This spelling activity is multi-modal and interactive.
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Spelling Warm-Ups with Taps and Claps

Spelling Warm-Ups Activity: Taps and Claps

Integrate multi-modal learning easily with this challenging spelling warm-ups activity.

Taps and Claps is a multi-modal spelling activity that boosts spelling and reading fluency.

The spelling warm-ups in our Spelling 1 unit are the easiest way to have total active participation and multi-sensory spelling instruction! 

Don’t believe me? Curious? Passionate about helping your students?

Great, this post is for you.

Did you know combining more than one learning mode (auditory, tactile, etc) into a spelling activity drastically boosts learning and retention?

You’ve heard about it. It’s called multi-modal learning.

And that’s what our spelling warm-ups activity, Taps and Claps are – interactive and multi-modal.

In this post, you will:

  • See how this spelling activity how students will benefit from this spelling activity.
  • Learn how to use Taps and Claps in these spelling warm-ups.

If you don’t have your free Word Study Warm-Ups Membership, you can sign up here.

Discover a powerful teaching strategy that's easy to do!This is a multi-modal spelling activity that boost spelling and reading fluency.Taps and Claps allows students to see, hear, say, and feel phonemes!This spelling activity engages kinesthetic and tactile learning.

Interactive Learning with Spelling Warm-Ups

The first activity in our spelling warm-ups is Taps and Claps. It requires:

  • Listening skills
  • Visual cues
  • Tapping phonemes
  • Clapping out graphemes
  • Timed word decoding

That’s almost every modality in language learning wrapped up into one quick warm-up!

They may just be word and spelling patterns, but this is rigorous and interactive learning.

  • Students will increase cognitive processing speed.
  • Student retention of spelling patterns is deepened.
  • Student recall and application of spelling patterns improves.
  • Reading fluency increases as a result of the “spill-over” effect.
  • English learners will increase language learning

For more on the research behind this strategy see Rebecca Oxford’s Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies.

How to use Taps and Claps

Here’s how to do Taps and Claps for the first time.

  1. Pause the video and give a quick demonstration.
  2. The word d-o-g has three sound (phonemes). Students will say the three sounds out loud: d – o – g.
  3. With each sound they also tap a finger on the desk. (This is actually really challenging for 3rd and 4th-graders!)
  4. Then students will clap the graphemes (letters).
  5. There are 3 graphemes in d-o-g, obviously. Students will clap as they say the letters out loud.
  6. Finally, they will read the word.

Then press play on the spelling warm-up video. Students will practice the Taps and Claps in real-time, and this is where it can get challenging.

4th-Grade, 5th-Grade, and 6th-Grade Teachers!

Hold on before you think this is too simple! The words and speed get complex quickly in Spelling 1. However, we also are developing Spelling 1 [Advanced] to challenge 5th and 6th graders.

You know they need it. You see it in their writing.

If you’re upper elementary students or middle school students struggle with decoding multi-syllabic words, then they need this also!

At first, all students will struggle with the speed of the warm-ups and the challenge of incorporating multiple modalities. 

Give them a week, and you’ll be impressed at how quickly their skills increase – and spillover into their reading and writing!

Spillover from Spelling Warm-Ups

As I just mentioned, your students will struggle with two things: speed and modality. That’s good.

Working through the struggle is exactly what makes the spelling patterns memorable. This will translate into the ability to apply in reading and writing.

The first time through Taps and Claps will be rough.

Hang in there, as the spelling patterns get more and more complex. Watch as students rapidly increase reading fluency and spelling fluency during the spelling warm-ups.

If you’re ready to use these multi-modal and interactive spelling warm-ups, register today for free.






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