I started introducing spelling to my first grader this week. Now, he has been spelling for some time by copying words, phrases, and sentences from the line above or from somewhere else on the page, or occasionally from the chalkboard. We just never called it spelling, since the focus was on proper formation of the letters themselves. (His handwriting has improved greatly by reducing the amount he wrote each day to as few as 4 words, then gradually building it back up; I am quite pleased with it now.)
I decided to pull out the magnetic letters that we've had since he was about 2 years old and put them to use, along with a baking pan that's seen better days. Here, we shuffled and I introduced him to alphabetizing.
I left out Q, X and Z, in case you are trying to figure it out :) We won't be spelling with those for a while, I figure.
I used the side of the pan for the word we were looking at, to reduce visual clutter. This also made it really easy to flip it around where he couldn't see it when he was air-writing it from the picture in his mind.
Today, to change things up and because there are 3 preschoolers in the house on Fridays, this was our project instead. The great thing about a marshmallow and toothpick structure is that you get to eat it when you tear it apart!