16 Hacks to Help Students With Special Needs Learn to Spell

Are you looking for hacks to help students with special needs to spell? If so, keep reading.

1. Get the learner to write current spelling words in various places (e.g., smartboard, transparencies, on a posted list at their desk, etc.) throughout the classroom as they are learning them.

2. Start a “Learn to Spell a Word a Day” program with the learner.

3. Get the learner to be a peer tutor to teach spelling words to another learner.

4. Acknowledge quality work (e.g., display the learner’s work, congratulate the learner, etc.).

5. Get the learner to use current spelling words in a critical manner (e.g., writing a letter to a friend, rock star, famous athlete, etc.) to enable their desire to improve.

6. Get the learner to review spelling words each day for a short duration of time rather than two times per week for more extended periods.

7. Get the learner to practice a list of new spelling words alone or with an aide, the teacher, or a peer before trying it with the entire group or before being graded on it.

8. Utilize words for the learner’s spelling list that are commonly found in their daily surroundings (e.g., commercials, hazard signs, instructions, lunch menu, etc.).

9. Integrate spelling with the total language arts program (e.g., learning activities, methods, and learning materials are related to the teaching of reading and language as a whole rather than separately).

10. Make the learner use the dictionary to find the correct spelling of any words he/she cannot spell correctly. Emphasize spelling accurately.

11. Praise the learner for practicing the writing of the spelling words.

12. Praise the learner for learning to spell words correctly: (a) give the learner a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the learner an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).

13. Make the learner proofread all written work for spelling errors. Praise the learner for correcting each spelling error.

14. Get the learner’s current spelling words listed on the smartboard at all times.

15. Post a list of the learner’s current spelling words on their desk. Make the learner practice them regularly.

16. Consider using one of the tools from our spelling apps list.

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