Sense of humour

5th January 2007 at 00:00
There is a woman in America who teaches squirrels to waterski. When asked how, she replies: "Just give them lots of love and affection, and tell them the same thing over and again."

It is the same with teaching children to spell - repetition, repetition, repetition, wrapped up in teaching methods that show how much you love them. A problem with objectives-based teaching is the suggestion that once the objective has been covered, you must move on to the next one.

Ofsted assessments suggest the same: each lesson must move pupils on. But a lot of primary teaching is about consolidation: telling pupils the same thing repeatedly.

And, of course, finding ways to sprinkle fairy dust over this consolidation so the children find the repetition fun. Perhaps turning the practice into a race. "How many times can you write 'because' on your whiteboard in one minute?" Or a team game, perhaps giving it an enticing name. Or how about getting them to recite certain spellings in a silly voice, devising a tune for raucous singing or wearing a special item of clothing such as the tootwoto hat for revision?

Spelling always benefits from multisensory teaching - and the best sense of all is the sense of humour

Sue Palmer is a literary consultant

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

Comments

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