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Can we talk about Spelling in Grade 3 and above?

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    Can we talk about Spelling in Grade 3 and above?

    This is my third year now teaching Traditional Spelling, and I love it! I taught TS1 two years ago, TS2 last year, and am teaching TS2 again this year to a new group of students. I feel like I having finally learned how to teach phonics, and finally understand the benefit that the traditional approach has for both reading and spelling, for all kinds of students--those for whom spelling and reading are intuitive, and those for whom they are not. (Confession--I was professionally trained in the disastrous "whole language" approach to reading and then began my homeschooling career with an "unschooling" mindset...only to find myself putting my four older kids in a classical online academy in middle school and then basically starting a private school for my youngest! Talk about a 180. )

    Anyway, I love TS, and I love the foundation it has provided my students who have gone through two years of the program.

    My question is, what is the spelling philosophy after 2nd grade? What's the purpose, and what is the goal?

    We have begun a 3rd/4th combo class and are using Spelling Workout D, and honestly, my teacher is not loving it. The lessons are not nearly as well-developed as TS, so she's kind of winging it. As we talked about it this week, here are the questions we had--

    1. Is it assumed that by 3rd grade and after two years of TS, students have completed their need for systematic phonics instruction? is this why there is little instruction included with Spelling Workout? Should we assume that phonics now gives way to literature? And if so, IS there a role for phonics instruction at this level? What is the goal of spelling instruction for students who have successfully completed TS 1 & 2? Is it just to review those basic phonological patterns? To practice the habit of committing words to memory?

    2. For students who struggle with spelling (likely with mild to moderate dyslexia) the cursory approach of Spelling Workout seems inadequate, and yet they have already completed TS. What ought to be done for students like these in 3rd and 4th grade? Is there anything else that might be a better approach for struggling spellers?

    Thank you for your feedback!

    Shawna

    #2
    Well, according to this thread, we get to call and badger MP at the end of the month for their Phonics supplements for SWO D and E. Ahahaha, just kidding.

    While I bristled with the transition to SWO last year, there are many things I like about it.

    1) We see the words all over the curriculum. We come across them in our MP readings and in other grade-leveled books.

    2) There is a phonics rule that guides each lesson, just like TS. The grouping and sorting according to spelling rule or vowel/consonant team and digraph help my student. We sometimes go a step further in creating a word picture or memory trick that has all of the words in it that are spelled the same. So, we might say: What a steady pleasure and treasure to see leather that doesn't shrink in sweater weather.

    3) In watching the Sodalitas lectures, I picked up on how the HLS teachers introduce spelling words the Friday before so that students have them all weekend swirling through their minds. Because this is our lightest day, I go through the list and syllabicate each word on the board (based on looking it up in the dictionary in the back), then I ask my student to identify any consonant teams, which I underline in blue, and any vowel teams, which I underline in red. Sometimes, when my fingers feel very dexterous, I write the teams in red and blue within the word. Then, my student copies these into a Spelling Journal with all of the underlining and syllabication. The rest of the week, my student copies the words as they will be written on the test.

    4) Andrew Pudewa has some great tips for teaching spelling to children with dyslexia. We use his ideas to supplement our days the rest of the week, usually including a heavy oral review. I hate having to leave off parts of SWO (like the correction part), but my student enjoys the passage at the start of each lesson. For a few lessons, I have created fill-in-the-blank sentences on a worksheet, and I briefly experimented with a cursive printout of the words to copy across the page, but my time is limited, so I went back to a spiral notebook. I eagerly look forward to MP's release of TSIII....and IV by the way....they need to GET ON IT. We will buy it!

    Mama to 2

    Summer:
    MPK with SC1 Phonics & Math
    SY 20/21
    4A

    Comment


      #3
      We are beta testing TS III so it will be available next fall! You can quote me on that!


      Comment


        #4
        Michelle, YES!!!
        The Homeschool Grads:
        J- 6/96
        S- 11/98

        Still Homeschooling:
        G- 4/04
        D- 5/05
        F- 7/08 (my only girl)

        Future Homeschooler:
        M- 9/16

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
          We are beta testing TS III so it will be available next fall! You can quote me on that!

          Are you writing level 4 yet? I am wondering if it will be a year behind level 3. How far do you plan to go?
          Dorinda

          For 2020-2021
          DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
          DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
          DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
          DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

          Comment


            #6
            enbateau thank you. Good points. We do the same things with our 3/4 graders in terms of syllabicating and underlining teams, marking vowels and silent letters...much like Colorful Letters. And thank you for the Andrew Pudewa reminder! I need to re-listen to "Spelling and the Brain", as its been a while.

            Michelle T that is great news about the TS3 curriculum! My question for you, if you don't mind--can you explain a little about the goal and role of phonics instruction and spelling at the Grammar level? In primary, I spend a lot of time teaching phonics, both for reading and spelling. I spend about 45 minutes each morning just doing spelling with my students (MP2). I know that in 3rd grade, the literature guides no longer include phonics instruction. How does the approach to spelling change between grades 3-6?


