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Thread: Spelling help

  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Spelling help

    I bought the SC Spelling book 1 late in the year last year. We didn't get through all of it, but he has been picking up reading so quickly that I thought he might be okay to go into book 2.

    A little background. He is in speech therapy for social speech and high order phonological issues. The therapist was considering a referral for auditory processing disorder, but he has done so well in speech that we haven't pursued it this summer. If we do pursue it will be a long waiting period. At least 3 months maybe as long as a year, based on other waiting lists in our state, so whatever comes of that won't be helpful for a long while. He is now rhyming well and can isolate sounds in some words and spell some words in therapy. Dividing words into syllables is at an early emerging stage.

    I am gearing up to start school next week. He's been driving me crazy to start this week (yay, he's actually wanting to do school!), so I decided today to give him the spelling test in the back of Book 1. We started orally, and he missed every word. Badly with bizarre misspellings. There were I's and E's everywhere. He asked if he could write them down, said he finds it easier to spell when he writes, so I let him. It did improve drastically with writing, but still missed most of them. Some seemed to be possible phonetic spellings and some really off. I am going to show the speech therapist week after next. We don't see her next week because of the holiday. Here are the results:

    Must: mest been: ben
    mend:maet cake:ciek
    here:her call:ceol
    Rose:roes his:he's
    Like:lige lift:luft
    Small:seol you:yue
    Jazz:joss bell:ball
    Went:weat ride:riad
    Buzz:bass doll:dall
    Where:waor more:maor
    Pinkeok romp:ramp
    Many:mene there:tar
    Joke:joog blue:bloo
    Pumpaop again:akon
    Says:sas said:sad
    List:last list:least
    Yellow:yaloe soft:saft
    Does:das hill:heol
    Green:gean next:nast

    He spelled is, one, was, yes, has, say, to, when, do, and last correctly. I wrote each word on a marker board and had him read them. He only missed does, bell, and said. He initially read small wrong, but caught it himself and sounded it out correctly.

    Writing them all out I can see some themes. A few are phonetic spellings like bloo, ben, and yaloe (at least in our accent that's a decent phonetic representation). Some of it is his ongoing issues with being able to grasp the differences between short i and e with short a thrown in sometimes for good measure.

    And there are the really weird ones like heol (hill), gean (green), and paop (pump).

    He's clearly not ready for the second spelling book, but I am at something of a loss, because he will easily memorize a word list and then still not be able to spell a word from the same family. The thing that gets me is how easily he could read each of those words. A few of them, while writing then, he knew they weren't right, but said that was the sounds he thought he heard.

    It's a reminding me of his problems learning to read when he would act like every word on the page was a totally new word even if it it had been repeated several times, but memorize the story as he went so he could avoid actually reading it again.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Good morning, Miah.

    If you can, go ahead and pursue the auditory processing assessment. It will not help you right now, but the information could be helpful longterm.

    Clearly he needs spelling daily. (As you know, reading and spelling are different.) He needs separate, intensive spelling instruction in addition to reading instruction. My daughter was the same way.

    You are right that you do not want memorized word lists. Instead, you want him to learn. You will need to back up to Book One, but consider doing this:

    1. Spend more time on the manipulation of the words in the lists with the Word Study exercises. Add your own either orally or in writing, whichever works better for him. Example:
    cake -- what would we have if we substituted "r" for "c"? (Yes, "rake." Write -- or spell orally -- "rake.") "b" for "c"? (Yes, "bake." Write "bake.")

    rice -- what would we have if we changed "i" to "a"? (Yes, "race." Write "race.") What if we add "g" to the front of the new word? (Yes, "grace." Write "grace.")

    He needs more "word awareness" in addition to phonological awareness. This will help.

    2. In your new Spelling Intensives each day, use the words from Book One with the dictation format provided on page 140 of Book Two. This is also described nicely in Phonics A to Z. This is a phonological dictation. You will find more Teacher Notes on this at the front of Book Two. He really needs this to isolate those sounds. You will check each sound as you go, so he does not make full-word mistakes.

    3. Do you have the Core Skills: Spelling Book One? If not, get this and add one or two pages to his work each day. These exercises link spelling to meaning, seem easy but are very worthwhile, and will give him structured practice in a visually tidy format that it not so mom-dependent.


    It is good that you caught this early. He is a child who will need extra spelling help every day of his schooling for a while. The good news is that you homeschool, so you can do this for him! Improved spelling will help his writing, his reading, and his confidence.

    All is easy to say -- now you have to do the hard work of teaching! Arm yourself with a white board and two colored pens (vowels/consonants), letter tiles, his favorite gel pens or markers, writing tablets, sidewalk chalk, or whatever media he enjoys. We're with you!

  3. #3
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    Mar 2014
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    Durham, NC
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Cheryl has of course given you wonderful advice. Here are a few more thoughts.

    I would try to focus on spelling in two separate ways.

