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Using a phonics program to teach spelling


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#1 Dialectica

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:50 AM

Has anyone done this? Can you tell me more about it?

I had been considering this for a while, mainly because we are on a tight budget and have a phonics program already. We just started WWE, and the Complete Writer actually mentions it as a possibility. DD is a pretty good speller, no doubt thanks to phonics instruction (and natural talent?). I still feel like DD would be missing out without a formal spelling program.

The other possibility is, of course, "simply" doing dictation and reminding her of the rules whenever she makes a mistake or gets stuck (which isn't often).

Is there anything inherently wrong with these approaches?

#2 kristi26

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 08:18 AM

I guess we do that, actually. We use Explode the Code, which teaches spelling and phonics rules well in my opinion. At the end of each lesson, they have the student write the learned words from memory like a spelling test. I was going to add in a free spelling program for her this year, but this seems to be working well.

By the way, here's the free list we use:

www.aaaspell.com/

#3 Dialectica

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:02 AM

We use ETC too. We are on the last book. Do you use ETC again, for dictation, after your kids are finished with the books?

#4 Ellie

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:25 AM

Spelling rules and phonics rules are not the same thing.

Some children are natural spellers. Most are not, although the amount of direct spelling instruction they need varies.

Your dc might do just fine with copywork and whatnot. :-)

#5 Hunter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:30 AM

Spelling rules and phonics rules are not the same thing.


Which one is Spalding :confused:

#6 jetted4

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

My two sons are 7 yrs apart...with the younger one being rather time intensive, and the elder being an avid reader and seeming to be a natural speller, formal spelling lessons were something I didn't manage to squeeze into the day very often. Eldest is now 16 and is still a strong speller in spite of the lack of consistent spelling instruction. Youngest is not as intuitive when it comes w Lang Arts skills, so I developed formal rules-based lessons for him. Really depends on the child how critical the formal instruction is. If they read a lot and do have natural skills in that area, reading and dictation would probably be sufficient.

#7 Ellie

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:56 AM

Which one is Spalding :confused:



Spalding and its look-alikes/spin-offs teach children to read by teaching them to spell.

ETC, Alpha Phonics, Phonics Pathways, Victory Drill Book, OPGTR...those are phonics.
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#8 Hunter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:45 AM

Spalding and its look-alikes/spin-offs teach children to read by teaching them to spell.

ETC, Alpha Phonics, Phonics Pathways, Victory Drill Book, OPGTR...those are phonics.


I think I understand. I have used the first 20 lessons of How to Tutor (precursor to Alpha Phonics), before starting Spalding, and intend to sometimes do that again. I think I have a very vague and basic understanding of the difference.

I guess, when I choose to teach cursive first, I prefer to use a phonics instead of a spelling curriculum. Hmmm.

#9 Dialectica

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:15 PM

Spalding and its look-alikes/spin-offs teach children to read by teaching them to spell.

ETC, Alpha Phonics, Phonics Pathways, Victory Drill Book, OPGTR...those are phonics.


Could you explain this in a little more detail? It was my impression — and I have heard many people, including SWB, say this — that spelling is phonics backwards. My kid has certainly learned to spell as well as read with ETC. Sometimes, she gets stuck. Today, she wanted to write "air" as "are". The idea behind that was obviously that "the silent E at the end of a word makes the vowel long" :). Are there actually rules that make it clear which word is spelled how? (I grew up in a non-English speaking country, and simply picked English spelling up naturally in my teens. It worked alright. But, perhaps that is the reason why I am so obviously ignorant.)

#10 Dialectica

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:19 PM

And Ellie, since you're the resident Spalding geek, can you convince me to purchase it? Do we need Spalding? My natural speller WILL do fine without any additional program, as long as she keeps on doing plenty of dictation. I also have a younger boy who may not have the same natural tendencies. Wasn't Spalding a non-consumable program, without workbooks? If so, it may be something to invest in. Especially if it teaches him to read too.

ETA: My preschooler is probably ready to learn to read, but nowhere near ready to learn to write. That makes using ETC a bit hard.

#11 8FillTheHeart

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:33 PM

Could you explain this in a little more detail? It was my impression — and I have heard many people, including SWB, say this — that spelling is phonics backwards. My kid has certainly learned to spell as well as read with ETC. Sometimes, she gets stuck. Today, she wanted to write "air" as "are". The idea behind that was obviously that "the silent E at the end of a word makes the vowel long" :). Are there actually rules that make it clear which word is spelled how? (I grew up in a non-English speaking country, and simply picked English spelling up naturally in my teens. It worked alright. But, perhaps that is the reason why I am so obviously ignorant.)


Spelling is most definitely Not phonics backward. Spelling requires knowledge of correct phonograms, whereas phonics provides the tools for decoding to read.

Rules work for simple words like you find on ETC, but once you start spelling words with multiple phonograms that make the correct sound and still violate no rule, you must know which is the correct choice.

(Eta the NOT....typing on my Ipad causes me to make lots of mistakes!)

#12 Hunter

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:03 PM

You can get used OOP copies of WRTR 4th edition cheap. Some of us find this the easiest version to get started with, It's the last edition written by the author herself. It comes with cheap flashcards you can cut out. I like the floppy little paper flashcards. They are lighter in my backpack.

#13 UrbanSue

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:09 PM

Spelling rules and phonics rules are not the same thing.

