Teaching Spelling – a dying subject – in Middle School


“Why do we need to know how to spell when we have spell-check?”

That is a direct quote from one of my 7th grade students.  My first response to this question was to be angry!  It is crazy to think that spelling is not important!  We use it every day!  Where is this coming from?  Why would a student think that?  As teachers, don’t we all have Spelling Word Worksheets and Workbooks we use in the classroom?

Despite the rage towards this topic that I felt, I took a breath and stepped back.  I needed to look at this through the eyes of a 7th grader.  Lots of students in today’s world either own or have a friend that owns some piece of technology such as: cell phone, tablets, laptops, computers, etc.  Each of those devices include writing programs with features like spellcheck, word predictions, grammar checks, and even picture communications like emoji’s.  With schools becoming more technically advanced, most classwork and homework is required to be typed.  Then it hit me!  Why would a 7th grader in this day and age NEED to know how to spell?  Everything is currently at their fingertips.

Most students can type faster than they can print.  Don’t even get me started on handwriting!  Handwriting is slowly fading away.  I’m not old fashioned but I think that teaching spelling and handwriting is still important in this day and age.  How will our future doctors write and spell prescriptions? How will our future presidents accurately spell and sign documents?  I refuse to let spelling fade out!  Therefore, I created a series of spelling intervention products to ensure that spelling never dies!



Spelling Intervention Workbooks for SPED, RTI, & General Ed

These spelling intervention books are for the Kindergarten to Eighth grade.  By using the most frequent sight words for each grade level, I created two books for each grade level.  The books give the students a chance to learn the correct spelling of words through the process of: Read it, Trace it, Find it, Practice writing it, Write it in a Sentence, Spell it, and Color it.  Each book comes with workbook cover pages and a certificate of completion.

I used these spelling practice books in a resource classroom and for Response to Intervention (RTI).  After using these for a while, I noticed that even adults have trouble spelling.  So I created a larger book for ANY grade (K-3, (4-6), (7-8), (9-12) of the top 100 most frequently misspelled words.  This book is over 200 pages!  This book includes everything the others do, but also includes a “Define it” section.

These spelling intervention workbooks can be built into classrooms as part of a morning routine or even a time filler at the end of the day for Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, or Ninth to Twelve.

I can’t stress enough about the importance of SPELLING!  Understand your students when they feel that Spelling is a waste of time, but SHOW them how it’s important.  We have to work together to ensure that Spelling never dies!!

Need more resources for your special education classroom?

Look for resources in Collecting Data and IEP Help.