    Phonetic words:
    -say the word
    -break the word into sounds
    - use fingers to number the sounds (put one finger up for each phonogram)
    - use letter tiles or magnets
    - write the letters
    -sound back out whatever he has written
    -compare it to the goal word

    Sight words that do not follow rules he has learned:
    -write the word on a flash card with the letter that is unexpected in red (ex. for was, the a would be in red) or use cards with pictures to give a visual clue (here is an example: http://www.seetospell.com/store/products/)
    -focus on only two-four words at a timep/
    -have him look at the card and try to make a mental picture
    -write the word on paper with fingers, write in the air, then write on paper or whiteboard
    -after he has gotten the word right three times in a row (during separate sessions), add a new word

    You also want to make sure he is correctly hearing the sounds. Try this:
    -say a sound individually - like /f/
    - have him repeat it
    -say three sounds in a row - /f/ /t/ /f/
    -see if he can repeat it
    -see if he can identify that they are same, different, same (you can use colored tiles for this)
    -if he can't do these types of things, then it is likely he needs remediation before he'll be able to spell phonetically very well.
    Susan

    2017-2018
    A (9) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 3
    C (8) - mix of SC 2 and MP 1, R&S math 2
    G (4) - Simply Classical A, hoping to start SC B in the spring

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Quote Originally Posted by sfhargett View Post
    -write the word on a flash card with the letter that is unexpected in red (ex. for was, the a would be in red) or use cards with pictures to give a visual clue (here is an example: http://www.seetospell.com/store/products/)
    Yes! "Right brain flashcards" Your child can make them themselves, which will make it even more meaningful! We are also using the strategies listed in SC spelling book 2, where she writes the word one day in print on a notecard, and in cursive the next on another notecard. Then she plays "memory" with them. She can do all this, by herself!
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  5. #5
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    I'm typing up these suggestions so I can use them every week. It seems like I process everything so slowly these days that it takes me a while to keep staring at things before I can gather a response and longer before I can put it into use.

    I don't think I have the Core Skills Spelling Book 1. I have Spelling Workout B that came with the First Grade set and Core Skills Phonics 2. I guess I missed it when I was buying the SC pieces last year. He likes the CS Phonics books, so I'll pick up the Spelling Book as soon as I can.

    Thank you all for this help.

    ETA: I will definitely show this to his speech therapist and ask about getting the referral ball rolling.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Do you know of a worksheet resource that has a look similar to the Core Skills Phonics series (lack of visual clutter) that I could buy or download? He is going to need a lot more practice with each sound. He can spout them off flawlessly, but when he gets to the application of the things he has memorized with the novel questions in the workbooks he falls apart. It seems to be the only way to get him to actually think about what he is learning.

    We've been implementing the spelling strategies. He can hear the difference between individual consonants like the t f t. He can hear the difference between short e and i, individually, but not so much in a word. I've been focusing on getting him to pay attention to the shape his mouth is making when he says an e word versus an i word and then to apply that to the spelling words. Some of the problem is that our accent tends to de-emphasize those two. Ten and tin are indistinguishable as are pin and pen. Elephant and igloo definitely have different sounds though. We've worked with letter tiles this week, and I've got it on the schedule to do every Tuesday to make a lot of different words and get a visual on how one letter changes a word. I like the tiles we have because a lot of these things like 'ai' and 'ay' are on the same tile, giving that extra visual that they are one unit for the A sound.

    He is somewhat confusing to me, because he sat down a couple of days ago and read Pickle Chiffon Pie out loud, and the only word he had any trouble with was Chiffon. He even tried a couple of different soundings on a few words, and ended up with the right one with no help. It is confusing me to no end that he can pick up a book and read long, complicated words with very little effort, then fall apart completely on level 1 spelling words or AI/AY in FSR E. Is he reading it like Chinese, where he just has that many words memorized? And how can he memorize all of that (and memory verses) with ease, but a more abstract sequence like the alphabet and days of the week have been on our recitation list for 4 years now with still having some trouble?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Hi, Miah.

    You can find free downloadable phonics worksheets, but sometimes they are not very systematic. It might be better to teach the sounds in different ways, as you go. For example, use word ladders, oral spelling bees, word tiles, and other ideas mentioned above. As some say, the teacher IS the curriculum. You will know exactly what he needs to work on, as you go.

    However, if you want a sequential set of paper-pencil exercises, look at Spelling Workout A or MCP Plaid Phonics A. He could work through 1-2 pages of either book daily as visual reinforcement. These would geared toward his independent level to supplement your teaching, yet they would give him daily practice. I did this form of written extra phonics practice with my daughter for many years.

    Consider also the free videos (for yourself) on Susan Barton's website, if interested in learning more about teaching him. Your son's inconsistent patterns and persistent errors are actually quite typical for students with significant reading challenges, and they will require considerable work. It is good that you are so devoted to him and so dedicated to helping him read and spell at home! (Some people in your situation have switched fully to the Barton system, but there is also much to be learned from some of the free information and videos on her site.)


    Let us know how he progresses. If you can help him unlock the code to reading and spelling, this will open lifelong doors for him. Not easy, but important.



