Tools for Parents
While learning dictée words by relying on our memory can be one effective way of learning vocabulary words, it is important that the learner also relies on other more effective strategies that will enable him or her to have more success with the spelling of words when their memory fails.
Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds-phonemes in spoken words. When students can cut words into syllables, and hear the sounds that the letters make in each syllable, it becomes much easier for them to write down the letters corresponding to the sounds that they hear.
Here is an example : The student has to write the word brocoli. If you ask the child to cut this word into syllables, he or she should cut the word brocoli as follow:
bro - co - li
Now, if the child takes the time to hear the letters in each syllable, he or she will hear the b, r, o in bro...the c, o in co, and the l, i in li. It then becomes much easier for the student to spell words more accurately. Lets not forget that this is also a very important strategy to use when reading.
Tips to make dictée words easier to learn:
- Cut all of the dictée words into syllables:
- Highlight each syllable in a different color (This really helps visual learners):
If there are special letters that the student needs to remember about (silent letters, double consonnants, etc.) use a specific symbol that will help the student remember those special letters.
The ¨s¨ in the second syllable is underlined to indicate a silent letter.
I am confident that by using these strategies, your child will improve his or her ability to spell words more accurately!
Fun dictée practice ideas
- Word scramble - Simply mix-up the the letters of the dictée word so that your child can put them back in the proper order to spell the word correctly.
- Hangman - - Use the various dictée words to play this fun game.
- Rainbow Words - Spell words using different colored markers or crayons for each letter.
- Type: Type the words on the computer.
- Alphabet tracer: Use an alphabet tracer to spell the dictée words.
- Letter tiles: Use letter tiles to spell dictée words.
- Magnet letters: Use magnet letters to spell words on the fridge or a cookie sheet.
- Flower words: Draw a flower for each word, then draw a petal for each letter of the word.
- Window writing;: Use Crayola Window Markers and write the dictée words on the Windows (easy to clean).