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Saturday, December 17, 2011

What Does Invented Spelling Look Like?

What is invented spelling?  

Invented spelling is an attempted spelling of words using the   sounds the child hears in a word.

How do I teach my child to write using invented spelling?

Ask your child to say the word slowly, like the word is being put through a stretching machine.  You may need to stretch the word out for your child at first.  Eventually they will learn to do this through practice. As you stretch the word, saying the sounds slowly...Ask your child to write what letter he or she hears.  Then the next letter or letters.  Keep doing this until the end of the word.  It's okay if they don't hear all the sounds.  This is developmental and will progress with time and practice. 

When children begin to use invented spelling, they will often start with just the first letter focusing on the beginning sound.  For the word cat...the child may write "c".

Then they will often hear the last letter.  In the example above, look at the word bear..."br". 

As a child's understanding of sounds and letter patterns you will begin to see vowels and consonants in the middle.  Sometimes the child will write the correct letters and sometimes other letters that sound similar to the child.  

Above, look at the word brother...the child hear "bro...v...er".  The child is confusing the "v" with "th" because the child doesn't understand how the "th" blend together.

It is important to encourage any attempts at spelling a word.  The child is demonstrating that they understand that words are made up of sounds and trying to write the word using the sounds they hear.  

As the child learns more about sounds and letter patterns, the child's spelling will gradually migrate closer to conventional spelling or correct spelling. 

Remember the goal is to encourage your child to write.  This will further their understanding of letters, sounds, words and language.  Have fun with it!

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