    Eta: SRA A can be another good option for written practice. The teacher notes present helpful teaching tips. Upper levels become visually crowded, but A might be good for him. Any of these options (SRA, SW, MCP) might be worth investigating for review and independent practice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    We are in an odd predicament? My daughter can really spell any phonetic word. BEginning and ending blends are also usually spelled correctly, the three letter blends may not always be correct. (Shrimp). She has a miserable time spelling words that do not follow rules (the words to know in SC2, for example). We just finished week 5 of spelling, in 3 weeks. She is left with "friend, does, their, would, could and should". She can spell everything else. We did all the work, generally in two days. We are "filling in" with AAS2, but even that is weird since we did AAR. I do really like the blue rule cards, and will continue to review them. (They are fitting in nicely with SC spelling 2). However, the lesson today introduced "wh" and "ee". There were zero words to practice with!! The list words and dictations were blends......the next 5-6 lessons are about syllables. All phonetic words..... I guess we will do everything and just keep moving forward, continuing practice with those tricky words! She might like word searches and crossword puzzles!
    Christine
    (2016-2017)
    DD (8/09) SC2
    DS (9/11) SC-C
    DD (2/13) - soaking it all up!

    (2017-2018)
    DD (8/09) SC3
    DS (9/11) SC1
    DD (2/13) -still soaking it up, using Jr. K workbooks and R&S workbooks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    That is good news! All of your phonics work is impacting her spelling.

    For the Words to Know, give her extra multi-sensory practice on those each week. Ideas:

    1. Arts & Crafts
    Start a little recipe-card file box with Words to Know cards inside. Have her take one at a time and string letter beads or sort letter tiles to match the sequence of letters in each word. Or have her paint each word with glitter or colored glue. Or sculpt each letter from clay. In other words, give her non-writing practice with those Words to Know.

    2. Games
    Your daughter writes well now. Have her create a deck of doubles for each missed word from Words to Know. She will have her own Words to Know deck. Play a quick game of Go Fish, Memory/Concentration, or scramble for her own simple matching game.

    3. Puzzles
    Yes! You or she can create word searches, crosswords, etc. with those words, if you have time.

    If she needs motivation, remind her that she is becoming a good writer! She will need to know these words for her writing. That is why they are called "Words to Know!"

    You're doing very well. So is she.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Has anyone used MCP Plaid Phonics with Spelling Workout? The top of the spelling page references a phonics lesson in the plaid series. I was hoping that the reinforcement would work well for my son. The Core Skills pages once or twice a week don't seem like they're enough extra re-enforcement.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD6- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 4- Simply Classical C

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Michelle,

    Tanya says Chery Lowe looked over Plaid Phonics but can't remember why we didn't go with them other than possibly price. I can tell by looking at the books, some things might be the distracting colorful pictures and the pacing would not have worked for the regular track. I'm interested in what you liked from the MCP book, other than the Phonics Focus. Have you considered SRA?

    Blessings,
    Michelle

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    I'm trying to stick with the MP assigned spelling program. I saw that correlating lessons were given in Plaid Phonics. The plaid book is about $10 and SRA is $30. Not including teachers manuals, not sure if they're needed at the B level.

    He's completing 2nd grade literature and doing very well. Completes all of the workbook excercises. His spelling is dreadful, though. We were doing level C, but it's clearly above his ability. So, I was going to backtrack to level B. I saw that it had correlating lessons and thought that might nicely reinforce the phonics concepts.
    Married to DH for 11 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS9- Simply Classical 3 / Grade 2 Classic Core, DD6- Grade 1 Classic Core, DD 4- Simply Classical C

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    I see. SRA is more expensive but I love the fact that the Teacher's Guide gives you ways to explain the lessons for Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic learners. I wonder if you can find a used Teacher's Guide and do the activities on white board?

    Wish there was a more comprehensive spelling program on the market.

    Michelle T

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Spelling help

    Quote Originally Posted by Colomama View Post
    I'm trying to stick with the MP assigned spelling program. I saw that correlating lessons were given in Plaid Phonics. The plaid book is about $10 and SRA is $30. Not including teachers manuals, not sure if they're needed at the B level.

    He's completing 2nd grade literature and doing very well. Completes all of the workbook excercises. His spelling is dreadful, though. We were doing level C, but it's clearly above his ability. So, I was going to backtrack to level B. I saw that it had correlating lessons and thought that might nicely reinforce the phonics concepts.
    This sounds like a good idea! Dropping back to B might be enough to help, but adding extra phonogram spelling work will help more. Have you seen the multi-step dictation exercises in SC Spelling or Phonics A to Z? These could be very good for him. You can do this (for free) with the words in B or with any words he encounters. He may need more explicit work with the sounds, not merely more work, and these dictation techniques will train his ear to hear and spell with greater accuracy. Just a thought.

    He might also do well with the "multimodal" ideas given above for Miah's son, but given his past difficulties with reading, I would not limit your attention to those.

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