Spelling and segmenting (along with its partner blending) go hand in hand. In segmenting, students pull apart sounds, while in blending they put them together. Both are essential for spelling and reading.
Practicing how to separate and identify sounds helps students grasp how sounds and letters work together and helps them spell better. Let’s take a look at segmenting activities to help kids spell better (plus a new spelling resource that goes beyond segmenting)!
Spell better with these segmenting ideas
You can use worksheets, cootie catchers, puzzles and games to provide opportunities for students to practice segmenting, but you can also work segmenting into your daily routines.
Hear the sounds to spell better
Introduce segmenting by having students listen for sounds. Say, “I see a map. What’s the first sound you hear in the word map?” Once students can identify the initial sound, you can work on the end and then the middle sounds.
Segment out the sounds when you give directions. For example, “Meet me on the mmmm-aaa-t” or “Ssss-iii-t down.” This gives students additional opportunity to really hear different sounds and practice blending at the same time.
Expand it into a game, by playing Eye Spy. Segment out the sounds for each item you spy, such as mat, mug, hat, or duck. Have students blend the sounds together for the word. Then give students a turn to choose an object and segment out the sounds.
Segmenting activities to help students spell better
Many games and activities that have students manipulating words provide practice for both segmenting and blending.
- CVC Puzzles – When students assemble CVC puzzles, they segment the sounds as they put each piece in place. Then they blend the sounds to say the full word.
- Playdough mats – Have students make letters of play dough. Segmenting practice comes when they say the sound as they put the letters on the play mat. Students can segment the sounds again as they write the letters Then they can blend the sounds together to say the full word.
- CVC Cootie Catchers – Cootie catchers are always popular in my classroom. As students work the cootie catchers, they will encounter different CVC words. Students will segment and then blend the sounds.
- Read and Write Worksheets – Have students read the word on the worksheet. (If the words are unfamiliar, but students are used to segmenting, they may naturally segment and then blend sounds. If not, you can prompt them to do so.) As students write the word, they underline each sound in the word when they say it. Then they segment again, saying each sound as they write it in its own square. Then they write the whole word and blend the sounds together to read it again.
More ideas to help students spell better
Segmenting is a key skill to help students read and spell better, but it’s not the only way to help kids spell better. Spelling games are a great way to keep kids engaged while building spelling skills. And I have a week’s worth of spelling games to share with you.
You’re invited to join me for the spelling game challenge!
Each day I’ll email you a new spelling game along with a short explanation on how to use it. Try out the games with your students and share how it went in our Facebook group.
The Spelling Game Challenge is a free, sneak peek of a new product that’s launching as part of the Top Notch Teaching Members Club, an on-demand library of quality, time-saving teaching resources opening in March.