09 Jun, 2017
10 : 00
Literacy is easily one of the most important foundational skills for children to acquire in Primary School. If you frequent the Yew Chung International School of Beijing news section, you’ll know that we’ve written a few articles on how important this aspect of learning really is. An important aspect of literacy is proper spelling, and our brightest spellers were put to the test during our recent YCIS Beijing Spelling Bee.
Our 20 best spellers from Years 5–9, selected through smaller homeroom competitions, participated in our formal Spelling Bee in the school auditorium, taking turns spelling more and more difficult words until only one speller remained standing. Congratulations to our Year 6 student Fred Cho for taking home top honors!
Primary Curriculum Co-ordinator Jennifer Mills spoke with us about how parents can help their kids to learn how to spell more effectively and become a spelling champion themselves in the future.
Memorisation – For spelling in particular, rote memorisation is actually a very effective learning tool. While kids memorise their words, however, parent engagement is essential; be sure to talk with your children about the words they’re learning, use dictionaries to learn more about the roots of the words and where they come from, and thesauruses to discover new words and synonyms. All of these methods will help your child remember their words.
Mnemonics – To spice up all the memorising and practise necessary to become a good speller, offer some silly mnemonics for your kids to use to help them spell better. Many examples can be found online. For example, when differentiating between “dessert” and “desert,” always remember that the tasty “dessert” has an extra “s” because you always want one more! While simple, these can be some of the most powerful memory tools available.
Practice – Like any skill, practice is essential for your child to become better at spelling. Make sure your kids are getting plenty of opportunities to read at home and at school, with plenty of books in a variety of genres at their fingertips. This love of literature and words will in turn give them added motivation to practise their spelling.
Reading Apps – Technology is integrated wholly into our curriculum at YCIS Beijing, and parents should strive to use this powerful tool at home as well. Beyond the ubiquitous Kindle and the limitless range of books that this reading companion offers, there are more and more apps that “gamify” reading and spelling available on mobile devices. Make sure to test them yourself before letting your children use them, but don’t write them off just because they’re in the form of a game; reading and spelling practice is valuable, no matter the form!
Read more news pieces from our experts by visiting our School News page!