            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post

              Are you writing level 4 yet? I am wondering if it will be a year behind level 3. How far do you plan to go?
              I hope so!! My twins will be in 3 next year. Level 4 the following would be wonderful!!
              Katie

              2020/21: 7th year with MP
              DS 16: 11th, MPOA Euro Hist I, CS III, Divine Comedy; Schole Geometry, Spanish; Catholic Social Teaching, A & P
              DD 13: 9th, MPOA Diploma Program; Catholic Social Teaching, VT Alg. 1
              DD 9: MP 5, Seton Religion and Spelling, MPOA: FF Latin, Fable
              Twin DD's 7: MP 2, Seton Religion and Phonics

              Comment


                #8
                Yay for TSIII next fall! That's news I've been waiting to hear!

                We briefly tried SWO with my oldest (pre-MP days) and it did not work well for him. We ended up using All About Spelling I - III and then moving to Phonetic Zoo from IEW. (I believe IEW recommends completing AAS I - III before beginning Phonetic Zoo.) Anyway, for those who need higher-level spelling curricula and don't want to go the SWO route, I can wholeheartedly recommend Phonetic Zoo as a good option. Bonus points that it is entirely independent for my son now, who is on level B of the program.

                My middle daughter is a more natural speller, so we may try SWO with her once we complete the available TS levels. She also needs much less phonics instruction than my son did at her age.
                2020-21

                Isaac, MP Core Grade 6
                Analiese, MP Core Grade 2
                Eleanor, MP 5-day Jr. K
                Ian, nursing & sleeping

                Comment


                  #9
                  You are correct in the observation that there is less direct phonic instruction at the grammar stage levels. The primary years are when there is quite a bit of phonic instruction in coordination with both reading and spelling because students are learning to read so it is the best time to teach those concepts. By grade 3 students have a good handle on reading and just need varied practice of real literature but spelling levels are lower. At this stage we don't have written phonics lessons so when students need to decode in reading we suggest you rely on syllabication and phonetic chunking techniques learned in K-2 to teach your student how to attack an unfamiliar word. All phonic instruction should be tied to spelling in 3-6 because spelling is phonics for mastery. With Traditional Spelling III expect to spend around 20 to 30 a day working on phonics for spelling.

                  This is different from most programs. Some continue with an inordinate amount of phonics and phonetic readers and contrived stories through 6th grade while others drop all phonics. Once phonics are dropped all together spelling becomes a lesson in memorization and short-term memory recall which is why many students incorrectly spell words within their writing that have been covered in previous spelling lessons. They memorized for the test and because the phonics of why the words are spelled the way they are was not a focus, they quickly forgot and reverted to how the word sounds or their visual memory of a spelling which can be incorrect if they wrote a word wrong enough times. When spelling has been relegated to a memory exercise, it takes little class time. Thus we arrive at modern-day spelling programs in 3-6. Little class time, just copy words, take a pre-test, complete the workbook pages, take the final test. Spelling has been this way since I was in elementary school (long, long, ago.) Third through Sixth graders need phonics lessons for spelling which, by the way, helps their reading.


                  Comment


                    #10
                    Michelle T ----- is the Phonics guide available for use with SW? It was mentioned in the Teacher Training this summer, but last I checked, it wasn't available for purchase.
                    Plans for 2020-21

                    Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

                    DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
                    DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
                    DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
                    DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
                    DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
                    DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Those in the final editing process and could be available any day now!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Should we assume that TS 4-6 will be forthcoming in future years? No pressure! M hasn't even started JrK yet.
                        The Homeschool Grads:
                        J- 6/96
                        S- 11/98

                        Still Homeschooling:
                        G- 4/04
                        D- 5/05
                        F- 7/08 (my only girl)

                        Future Homeschooler:
                        M- 9/16

                        Comment


                          #13
                          That is the goal.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yea!! So excited!
                            The Homeschool Grads:
                            J- 6/96
                            S- 11/98

                            Still Homeschooling:
                            G- 4/04
                            D- 5/05
                            F- 7/08 (my only girl)

                            Future Homeschooler:
                            M- 9/16

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Michelle T View Post
                              Those in the final editing process and could be available any day now!
                              Any update on these? Phonics guide for SW?
                              Plans for 2020-21

                              Year 10 of homeschooling with MP

                              DD1 - 25 - Small Business owner with a STOREFRONT
                              DD2 - 14 - 9th grade - HLS Cottage School/MPOA - equestrian
                              DS3 - 12 - 5A Cottage School - soccer
                              DS4 - 12 - 5A Cottage School -soccer
                              DD5 - 8 - 3A, Cottage School -equestrian and Irish dance
                              DS6 - 6 - MP K - home with Momma

                              Comment

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