Our family has chosen to use Horizon's Spelling Curriculum this year. We have been working our way through the workbooks for the last five months and have nothing but positive things to say about them. We however quickly realized that our 9 year old daughter needed some extra hands on activities to help her memorize the correct spellings. I knew that more workbooks or worksheets was not going to work. I did some quick searching online and realized that spelling centers would be the best fit for our family.
I was able to put together 4 spelling centers while browsing through a local educational supply store. I assign spelling centers each day after she finishes her spelling worksheets. We have found that being able to "play" with the words and have to actively search for the correct letter to complete the activity really helps to cement the words into her memory.
First we have play dough spelling! I don't know about your family but in our house play dough is a seriously hot commodity. I purchased a small package of 4 different colors of play dough as well as a set of alphabetical and numerical play dough stamps. We use this spelling center at the beginning of each week when she gets her new word list as well as at the end of the week after her spelling test to review the words she has missed. She loves this center!
Our second spelling center is puzzle words! The letters are stickers that fit together to form words. The kids love these things. I am not all that thrilled with the little pieces of paper from the backing all over the floor or that they are a consumable resource. I will have to buy more as time goes on, especially for the vowels. I am thinking this spelling center will be phased out and a new one added in soon. Possibly a salt tray activity.
Next up is spelling center three. This time we have magnetic words. This "iPad" comes with all of the letters and a magnetic board. She works through the words and adds them to the "screen". She and I both really like this center as well. It is quick for her to find the letters, not messy or consumable, and she likes playing with the set.
Lastly we have a beading activity. These alphabetic beads thread perfectly onto a pipe cleaner to form the words. This activity is more time consuming and has the propensity to be a bit messy. Especially if the younger kiddos decide they need to work on their fine motor skills as well. I use this spelling center on the day before her spelling test. I have her work on just the words she has been having trouble with through the week. That is usually anywhere from 2 to 6 words. Much more manageable than the 15 words she works on each week.
I love that these centers can be used by all of our children regardless of their grade level. Our preschooler can work on his ABC's, our first graders can work on their CVC words, and the older girls can work on their separate spelling lists. When you have five children all working on separate grade levels it is important to have items with the versatility to transition between each of them.
Do you use spelling centers? I would love to hear about them! We are working on setting up math centers in the near future. I can't wait to share those with you as well!