Thumbs up for READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK!

So, we are resuming our campaign to change the way teachers send home spelling lists every week using the LOOK, WRITE, COVER, CHECK approach.  Why doesn’t it work with so many children?

Many children have a poor visual memory and as hard as they try, they cannot remember the shape of the word.  This is why they forget how to spell the words either before the spelling test or soon after.  Children need to base their spelling on the sound in the words.  This is because English has an alphabetic code and we should use it when spelling.

Here is our suggested approach: READ, SOUND, WRITE, CHECK:

Before starting this spelling activity, fold the sheet on the dotted line.


Student reads the word in the left column and marks the graphemes (spellings that spell sounds) in the word using dots and dashes under the word.  A dot for a one-letter spelling and a dash for a spelling of more than one letter.  The student will need to sound out the word to do this.

Step 2

Student writes the spellings (graphemes) on the lines accurately, sounding out the word as she/he does.   As you can see in the video clip, if this is done incorrectly, the student will find the lines and the spellings do not match.

Step 3

Student folds the sheet on the dotted line.  He/she spells the word in the next column as he/she sounds out the word.

Step 4

Student opens the folded flap and checks his/her spelling.  If there is an error, the student can self-correct by checking the ‘coded’ word in the left column.

TIP: Make sure the student sounds out each word as he/she does this activity.

Here is a link to the video that demonstrates this process.  My student is learning to spell high-frequency words with the spelling <th>.




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