When I was but thirteen or so, my seventh grade teacher, Milicent Whippoorwill, first acquainted me with the old spelling rule:
I before E,
Except after C,
Or when sounding as A,
As in "neighbor" and "weigh."
Miss Whippoorwill also used to encourage us to anagram words, in order that we might become more familiar with their spelling.
Word Ways: Vol. 2
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol2/iss2/9