Oral Versus Written Tests

Many teachers give spelling tests once a week. This is a good way to see just how well you are learning your words. Let's look at a usual week of studying spelling. Mondays might be called Pretest Day. Your teacher will call out twenty words that you have never been quizzed on before and you have to try to spell them. At the end of the test you can see which words you got right and which words you need to practice more. Based on how you did, you can work on practice activities like the ones in this book. Later in the week, you might practice your spelling words with spelling dictation and oral spelling games and activities. This prepares you for the final test on Friday.

Spelling Dictation

Whether you are being tested in school or at home, spelling dictation can be a useful tool. In the middle of the week, your teacher or one of your parents will read out four or five sentences. Your job is to write them down with all the correct spelling and punctuation. Many times it is helpful to hear how a word is used in a sentence before you start to spell it.

If you want to try spelling dictation sentences at home, here are some tips. Make sure to include at least one spelling word in each sentence. For an extra challenge, always make sure you have at least one proper noun, one science or social studies fact, and some kind of punctuation rule. If you are practicing handwriting skills, try writing the sentences in cursive. It's also a good idea to start out spelling dictation slowly. Begin with one or two very short sentences until you get the hang of things. Spelling dictation prepares you for your future. Older students often have to write down information. They must be able to spell and punctuate that information correctly.

Oral Tests

You might learn best by hearing, or using your ears. You might be the kind of kid who loves to play instruments or listen to music. Maybe you can just think of the letters more easily when you don't have to worry about writing them down. If this is you, consider doing most of your studying this way. Ask your parents or friends to read the words out loud to you and then spell the word out loud yourself. Perhaps you might be able to test that way, too.

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Making Your Own Spelling Dictation

Here's another way you can organize information for a spelling dictation test. Focus on spelling content. Here's a sampling of words with two-letter consonant sounds: bang, beach, rang, ranch, rush, speech, throat, break, branch, path, shut. Now here's a sample dictation sentence: We shut the door, rushed down the path, and raced to the beach.

Here's another way you can organize information for a spelling dictation test. Focus on spelling content. Here's a sampling of words with two-letter consonant sounds: bang, beach, rang, ranch, rush, speech, throat, break, branch, path, shut. Now here's a sample dictation sentence: We shut the door, rushed down the path, and raced to the beach.

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Palindromes

Palindromes are words, phrases, or numbers that read the same both forward and backward. The words did, dad, and mom are all palindromes. Here's a famous palindrome that is a group of words: A man, a plan, a canal — Panama! Do you see how if you spell the phrase backward it will spell the same thing? Can you think of any one- or two-word palindromes?

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