Why calculator spelling is so cool! Episode IV – A New Hope

It’s amazing how “silly, little  things” get reaction on the internet. I write about all sorts of “important” and serious things – but one topic that has got lots of positive reaction from around the world is a “silly” post about calculator spelling –  a random, spontaneous post that’s turned into a series of posts on the topic!

O calc spelling

It seems lots of people have fond memories of calculator spelling – and I was amazed to find out that it is a world-wide phenomenon! Posts about this at the end:

For me, one of the best things about re-discovering calculator spelling is “using the Force” of calculator spelling to help my 8-year-old son Orlando master some of the spelling basics – especially vowel combinations like OI. I’ve also been using the Force of Star Wars to make spelling more interesting 🙂


My son learns better with his hands and so the fun aspect of punching numbers into a calculator and making words and looking at the calculator upside down – helps him remember the words.


He also learns well from forming words with Scrabble letters. He shuffles the letters around and then taking a “mental snapshot” of what the word looks like.

O scrabble

So this week, we’ve had fun and laughs – doing both – forming letters with  Scrabble letters of the limited calculator spelling alphabet  and then punching the words into a calculator.  Here’s the alphabet  you’ve got to work with.


We used a simpler version:


I’d been trying to help my son remember the OI combination for words like mOIsture.

Calculator spelling and Scrabble helped him remember a few more OI words:



A cheeky smile spread across my son’s face as he turned to me and said:

What a shame we don’t have a T in calculator spelling!


He cracks me up!

It seems kids around the world like making “naughty” words with calculator spelling:

Here’s a link to an earlier post about this – and other posts about calculator spelling AND harnessing the force of Star Wars to teach spelling.  Enjoy!





Tonight’s spelling is about how the F sound can be made with the letter combination GH – an in lauGH and of course PH.

I’ve already got ideas about how to make PH words memorable: 🙂

O phantom


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