. It really helps kids begin to remember those words.


53. Rap - Yes rap! This is so much fun and a great way to - S to the P to the E to the Double L, spells SPELL! Let them have fun with it and get creative. We always end up in fits of giggles and it really doesn't feel like homework.

54. Partner Spell - take turns adding a letter to spell each word. For example, for the word FUN - child starts by saying the letter F, parents adds letter U and child then completes word by adding the letter N. This requires focus and listening and is a great exercise for elementary aged learners.

* In the classroom this gets really fun and challenging when you have lots of kids playing because they have to be paying close attention to what everyone is saying before them. If they miss their letter, they have to sit out the rest of the round. We used to add a fun word at the end of the words too depending on the season like apple, pumpkin, witch, turkey, heart, etc. The person who said that word was also automatically out and had to sit. It was a fun way to play with a large group of kids. *

55. Cheerleader Chant - Give me an S, give me a P, give me an E, give me an L, give me a L - what's that spell? SPELL!


56. Record - use a tape recorder to record child(ren) orally spelling words.

57. Make a Video - use the household video camera or even your phone to take some quick video of your child spelling the target words.

58. Microphone - Spell words into a microphone. There is just something fun about hearing yourself loud and magnified so have fun with it and practice those spelling words too.


Gross Motor Practice - we like to make spelling practice fun by getting active while practicing our words. This gets the Oldest Diva moving and playing while studying, which she really enjoys.

59. Jump Rope while orally spelling the words.

60. Hula Hoop and spell words out loud.

61 Hopscotch Spelling - Write letters outside in chalk or play indoors with large letter cards on floor. Hop from letter to letter to spell words.

62. Bounce a Ball - bounce a ball as you spell words - 1 bounce per letter.


63. Balloon Bop - keep a balloon up in the air while spelling your word. This one gets lots of giggles.

64. Swat & Spell - put letter cards on the floor and using a flyswatter, swat the letters in the order necessary to spell words.

65. Froggy Spelling - leap like a frog and spell words - 1 letter for each leap.

66. Jumpin' Jack - do jumping jacks as you spell words - 1 jump per letter

67. Hop & Spell - hop on one foot as you spell words, this is a great exercise in balance especially with longer words.


Games and Online Fun - you can use flashcards or you can take your spelling practice to a whole new level by playing games and even having some online fun.

68. Have child spell and write 2 sets of words onto flashcards and then play a Memory Game with them.

69. Which is Correct? Write words on dry erase board and include misspelled words. Have child identify the correctly spelled words.


70. Wordsearch - you can visit sites like PuzzleMaker , plug in your child's spelling list and create a word search that you can print. Then have your child search for the correctly spelled spelling words and circle them. Let them use different colored highlighters for some added visual fun.

71. Mystery Letters - write words with missing letters. Child must figure out which mystery letters are missing in order to complete words .

72. Word Puzzle Scavenger Hunt - Write words onto construction paper and cut apart letters. Put letters in plastic eggs or other such container and hide around room.  Have child find words you've hidden and put words together correctly like a word puzzle.


73. Puzzle Words - How about using old puzzle pieces to practice spelling words? I love this idea from No Time for Flashcards.

74. Spelling BINGO - Make or print a few blank BINGO cards to use with spelling practice. Kids love to play BINGO. Write spelling words in boxes and randomly call out (or use flashcards) words. Child should cover appropriate words when called. To make things extra challenging, write words spelled incorrectly in a few spaces as well so child has to discriminate between the correctly spelled words and the incorrect ones.

75. Unscramble - use magnet letters or letter tiles for each word, scramble them up and have child put letters in correct order to spell words.



I hope you are able to get some new ideas from this list 
& make spelling fun rather than tedious and boring!

Bern

If  you enjoyed these ideas be sure to check out our sight word games
and our Kids Writing Ideas and Sight Words Pinterest Boards.

86 comments:

  1. OMG! SO many great ideas! I'm always looking for new ways to practice spelling words. My son is 9 but I still want to keep it fun for him! Thanks for sharing. I'm totally pinning this:)

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    1. Thank you Laurie. I find the older they get they less they want to deal with boring spelling so keeping it fun and interactive is definitely the way to go. I used many of these ideas when I taught 3rd grade and the kids loved it.

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    2. There are so many different ideas to choose from. My son is 4yrs old and my husband and I are in the process of getting him ready for school. I try to be as creative as I can when coming up with learning activities for him just so I can hol dhis attention for as long as I can. These will be a great help to us. Thank you!

