This principal was frustrated because, year after year, his new teachers would arrive keen and eager to get to work but without the slightest idea how to teach spelling. They had taken all their required college classes and had their heads full of education psychology, theory, and statistics…but as to how to teach their students how to spell? They didn’t even know where to start. It didn’t take long before teaching spelling became a chore, and the teachers went through the motions with little enthusiasm. The result was that spelling scores plummeted and students’ reading ability soon followed.
The method of teaching spelling that I propose (and used myself when I was a teacher) is quite simple. It's based on the logical idea that if the students know WHY the word is spelled that way and if they are taught the spelling rule that covers that word, they will remember how to spell the word.
For example, when students see thick and think or back and bask, they are confused because one word in the pair contains a CK but the other has only a K. But the CK and the K have almost the same sound. When the spelling rule is explained to them, they quickly understand and can apply it to every other word they come across that ends in either K or CK.
As well as teaching the spelling rules in my new book, I also stress the importance of syllabication. If students know the correct way to break a word into its component syllables and pronounce it slowly, they will have less of a problem spelling it. Naturally, alongside syllabication I also stress correct enunciation, a subject that has been sadly neglected for far too long.