Common spelling errors
Learning to spell is tough! We’ve got some tips and tricks to help you avoid common spelling errors with your grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, and grade 4 students. These resources will help improve spelling for kids.
Homophones are words that sound the same but have different meanings and spellings. The English language has so many homophones, and many of them are sight or high frequency words that early readers will encounter often.
Some homophones include:
- two, too, to
- your, you’re
- there. they’re, their
- it’s, its
- ate, eight
- knew, newUse homophones together in sentences to help differentiate meaning and reinforce spelling. For example, try “The two girls invited Maddy to the store, and I came too.” Your reader will see that two describes more than one girl, to is used as a preposition (or motion, direction), and too means also.
You can see all our fun, free printable homophone activities here!
Adding apostrophes to form contractions can be a little confusing. Words like can’t, let’s, and didn’t are commonly misspelled when the apostrophe is dropped.
The best way to avoid contraction infractions is by teaching your children how each contraction is developed. Start with cannot. Show your children that the no (letters between the can and t) becomes the apostrophe to combine both words. Writing out the words and corresponding contractions next to one another will help your children remember how to use them correctly.
See all our contraction activities free printables!
I before E except after C. . .
The old saying i before e except after c is broken quite often in the English language, making it easy for common spelling errors to pop up when this vowel combination is used.
Sometimes, an additional phrase is added to that rule to help with common misspellings. Tell your children the extra phrase when they are starting to encounter words with “eigh” spellings.
. . .or when sounded like “a” as in “neighbor” and “weigh.”
Words with “eigh” like “eight”, “neighbor”, and “weigh” fit the long a sound exception, but not all words follow these two tips for using i before e. It gets a little confusing when the sound is not a long a sound like in “height”.
Some words that have a gerund (-ing) ending also break this rule. These words include being and seeing. Still other words like “weird” and “their”.
More complicated misspellings exist that break this “rule”, but these are the most frequent young readers will encounter.
Teaching the rhyme to help with the misspellings is a start, but with so many exceptions, using flashcards with pictures and words to help students remember common spelling errors is a great way to avoid repeating them again and again.
Check out online games and printables to practice and avoid more spelling errors. We love Winning Words’ Homophone Match, Asteroids (to help with ey, eigh, and ei words), and Contraction Action. As for any reading and writing skill, practice will make permanent. Keep reviewing these common spelling errors and how to avoid them to help your young readers!
Looking for more fun, clever spelling games and free spelling worksheets? You will love these resources:
- Short and Long Vowel Worskheets for hands-on Spelling Practice
- Connect 4 Spelling Practice Worksheets
- Fun, Secret Code Spelling Worskheet
- Consonant Cluster Spelling Practice
- Hands-on Spelling Practice with Mini Cups
- 25 spelling activities for kids
- Spelling with Legos activity for kids
- Kindergarten Spelling Words – add a vowel practice
- Sensory spelling activities
- 1st Grade Word Search– free printable with grade 1 spelling words
- Money Spelling Activity
- Free Kindergarten spelling words Printable
- Dart Gun spelling activity
- Jump and Spell – an outrageously FUN spelling activity
- Floss Rule Worksheet
- Spelling Long A Words Activity
- Lego Spelling Test for Kids Printables
- Free Spelling Dictionary
- Cars Punctuation File Folder Game
- Smore Sentences Game
- Printable 1st Grade Reading List
- Frog and Toad are friends Worksheets
- First Grade Word Search Printable
- Read! Trace! Stamp! – Sight Word Tracing
- Parts of Speech BINGO
- TONS of Writing Prompts or Kids
- Dinosaur Bones Punctuation Game
- Book Report Template 3rd Grade (K-3rd)
- Reading the Easy Way – Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st Grade
Download Commonly Misspelled Words Chart
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