The English language rules with highest validity and utility are those relating to suffix spelling changes. Students at all grade levels can be taught the rules, drilled in their application, and expected to apply them.
These rules should be taught one at a time in the order listed. Rule charts are provided. Post them as the rules are introduced. Then provide students with ample drill applying the concepts. Drill cards or assignments may be tedious, but they are effective. Like multiplication tables, these rules must be memorized, and it is application practice that leads to mastery.
By teaching these rules to your students, you set expectations for spelling accuracy. Since young students are tuned in to phonetic elements of words, these rules can be taught as early as second grade. With older students, some phonics review may be needed. One of the best ways to ensure that students remember and apply the rules is to add suffixes to spelling words. Do this on practice exercises and on spelling tests.
This free product contains the 4 rule charts and samples of 12 student cards with answer keys. The full product (350 Suffix Spelling Changes – Rule Charts & Drill Cards) contains 30 student cards (6 for rule 1, 12 for rule 2, 12 for rules 3/4) with answer keys.