Case Studies – Teaching Spelling

Using Magical Spelling Techniques

Magical Spelling learning techniques have been used successfully to learn other subjects:

I’ve just been to visit a friend of mine who started studying a Japanese degree at Newcastle Uni last September. She has been struggling with the course recently due to missing lectures before Christmas looking after her 3 yr old son who had been poorly. Consequently she has masses of vocabulary to catch up on, and an exam next week.

I sat with her going through her flash cards for no longer than half an hour teaching her how to use them using magical spelling.

I don’t know if you know anything about Japanese but it must be one of the most difficult languages there is. It has numerous different writing systems to learn for each word including words and 2 different systems of symbols. She has to learn each equivalent for each word. Not an easy task!

She had been learning by repeatedly writing them down and putting them on flash cards around the house linking them with various items in the home but this has been taking her ages.

Within literally about 10 seconds per flash card using magical spelling she was able to memorise the English, Japanese and hiragana (set of symbols) for each word. She is totally amazed at how easy it is, and is now looking forward to studying instead of feeling quite overwhelmed.

I have been helping at the primary school with times tables in Year 2. I noticed that some of the children are quite nervous before they try to learn their tables.

I thought about getting them into their “learning brain’. I use the magical spelling strategy of ‘a good feeling’ and ask the children to think of something they like doing, or something that makes them feel good or happy.

We chat briefly about favourite dinners, playing sport and listening to the teacher read a story. When I can see they’re in a good brain state I anchor it with my voice and then we do our times table.

I think this helps them associate tables with feeling good. I am not sure how well they were progressing before we started working on their tables, yet I do know that the children smile now when they come out to me and my daughter tells me her friends like my way of doing the times table!’

by Cheryl Winter