Spelling correctly is just as important as doing your hair!
Well, it makes quite a first impression, whether on a job application or in a love letter.
Spelling is not something that we stop learning the day we graduate from high school, or college even. I am a good speller, and I like spelling, so just for fun I took a spelling test this morning. I discovered that I could not spell quite a few of the most commonly misspelled difficult words in the English language . . . which surprised me a bit. I thought I’d have it down by now!
Where to start? Students can make great spelling progress by learning these 12 tricky spelling combinations. These are among the most frequently used (and misused and misspelled) words in the English language. Just having these mastered will make quite a different in their daily writing!
1. Its / It’s
2. No / Know
3. Principal / Principle
4. Quite / Quiet
5. There / Their / They’re
6. To / Too/ Two
7. Through / Threw
8. Weather / Whether
9. Where / Wear
10. Which / Witch
11. Write / Right
12. Your / You’re
I have taught my kids to figure out these words with little memory clues. I’ll share some here with you:
Its / It’s
It’s is a contraction of the words it is. So, when confronted with which one to use, try to replace the word it’s (or its) with the words it is. If that sentence works, then make sure to use the it’s with the apostrophe. For example, “It’s five o’clock” can be also stated, “It is five o’clock”. But this sentence does not work: “The cat licked it is paws.”
Principal / Principle
The principal is a man who could be your pal. See the word pal in principal?
There / Their / They’re
There is a location, a place. You are either here or there. Can you see the word here in the word there?They’re is a contraction of the words they are. You can replace the word they’re with they are as a test to see if it works.
To / Too
Too many cookies is the phrase I use to help my children see the word too means additional, also or excess. You can draw chocolate chips in the letter o in the word too to help them remember!
Where / Wear
Where is another location or place word. When you ask the question, “where?”, you are either here or there. Look for the word here in the word.
Which / Witch
The witch that rides a broomstick has her broom in the middle of the word (the letter t).
Your / You’re
The word you’re is a contraction of the words you are. Teach your children to replace the word your/you’re in a sentence with you are and they can discern if it is a contraction or not.
Now, for contractions!
By the way, if you haven’t taught your children about contractions yet, that is a fun lesson! Using two index cards, write the separate words of the contraction, one per card like this:
Have your child read the separate cards to you. Hold one card in each of your hands. Then show them how to make a crash of the two word cards (big appeal with boys) so they bend back and only show these letters:
On a third card, draw a “comma-up-in-the-air” (apostrophe). Tell them the crash knocked out some letters and so you stick this mark right where the letters are missing to show they once were there.
Works with every contraction except won’t (will not).
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