Some children are natural spellers. Most are not, although the amount of direct spelling instruction they need varies.

Your dc might do just fine with copywork and whatnot. :-)


I'm going to go out on a limb (since I'm a relative Spalding newbie) and say that what is called "phonics rules" is actually just the phonograms--of which there are 70. Spelling rules tell you how to to use the phonograms. In Spalding there are 29 of these.

I'm sure Ellie will correct me if I'm wrong :)

I have only been at Spalding for a few months. It's not a difficult program at all but it does take a certain commitment to sit and learn it well. As you will see if you noticed a thread I started yesterday :) You need to read the manual once. Then again while taking notes. Then you need to go through the spelling list yourself, word-by-word and follow all the instructions for making your own spelling notebook with all the rule pages, markings, etc. It's not difficult but it's time consuming.

On the other hand, it is very valuable, analytical work. I've already seen a lot of fruit with my kids. It is VERY inexpensive. The 4th edition is probably the best manual to buy--I have the 6th as well and the later ones add in a ton of "integrated language arts stuff". The 4th is sufficient if you really take the time to go through it thoroughly, several times. I found my copy for about $8, including shipping, on Amazon. I did buy the "official" spelling notebooks and a set of phonogram cards from Spalding but they are very inexpensive as well. And, other than the notebooks, it is entirely non-consumable.

#14 Dialectica

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

Hunter, we can't order used books from the US through Amazon. They won't ship to our country. The new version is quite pricey, but I will consider it. Not right now, because the child who would be using it now doesn't need it.

#15 Ellie

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

I'm going to go out on a limb (since I'm a relative Spalding newbie) and say that what is called "phonics rules" is actually just the phonograms--of which there are 70. Spelling rules tell you how to to use the phonograms. In Spalding there are 29 of these.

I'm sure Ellie will correct me if I'm wrong :)


I think you're right. People always talk about phonics "rules," but I don't think that's what phonics really is.

The fact that "a" has three sounds is not rule, phonics or otherwise. That it says its second sound at the end of a short word or syllable...that's a rule. That ai and ay both say /A/ (second or "long" sound of "a") is not a rule; that ai is never used at the end of a word...that's a rule. Phonics would tell you how to pronounce it; spelling would tell you when to use it in spelling.

I have only been at Spalding for a few months. It's not a difficult program at all but it does take a certain commitment to sit and learn it well. As you will see if you noticed a thread I started yesterday :) You need to read the manual once. Then again while taking notes. Then you need to go through the spelling list yourself, word-by-word and follow all the instructions for making your own spelling notebook with all the rule pages, markings, etc. It's not difficult but it's time consuming.


You are learning well, grasshopper. :-)

#16 UrbanSue

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

I think you're right. People always talk about phonics "rules," but I don't think that's what phonics really is.

The fact that "a" has three sounds is not rule, phonics or otherwise. That it says its second sound at the end of a short word or syllable...that's a rule. That ai and ay both say /A/ (second or "long" sound of "a") is not a rule; that ai is never used at the end of a word...that's a rule. Phonics would tell you how to pronounce it; spelling would tell you when to use it in spelling.



You are learning well, grasshopper. :-)


Ellie says I'm right about Spalding!!! :hurray: :hurray:

:)

#17 Dialectica

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:06 AM

Well, I caved and bought the fourth edition, used from the UK. It will take about two months to get here, but I'll be back asking stupid questions when it does :).

#18 Ellie

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:08 AM

Well, I caved and bought the fourth edition, used from the UK. It will take about two months to get here, but I'll be back asking stupid questions when it does :).



The only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask...but you should read the manual from cover to cover more than once before you ask. :-)
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#19 Dialectica

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

The only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask...but you should read the manual from cover to cover more than once before you ask. :-)


Thanks. I know who to call on if I do get stuck :).

#20 GSOchristie

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:48 PM

I was seriously lost after the first and second reading (I had three kids in four and a half years, my thinking skills are gone). It finally started to click during the third time through, and I really got a handle on it on the fourth :). It truly is amazing to see it at work!


#21 ElizabethB

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 12:05 AM

Phonics and spelling used to be taught together...in fact, reading was first taught in Latin with syllables and then in the student's native language with syllables. Webster's Speller was used to teach both spelling and phonics.

Many of the good older phonics texts teach rules that are useful for both reading and spelling. In the back of Phonics Pathways, there are instructions on how to use the text for teaching spelling.

My how to tutor page has spelling rules and ideas on how to add spelling rules into phonics instruction.

Also, Don Potter's website and my website both have links to some good free online spelling books. If you can't access Google Books, I can probably send you PDFs for a few if you send an e-mail, I think I have a few older spellers in PDF format somewhere on my computer.

Students that are very good at math and poor at spelling find my sound spelling percentage chart helpful.

#22 Dialectica

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:36 PM

Elizabeth, I just saw your comment now. Thank you very much, I will take a look at your links.

Ellie or Hunter, I just received a notice that my order was cancelled. I can order this new without the hassle: http://www.bookdepos.../9780062083937. Is there any reason not to? There is also this, used: http://www.abebooks....?bi=9341426075.

#23 zenjenn

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:43 PM

Phonetic Zoo IS basically a spelling program with a phonics foundation. I wouldn't recommend it for younger than 3rd grade though, and not even 3rd if you have a struggling speller.