Get e-book Spelling New Words - Spelling with pictures and Lead Letter Cues

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Viktoria, Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns that I can address to help you decide. You may be interested to know that we recommend just 20 minutes a day in spelling , so All About Spelling works very well as an afterschool supplement. Also, we have a help document about using All About Reading or All About Spelling for afterschooling that you may be interested in.

Let me know.

This post as well as your response to Andrea on March 29, was very helpful to me, but I do have a question about the review portion. Reviewing the yellow, red and blue cards are not the problem but how do you review the word cards? Do you just pick 10 to spell on paper?

The 4 Types of Word Guessers

Or do you just spell them with tiles? My issue is by the time we do the review the 20 mins are almost up, leaving no time for new material.

Break the “Word Guessing” Habit

So our lessons are more like mins. Just to be clear, so far all of the words have been easy for him, he has had no problems spelling any of the words but its just too much writing for him to be able to do everything in one lesson. So to sum it up: Reviewing 10 or so words from the review tab plus 10 new words plus dictation phrases equals way more than 20 mins. Tammy, What a little trooper your guy must be to work for 30 to 45 minutes!

I agree that is too much especially for such a young student. Waiting to put words into review until he has spelled them correctly twice in a row is a good practice. It will serve you well as he progresses through the levels. Using the tiles for one of the two times is fine. Since they are so easy for him, you could even just choose a sampling of them for him to spell on paper.

How many days are you spending per step? It sounds to me that you are aiming to complete an entire step in one day, just 2 to 3 dictation sentences and then moving on. If I am misunderstanding, please let me know.


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If this is the case, it sounds like it will be better to spend at least two days per step, so that he has a chance to spell the words twice before any new words are introduced. First, that gives him time to cement each concept before learning a new one. It also allows you to cut the time you spend each day in half. Set a timer for 20 minutes and stop when it goes off.

The next day you would have less to review, so you would have time for new teaching. Does this make sense? This will also allow you to do more of the dictation phrases. These are important for reviewing as the concepts are mixed and more like writing. When you get to concepts that are completely new for him, you might find he needs to spend three days on per step. Many students do. Even at three days per step, AAS 1 will be finished in well under half a year. Thanks for your response.

You are correct, up until this week Level 1 Step 11 we were completing 1 per day, only because nothing was a new concept for him. I think I was also misunderstanding what I should be doing with the review.

How Spelling Supports Reading

Just the physical act of sitting through 10 words for him to spell, whether he knows them or not was taking forever since he is constantly going off topic. Not sure where I got that idea from! Reviewing the actual concept was quick, but reviewing the words was what was taking forever. Knowing we can split that up will help tremendously! So I think for now we will spend 2 days with each Step with the new words on the first day and then reviewing those words on the 2nd, spreading dictation between those 2 days.

We will continue to review the actual concept everyday.

How to Do Spelling Dictation (+ Troubleshooting Guide)

Then once we get to Step 17 which is the first Step with new information we will slow down and spend 4 days on each step. This has been problematic spelling. I do correct the pronunciation when I hear it however when she is writing she is not self correcting these spelling errors. What do you suggest? This is a common problem, Jill. When she writes herself, does she habitually go back and self-edit what she wrote looking for errors?

If not, I recommending having her do that.

Break the “Word Guessing” Habit

When students are writing, they have many things to focus on: content, creativity, organization, punctuation, spelling, grammar, capitalization, what kind of audience they are addressing, and more. Taking time to reread what she wrote looking for her own errors is an important step toward good writing. It can be done immediately after writing, especially if it is something like spelling dictation, but if it is longer creative writing it is often best to wait at least a day before editing. When we read what we write right away, we often tend to see what we meant to say rather than what we actually wrote.

Also, when she misspells something outside of spelling lesson time, make a note of it and add those words to your review tab during your next spelling lesson. Our blog post How to Handle Spelling Mistakes has more information about this.

One extra help for train. Many of us, even adults, say chrain at least occasionally. I wish all spelling problems were as easy to help kids with as this one is. You are welcome, Renae. If you need further help with dictation or anything else, just let me know. Thank you for explaining the purpose of dictation! I have been struggling with WHY dictation is a good step on the way to writing mastery, and now I know! If you ever have other questions or would like more information, just ask.

Dictation is a least favorite activity in my house. Katelyn, That tendency to learn-it-and-forget-it is often inadvertently encouraged with traditional once-a-week spelling test type instruction. Doing dictation that uses concepts and skills reaching back from when the student first started to learn to spell helps to counter that.

Silent Letters in English from A-Z - List of Words with Silent Letters - English Pronunciation

Ask your student to read over the dictation that he or she wrote to look for errors before you check it. If they find the error and fix it before you look it over, then it counts as if there were no error at all. Self-editing is an important skill and catching their own errors is very effective for long term learning.

When you do dictation and find your student has trouble with spelling a word, use it as a teaching point. Go over it right there, asking your student questions about it. What rule did he or she not apply?

How a flawed idea is teaching millions of kids to be poor readers

What phonogram was misused? What sound did they not hear in the word? Then, leave yourself a note to start the next spelling lesson with review of whatever concept, phonogram, or skill he or she had trouble with.