Children in Early Years are encouraged to use their phonics knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. For example, they may write ‘gos’ for ‘goes’ and ‘factree’ for ‘factory.’ At this stage we celebrate a child’s efforts and may also model how to correctly spell the word. Writing words, captions and sentences which can be read by themselves and others is key to this stage of writing and we enjoy celebrating their achievements. In addition to this, children need to be able to spell CVC words correctly such as such as it, on, am, mum, dad, dog, cat, mat, pig, hen, mud as well as tricky words such as I, the, to, go, no.
Each week new spellings will be added towards the bottom of this page for you to practise writing. You could challenge yourself to write each spelling in a sentence.
What are tricky words?
Tricky words are those words which cannot be sounded out easily.
What are Common Exception (CE) words?
Tricky words are called common exception words in the KS1 Spelling Curriculum.
What else are tricky words referred to as?
Tricky words are sometimes know as irregular words, Common Exception words or sight words.
Here are some spelling games and activities you could try at home.
The old ones are the best! Playing games that help them to recognise the spelling words on sight can really help. The more they see a word the more familiar it becomes and the more likely they are to remember it; if they can visualise it, they are more likely to spell it correctly.
Print and cut out the words your child is learning. Draw out a bingo board and write some of the spellings in the boxes. This works best with more than one player, so see if you can rope in someone else to play. Every time your child ‘gets’ a spelling word, go through the spelling together and then cover it and ask them to spell it again.
This classic memory game is a great way to get them recognising and remembering words. Draw or print a word grid and write each spelling word in a new box. You will need to write each word twice (each in a separate box). Cut them out, making sure you have two of each spelling word. Then turn them over and mix them up, ensuring they are organised randomly.
Challenge your child to turn over two pieces of paper and then read each word. Are they a pair? If not, turn them back over and repeat this until they find matching pairs. Once they have found a pair, look at the spelling together and then ask your child to spell the word without looking.
There is a classic mnemonic to help children remember how to spell ‘because’: big elephants can always understand small elephants. Make up your own silly mnemonics together to help your child remember tricky words they struggle with.
Record your child spelling out each word on your smartphone or tablet. When you practice them, ask your child to write down each spelling word and then play their own voice reading it back to them. It’s amazing how much this amuses and motivates them.
If your child is competitive, see if you can motivate them by introducing an element of challenge to the world of practising spellings. Using your stopwatch on your phone, time your child as you call out the spelling words and they write them. Make a note of their time and score and then on the following day, challenge them to smash their personal best.
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