Spelling it Right is part of the
National Grid for Learning funded by
the UK Government's Department for Education and Skills
Buying Spelling Books in the UK
(At the moment Amazon is offering free delivery on products supplied by themselves! Just opt for free super saver delivery at the checkout).
I've broken up the list into three headings: Mainly for Adults/Parents; Mainly for Teachers; Mainly for Kids. But, do note that the categories may overlap somewhat.
Mainly for Adults/Parents
Basic Spelling starts with a useful self-assessment questionnaire to establish strengths and weaknesses and guide you to the appropriate chapters. Subsequent chapters tackle types of spelling patterns. Click here >> Basic Spelling for more details.
Widely used in schools, prison literacy programmes and by many parents at home, Toe by Toe is a highly structured, easy-to-follow scheme to help those with reading difficulties. Working alongside a helper for 20 minutes per day, students move forward in tiny manageable steps (toe by toe) but parents report massive strides in reading ability and self-esteem. Be sure to read some of the 39 rave reviews from parents and teachers who have bought the book. Click here: Toe by Toe: A Highly Structured Multi-Sensory Reading Manual for Teachers and Parents
Endorsed by the British Dyslexia Association, Chambers Adult Learner's Guide to Spelling is full of helpful suggestions and plenty of tried and tested strategies for improving spelling. It contains a colour-coded section on a four-week programme for improving skills. Click here to have a look: Chambers Adult Learner's Guide to Spelling
If your child has been diagnosed as Dyslexic you may wish to have Margaret Walton's book Teaching Reading and Spelling to Dyslexic Children. Written for teachers and parents, it is easy to understand and contains helpful games, charts and activities. Recommended by homeschoolers on both sides of the Atlantic. Click here for information >> Teaching Reading and Spelling to Dyslexic Children
A resource that both adults and children find useful is Christine Maxwell's Dictionary of Perfect Spelling. By allowing those who have trouble spelling to look up words in the way that they think that they are spelled, it is invaluable. An independent Ofsted Inspector has described it as a "resource which will empower pupils to make independent progress with their spelling." Click here to have a look: Dictionary of Perfect Spelling
Barrington Stoke School Spelling Dictionary is a simpler version of the Dictionary of Perfect spelling for the younger user and encourages the use of phonics to aid spelling. It receives 5 star reviews from parents. Barrington Stoke specialises in books for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic readers. Click here >> Barrington Stoke School Spelling Dictionary
The authors of Seeing Spells Achieving make some interesting claims for the use of NLP techniques in helping those who struggle with reading and spelling. Who am I to argue with a reviewer in the British Dyslexia Association magazine or the fifteen other five star reviews by teachers, parents and adult learners? Click here to have a look: Seeing Spells Achieving: Improve your spelling, reading, memory, dyslexic symptoms, in any language, by using your brain the way nature intended, through NLP and visualisation
Mainly for Teachers
Pie Corbett's Jumpstart: Literacy - Games and Activities for Ages 7-14
is a collection of simple-to-use games and creative lesson starters intended to jumpstart pupils' enthusiasm
for literacy learning. Photocopiable spreads consolidate pupils' previous learning and stimulate memory.
Make sure you read the sixteen enthusiastic teacher reviews.
Although Denise Eide's award-winning Uncovering the Logic of English starts with a few pages describing the "Literacy Crisis" in America her book is otherwise entirely relevant to British teachers and parents. Most of us are familiar with simple phonics of the "cat sat on the mat" variety from our own early schooldays. Denise argues that much more intensive phonics teaching can unlock the mysteries of English spelling. It's difficult to dispute her claim that 74 phonograms and 30 spelling rules explain 98% of English words. At first glance her book may seem daunting to parents of children who are struggling with literacy. But the author's clear style, use of examples and systematic introduction of phonograms and rules quickly encourages the reader to try out these strategies. Teachers already using the phonics approach will find it an invaluable reference work. Others who teach phonics to a very basic level only may be inspired to think again! Click here to have a look: Uncovering the Logic of English (Paperback) or here: Uncovering the Logic of English(Kindle version)
Each book in Christine Moorcroft's Literacy (Lesson for Every Day)
series includes 190 creative activities for Literacy lessons, one for each day of the teaching year.
Every activity is matched to the Primary Frameworks for Literacy,
and structured by planning block, providing a comprehensive andbalanced resource to support teaching all year round.
Teachers' notes provide ideas for extension and support. Activities are also matched to the
Assessing Pupils' Progress guidelines, helping teachers as they gather evidence to support APP.
The CD-Rom provides all the activity sheets as PDFs
and Word documents, which can be edited by the teacher to personalise the activities. Every sheet
can be displayed on an interactive whiteboard, printed or saved on to a school's learning platform.
There is also a companion Maths series.
The Times Education Supplement regards Mike Torbe's Teaching and Learning Spelling as the "Rolls-Royce of spelling books".... being "one of the most intelligent examples of its genre, covering identity as a speller, practical classroom organisation, miscue analysis and even school policy on spelling." Every English teacher should have a copy. Click here for a detailed synopsis >> Teaching and Learning Spelling
How to Detect and Manage Dyslexia is a reference book aimed at learning support co-ordinators, specialist and non-specialist teachers, and all others involved in helping students with dyslexia. Do read the customer reviews. A teacher describes it as "invaluable in providing teaching strategies, information about negotiating the system and advice for older students moving into further and higher education, as well as younger pupils". A parent of a dyslexic son finds it "an incredible resource" offering "wonderful advice". Click here for more information >> How to Detect and Manage Dyslexia
Spelling for Literacy series comprises five
resource books for teachers, providing a complete
programme of spelling activities. Designed to help teachers with the
National Literacy Strategy, each book includes the words recommended for
that particular year.
David Crystal's enjoyable new book, Spell It Out, explains the reasons why English spelling became so apparently messy and confusing and in doing so shows how the spellings that break all the rules become easier to get right. Click here for more details: >> Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelling
Does Spelling Matter?
Oxford Professor Simon Horobin narrates the history of English spelling from the Anglo-Saxons to the present-day,
charting the various changes that have taken place and the impact these have had on the way we spell today.
Mainly for Kids
Spell It Yourself is aimed at children aged seven and above. It helps them find correct spellings quickly and easily, leading them to over 8,000 root words followed by their different endings. Find out more by clicking here >> Spell it Yourself
Spelling Essentials by Shireen Shuster presents spelling rules and patterns, each followed by a structured practice exercise. Parents will find the glossary especially helpful. Click here for more information >> Spelling Essentials: Student's Book
Spelling Matters Too: Student's Book. This resource attempts to identify, target and improve areas of
spelling difficulty. Once diagnostic and self-tests have helped students
to pinpoint their weaknesses, they can improve their skills
using lively and structured activities.
My first impression on opening the Ace Spelling Dictionary: Find Words Quickly and Improve Your Spelling was that it would be too complicated for children to use. However, I was soon proved wrong! They just need a couple of half hour sessions with an adult and then it's full steam ahead. Do read the gushing reviews from parents and teachers by clicking here >> The Ace Spelling Dictionary: Find Words...
Sarah Key's book
Keep Your Joints Young has absolutely nothing to do with spelling.
But at the age of 75 I follow Sarah's exercise regime and I really do give it full credit for stopping
my joints creaking. I cannot praise it enough. Read the reviews. Similarly her
Back Sufferers' Bible is highly acclaimed by those suffering with back ache.
Have a look at them here
Keep Your Joints Young: Banish your aches, pains and creaky joints
Sarah Key's Back Sufferers' Bible