Spelling practice can be a chore for many students. Strategies that turn spelling practice into fun, while also strengthening the learning process, are a plus for any classroom. Twist and Spell, originally designed as a spelling activity, can be adapted to enhance math fact practice, too!
Watch the short video below to see this strategy being used as one of three hands-on approaches to spelling practice.
Purchase a package of Styrofoam coffee cups with a wide lip.
Using a black marker and a second, bold colored marker, write the letters of the alphabet around the rim of an upside down coffee cup. Mark the consonants in black and the vowels in color. Space the letters evenly around the cup.
Continue to mark cups in this fashion until you have enough for Spin and Spell. For one student, prepare six to ten cups. For a small group activity, prepare thirty cups.
Each student will need a rubber band with a paperclip hanging from it. Or, as an alternative, a cup with an arrow marked on it.
Choose a spelling word to demonstrate Twist and Spell to the students. If the word has three letters, such as in “bed”, stack three cups and twist the cups until the word is lined up.
You can also mark the letters so that the words will spell horizontally.
Twist and Spell cups can be designed to use for practicing math facts. Instead of letters, mark the numerals 0 through 9 around the cup, the operational signs and = at the end. The operational signs should be in a contrasting color.
To space your letters evenly, mark A first, then mark M and N on the opposite side. The letter G will go half way between A and M, and the letter T will go just shy of halfway between the N and A.