Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fun Way to Teach Spelling

Today when I was on Twitter, I came across a tweet from a Canadian school principal whom I follow that tweeted this:

I was curious about why George sent out this tweet, so clicked on the hyperlink in his tweet, and found this image, which I captured and annotated using the Awesome Screen Capture and Annotate feature I have attached to my toolbar. Take a look at what these 2nd graders are doing with the tweets of the NFL football players.

I retweeted George's tweet, and one of my followers, a college English professor, was concerned that the exercise might reinforce stereotypes about football players.

I tweeted back that this activity could be used in the classroom with tweets from others on Twitter.

In addition to building spelling skills, this activity can also build proofreading skills, and it might encourage students to proofread their writing, especially when it will go online. Now, I know we encourage young learners to use invented spelling to get their ideas "on paper," but still the misspellings these 2nd graders noted are easy enough for the average student that age to find.

What is your opinion on this teaching strategy? How do you encourage the development of spelling skills in your own teaching?

Now, if I have misspelled anything in this post, please feel free to so note it, and to use my post as a learning activity in your own classroom. 


  1. Recently, those of us involved with iPads were discussing spelling. We haven't really come to consensus especially for our ELLs. At this point, we really just want them to write but if we link their blogs to our WikiSpace, we are afraid that the public will frown upon their work. I told her about one student in particular that is very upset by the red lines on his post. Using him as an inspiration, my friend and I decided we would use it as an opportunity to teach how to use spell check.

  2. What a superb way to teach editing and revising! This is one area where my students are so weak. The method of annotating pieces found on line is an innovative strategy.

  3. Very neat idea! Maybe it's all those traumatic brain injuries!

  4. Interesting! I like the idea of comparing tech-lingo with real english-language grammar. The students can take this short snip-its and text-language and convert it into correct grammer and puncuation.

  5. What a great activity to teach students how to proof read or pay attention to spell check. Today everyone is using shortened or abbreviated online lingo. It is easy, saves time and saves character space used in tweets or posts. I am impressed that the second graders interpreted the tech lingo and spelled it out with the correct English version. I think all of us need to be aware of what we are writing. A consistant habit of using tech lingo in all of our writing could become a natural thing. What happened to spelling out words and using good grammar?

  6. With the CMTS hot on our heals, I've been spending quite a bit of time working on the dreaded "Editing and Revising" exercises with my kiddos. To spice up what can be a very mundane activity, students' parents submitted letters to the classroom with a plethora of spelling and/or grammatical mistakes. I've scanned several into the SmartBoard and invited students to take the red pen and begin correcting! They actually look forward to doing this :)

    Now, I've got another activity to experiment with -- TWEETS! Think about the potential in editing tweets that use text induced shorthand! We don't have to limit our revising to famous sports stars...try celebrities, "tween" heart-throbs, or other child-appropriate television personalities. This is certainly one very effective way to get my students engaged in a test-prep lesson and it opens up a conversation on digital etiquette!

  7. This is an interesting idea. I think students would enjoy seeing what their favorite players are saying.