Box of spelling tricks

28th November 2003 at 00:00
After a weekly spelling test, rather than writing out or transferring corrected spellings into a word book, my Year 34 pupils fill in an "Oops" card with their name, the date and the corrected spelling, fold it up and put it in our "Oops Box". This is a a large round box decorated with brightly coloured jungle animals. Next to it is a stock of cards, 8cm x 4cm, marked with the three rows to be filled in.

When there are five minutes to spare at the end of a lesson, a pupil is chosen to get the box. They pick a card and read out the name and the word.

The pupil whose name is read out has a go at spelling the word.

If incorrect, the class helps out and the card goes back in the box until it is picked again and spelled correctly by that pupil. If correct, the pupil puts the card in the bin and then chooses the next card.

I also use this system when marking - if a spelling is incorrect, I write Oops! in the margin and underline the word. The pupil will then put the corrected spelling in the box.

This classroom tool offers many benefits: increased interest in spelling; less anxiety and demoralisation over weekly spelling tests; the opportunity to work together and learn from each other's mistakes; less teacher time spent checking corrections.

Sylvia Verinder, Year 34 teacher, Newbottle and Charlton Primary School, Northamptonshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now