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    3. I love the ideas, did you have trace on the back letters? Partners draw a word slowly on partner's back. It feels good and you have to focus, Jenny

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  2. This is great! I will add a link to this on Facebook. Thanks for these great ideas.

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    1. thank you and many thanks for sharing Savannah.

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  3. IMPRESSIVE! Love these ideas. So much fun! I'll be sharing this post....

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  4. Wonderful! I work with a couple great kids and am always looking for ways to engage them and help with their spelling words and letter writing :)

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    1. Amy, hope you can use some of these ideas. It definitely makes spelling more engaging.

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  5. Amazing list of fun ways to practice and learn spelling words! Your daughters are lucky to have you as their mom! I bet they are great spellers!

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    1. Aww, thank you Brian! You are such a wonderful supporter.

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  6. Wow...love it! I will be sharing with friends and colleagues.

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  7. Wow! I can't wait to try the small, medium and large letters. These is a fabulous list.

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    1. thank you, hope your kiddos enjoy some of these

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  8. Whoa!!! Best spelling practice list ever!!! I love the idea of different size letters for 3x each(are they still making kids do that!?!) and the abc rock spelling!

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    1. Megan, yup the good old 3x each still exists - doing it in rainbow letters or different sizes definitely jazzes it up a bit :)

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  9. love it all, thanks for sharing!

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  10. Great post! Thanks for sharing!!!I will share with all my parents and use it myself!
    Erin
    Sample’s Superstars

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    1. wonderful Erin! Thank you for sharing. Hope your kiddos enjoy some of these & find them fun.

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  11. Amazing Collection! Sharing this for sure.

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  12. This is a great list. Please considering linking it up at "Look! What We Did," a homeschool link up that lasts for a month. -Savannah http://lookwhatwedid-homeschool.blogspot.com

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  13. thank you thank you thank you for so many great ideas! My little one is struggling with writing because she hates spelling words wrong so I am looking for any and all ways to make this more fun. Your blog is great!

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    1. thank you Michelle. Hope you found some fun ways to practice.

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  14. These are some great ideas that I can't wait to use with my 7 year old who absolutely hates spelling.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing the fantastic list of spelling activities.

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  16. Thank you for sharing. I work with students who are struggling readers and I am always looking for new ways to have fun learning and using kinesthetic technics.

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  17. I also use crossword puzzles to help learn the definition as well as the spelling.

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  18. Love this post, Bernie! I will definitely be using these ideas with Henry!!! I also passed it along to his teacher to share on the class's website.

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  19. Sharing on Playdough to Plato's FB page tomorrow afternoon.

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  20. I would love to add the website http://www.spellingcity.com to the list. VocabularySpellingCity has fun online games and printables to use with your spelling words. You will also find math vocabulary, literature lists, holiday lists, etc. under the Teacher Resources tab. The games work great on your interactive whiteboard.

    Cara
    Teaching...My Calling

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    1. thanks for sharing the site Cara. I will check it out.

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  21. Love this list - thank you!

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  22. I use Pull & Peel Twizzlers and have my students make their words. Just another idea! :)

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    1. Ah, Twizzlers! Will definitely give them a try - thanks for sharing.

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  23. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your compilation. I'm a first grade teacher and needed more word work ideas, thanks for posting this!

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    1. Glad you found some ideas to use! Thanks for your kind comment.

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  24. so nice... and lots of ideas... thanks for sharing...

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  25. This was helpful! Thanks a bunch!

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  26. This is perfect! Thanks for the ideas, my daughter is struggling as I didn't realize she even brought her list home until yesterday. Mom fail.

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    1. Oh no, Breanna that stinks! Hope you can give her some fun help now. Good luck to you both. I know how hard it is.

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  27. So many great ideas are listed here. I have used some of them when I taught, and I've found many ideas new to me as I work with my grandsons now! Thank you!

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    1. I'm so glad you found some new ideas here - hope your grandsons enjoy it.

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  28. We bounce on the trampoline. One bounce for each letter. If the player gets it wrong the other spells it back to them in bounces. We trade off so I will pick a spelling word for kid to spell and she will pick a word for me to spell. She always picks really hard words trying to stump me. It is great fun...

    We normally finish the spelling words and keep going with every word we can remember. 8^)

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    1. trampoline bouncing = FUN! Love it! Thanks for sharing.

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  29. These are great! I teach 2nd grade and am always looking for some new fun ways to practice spelling during my Daily 5!

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    1. thank you - hope your 2nd graders enjoy some of the ideas.

