Problem Solving Words

Posted by Heather Dawn Levasseur on 1/20/2016

Good Spellers…

  • look for patterns
  • look for word parts
  • try several ways to write a word
  • write sounds in words
  • write a vowel in each word and in each syllable
  • think about words that look the same
  • check to see if words look right
  • think about what words mean
  • practice words
  • use a dictionary to check
  • look for words in the classroom
  • ask someone if they can’t figure it out


Practice these skills with your child


Prompts to Solve Words in Reading and/or Writing

To help the student notice errors:

  • You noticed what was wrong.
  • Find the part that’s not quite right.
  • Check to see if that looks right.
  • Where’s the tricky part? (after an error)
  • Underline the tricky part.
  • Get a good look.
  • There’s a tricky word on this line.
  • What did you notice? (after hesitation or stop)
  • What’s wrong?
  • Why did you stop?
  • Do you think it looks like _____?
  • Were you right?

To help the student problem-solve words:

  • Did you write all the sounds you hear?
  • Did you write a vowel in each part you hear?
  • There are two vowels together in the middle.
  • What could you try?
  • What do you hear first? Next? At the end?
  • Write the ending.
  • What’s that like?
  • Listen for the first part. Next part, last part.
  • It starts like _____.
  • It ends like _____.
  • Listen for the ending.
  • Look at the parts.
  • There are _____ letters.
  • What do you know that might help?
  • Do you see a part that can help?
  • Do you know a word like that?
  • Do you know a word that starts with those letters?
  • Ends with those letters?
  • What’s that like?
  • Think of what the word means. It is like another word you know?
  • What other word do you know like that?
  • What letter do you expect to see at the beginning (or end)?
  • Do you see a part that can help?
  • What could you try?
  • Look for/write a part you know.
  • There’s a silent letter at the beginning.
  • Try it.

To help the student notice errors and fix them:

  • Does it look right?
  • One more letter will make it look right.
  • That sounds right, but does it look right?
  • You only have one letter wrong.
  • It starts like that. Now check the last part.
  • I like the way you worked that out.
  • That’s one way to write it. It s there another way?
  • You made a mistake. Can you find it?
  • You wrote all the sounds you hear.
  • Think about how that word looks.
  • Something wasn’t quite right.
  • You’re nearly right.
  • You almost got that. See if you can find what is wrong.
  • You’ve got the first part (last part) right.
  • Try that again.
  • Try it another way.


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