Helping your child with Writing, Spelling and Reading
Tips to Help with Spelling
Every week, your child will bring home some words to practise spelling, try to make practising part of your weekly routine.
However, it's not just the weekly spellings which need to be practised, the most common words your child needs to be able to spell are in the homework book so you could also practise these as well as any words which you know your child often spells incorrectly.
As with reading, the best approach is a little and often e.g. 5 minutes 4 times a week rather than an hour once a week.
Below are some ways that may help them remember the words:
Make word webs:
Can they find other words with the same root word e.g. ‘help’ – helpful, helpless, helping, helped etc
Do they know what each of the words means? Can they use them in a sentence?
Look, cover, write, check:
look - the child looks at the word.
say - the child says the word out loud.
cover - hide the word, they say it again.
write - they write the word without looking - it's best to try and get them to put it into a sentence starting with a capital letter and ending with a full stop.
check - they check that they are correct.
Child as the Teacher:
You pretend to be the child, they are the teacher and ‘teach’ you the spellings, you keep spelling the words incorrectly so that your child has to spot your mistake and correct it.
Play a matching game:
Write the words onto cards – two cards for each word. Spread the cards out. Take it in turns to turn over the cards to find the matching pair. The winner is the person who matches the most cards HOWEVER they only get to keep it if they can spell the word without looking.
Say it out Loud:
This is particularly for tricky words or where there is a silent letter, practise saying the word as it is spelt. For example:
knee = k - n- ee
Wednesday = Wed - nes- day
Above all make it fun, there are lots of websites and apps which could help, and don't be afraid to ask your child's teacher for any support or ideas!
Tips to Help with Writing
When your child brings home writing homework – this is usually as they get a bit older, read what they have produced together and help them to correct any mistakes and improve what they have written. Look out for the following mistakes:
work which doesn’t make sense, grammar mistakes, forgetting to use capital letters and full stops.
If your child hasn’t got any written homework then these are some ideas to help;
Draw – drawing and colouring helps to develop the motor skills needed to write quickly and neatly.
Make and write cards – birthday cards, Mother’s day cards etc.
Play with small construction toys e.g. Lego, K-Nex etc as these will help to strengthen your child’s fingers.
Write shopping lists.
Write postcards. Write letters.
Enter writing competitions if they’re interested.
Get them to write about what interests them e.g. Make a Ben 10 picture book, dinosaur fact file, create a monster etc.
Again, little and often is the right approach, choose the best time to suggest a writing activity – when they are bored on a wet day is often a good time!
Information about Book Banding: Each book in our school has been given a coloured band. The banding system follows a national book band scheme. Books are given a specific colour band according to their level and word count. Books which are banded brown, grey, dark blue, dark red and black are for our older children (from year 3 onwards) and it at this age that subject matter becomes more relevant for these year groups. As the children progress through the school it will generally take them longer to move through the bands and from brown book band onwards it's roughly a band per year. Children's progress will of course be monitored in a variety of other ways so just because they may not have moved book bands does not mean that they have not made any progress!
Please speak to your child's class teacher if you have any questions or concerns about reading or if you'd like to listen to readers in school.
Book Band Levels and Colours
Normal Range of Achievement during the year +
Yellow Highlight = On Track for year group at the end of year
Lilac - no words
Y1, Y2, Y3
Y2, Y3, Y4
Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5
Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6
Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6
Y4, Y5, Y6
Year 6 +
Book Bands for Guided Reading, A handbook to support Foundation and Key Stage 1 teachers ISBN: 978 0 85473 787 1