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  30. thanks... I am gonna add a link to this on my website I had to create for graduate school if that is okay. You have so much ideas in one place it is awesome! Keri B.

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  31. Wonderful! I am an Orton-Gillingham tutor, and these are all wonderful ideas for my kids!

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  32. love, love, love your creativity, your wisdom, your generosity, your passion....... I always come away from your posts a better teacher- THANKS!!!!

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  33. I'm new to this blog. I just found it as I was doing a Google search on something for my kids. I'm glad I happened upon it. You've got a lot of great posts. I'm bookmarking it so I can come back and look through your posts with more time. I love these ideas for spelling. We use SpellingCity.com, which has been great for all 3 of my kids of varying ages. Thanks for sharing these ideas!

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  34. What an amazing list of ideas - they are so creative. I thought you might also be interested in an app called Squeebles Spelling that we've designed - it allows parents or teachers to input their own customised list of weekly spellings and record the words and any meanings in their own voice. Children are rewarded for their efforts by earning turns on a fun mini-game within the app. The app includes a Parent's Zone, so that parents can remain engaged with their child's progress, where you can see exactly how your child is doing and any words that they may be struggling with, even down to exactly how they're misspelling the word. The words they struggled with are added to a 'tricky words list' within the app, which the child can work on and return to at any point.

    If you're interested the app is available for Apple and android devices. I hope you don't mind me letting you know about it here.

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  35. Awesome ideas.....I will use this in my classroom for word work and working with my son! Thanks a million!!

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  36. Lots of great ideas for my little girl

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  37. Thank you for these wonderful ideas. Many of them will work incredibly well in my classroom.

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  38. 11. another powder is jello or instant pudding.

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  39. Great ideas. Thanks for sharing :)

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  40. These are awesome, thank you for sharing!

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  41. Thanks you so much! We homeschool and my 10yo is profoundly dyslexic. We use the Barton Spelling and Reading Program, but the sight words are boring, even for me! I'm going to use these tips, especially the fine motor ones!

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  42. Thanks for the great ideas - my 1st grader will be much happier next week when we do spelling words!

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  43. What great ideas!! Love! I am trying the hidden words with my third grade special ed friends tomorrow! Thanks so much!

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  44. Thankyou! such great ideas to use in my class

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  45. This is fabulous! Thank you for all of these wonderful ideas.

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  46. Thank you for posting! This is a great resource I am excited to add to my bin of knowledge :)

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  47. Thanks for sharing your creative ideas! Lots of kids will benefit!

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  48. Thanks for these ideas. My daughter in 1 St grade hates her spelling words and has a hard time with them in the 4 days of trying to get them to stick which can be frustrating. Deff going to do use your ideas thanks

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  49. Bingo! Just what I hoped to find! Can't wait to start using some of these ideas, will be hard to choose what to try first!

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  50. Any opportunity to use my presentation laser is always exciting for my 9 year old. Spelling his words in laser on the wall is a big thrill! Kids just have to be old enough to not point in their own or anyone else's face/eyes of course.

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  51. These ideas are amazing! I will be adding a link from my class blog for parents.

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  52. Awesome post! I love all of these ideas! Spelling had been an issue in our house and this will make spelling practice a lot less painful:) Thank you! I have linked your blog if that is okay and would love to link this particular post as well.

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  53. Wow!!! This is so amazing!! I'm so glad that I ran across this! I'm homeschooling my now 2nd grader, and I was trying to figure out different ways to help him learn them... That 2 and 3x each stuff can't get VERY BORING, so I was amazed at the idea of having them to do it different sizes! That's awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing this. :) God bless you!

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  54. This is so amazing!! My son hate to sit down and learn his spelling words, he had rather play. He sites in a class room all day that when he get home that is the last thing he wants to do. So I'm going to try some of these ideals, I have a few picked out! Can't wait to try them. He hasn't done good at all this year with his spelling words and I'm scared the teachers are thinking I'm not doing my part as a mom but I do try very hard, he just won't listen to me he says so Boeing and cry's so, I'm at my ending point but the ideals you have is so amazing I can't wait. Thinks so much for sharing them.

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  55. Thank you. My 6 year old son has ADHD and he hate to sit down and learn his spelling. He has been failing his spelling test all year. I'm going to try some of your ideas as soon as he gets home from school today. Thank you, you are a life saver.

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  56. thanks so much
    great ideas, I particularly love the active ideas like the ball bouncing, so good for those who cant sit still!
    I am definitely going to share links to your Blog post

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