A simple solution to the need for spellings would be to change the dynamics. Ensure that the child is always the producer, so asks “Is this how you spell….?” having had a go at the word. This provides overt evidence of a child’s thinking about the word, especially their phonic awareness and skill. A wrong spelling therefore becomes a teaching opportunity, having identified the need. Within the context of an extended writing activity, where asking for a spelling could interfere with the flow, the use of wipe-on, wipe-off boards can allow a child to attempt a word and hold it up for teacher scrutiny. Most times the word will be correct, so only requires a smile or thumbs up. If a need for intervention, this can be simple and quickly effected, as above.
The reassurance that this approach gives to a large number of writers supports positive teaching of writing. It also becomes easier for the teacher.
It’s quick and easy and, where words are asked for and maintained in an “Asking for spellings book”, they automatically become personal spelling lists to be taken home and learned, added to for those who find spellings easy.