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Buying Spelling Books in the UK

mugshot Roger Smith
Roger Smith
Here at Spelling it Right I often receive e-mails asking me to recommend a particular book, dictionary, or game which encourages an interest in words and spelling. I'm making several suggestions below, all of them available in the UK at Amazon. I use the company for all my book and software buys and I've found their service efficient and their prices competitive. I especially like to read the reviews by customers who have already bought the item.
(At the moment Amazon is offering free delivery on books 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.
Click here to see Jumpstart!: Literacy - Games and Activities for Ages 7-14

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.
Is this series the answer to every primary teacher's prayers? Click below for the relevant age group >>>
Literacy Ages 4-5 (Lesson for Every Day)
Literacy Ages 5-6 (Lesson for Every Day)
Literacy Ages 6-7 (Lesson for Every Day)
Literacy Ages 7-8 (Lesson for Every Day)
Literacy Ages 8-9 (Lesson for Every Day)

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

The Spelling for Literacy series comprises five photocopiable 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.
Click below for details>>
Years One and Two: Spelling for Literacy Ages 5 - 7
Year Three:               Spelling for Literacy Ages 7 - 8
Year Four:                 Spelling for Literacy Ages 8 - 9
Year Five:                  Spelling for Literacy Ages 9 - 10               
Year Six:                   Spelling for Literacy Ages 10 - 11

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

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.
Have a look >> Spelling Matters Too: Student Book

I've heard good reports about a CD Rom:  Excelling at Spelling from the Encyclopoedia Britannica stable which covers key stages 1, 2 and 3. Read all about it by clicking >> Excelling at Spelling.

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 and here Sarah Key's Back Sufferers' Bible

Remember, orders you place with Amazon by clicking through from any of the links on this page will earn me a tiny commission (at no extra cost to yourself) and this helps to keep my computer in repair and ensures that I can keep Spelling it Right running!
Roger Smith

Spelling
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Orders you place with Amazon by clicking through from links on this page will earn me a tiny commission (at no extra cost to yourself) and this helps to keep my computer in repair and ensures that I can keep Spelling it Right running!

Roger Smith

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Buying spelling
books
in the UK

Any product
which creates
an interest
in words
is helpful
to someone
who finds
spelling
difficult


Orders you place with Amazon by clicking through from links on this page will earn me a tiny commission (at no extra cost to yourself) and this helps to keep my computer in repair and ensures that I can keep Spelling it Right running!

Roger Smith



Amazon tokens are always welcome as presents for Birthdays, Christmas and all Special Occasions.
Click here to see what's available:
Amazon Gift Tokens for Every Occasion


Spelling it Right has been providing
free advice and worksheets since 2001. Feel free to print the exercises for your own use. (They will print in black and white, thereby reducing your ink costs!)


Click here for
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