Ruth, what did you do when he spelled a word wrong? Did he practice it somehow? Did you keep repeating the book until he had mastered all the words? I love this idea and crave more details!
No isolated practice or drill or testing has ever worked for this child. He needed to practice spelling in context because that is when he *uses* spelling. He needed to practice it in the exact way he would use it. We continue with a book until he is spelling about 19 out of 20 of the words right, or if he is just ready for a different book. The most he can misspell and still tolerate the book for dictation is about 1 in 7, so I have to chose carefully. We always use books that he loves.
How I do it:
When he spells a simple word wrong - I just correct it in the moment. He spells 'teath', I say "its ee". He is good enough with his phonemic knowledge and with the spelling rules, that he knows what I'm correcting. He doesn't add an ee at the end or something, he gets it and corrects it right then.
When he spells a multisyllable word wrong - I exaggerate the pronunciation and syllables. We use "think to spell", so the other day when he could not spell orange. I said "it's OR - Ange" The Ange I said with a long A sound not the short e that is a proper pronunciation. (or for a word like muscle, I'll say "mus Kle" with a hard k sound.) There are no rules for how to do this, I just make it up on the fly so that the spelling of the word matches a rule he knows. But then that word needs to be exaggerated in exactly the same way ever after or the technique won't work.
If he is mucking up how to add the ending, I'll remind him of the rule. When to double a letter or drop a letter etc.
When I expect that there is no way he can get it, I tell him how to spell it before he types it out. So right as he goes to spell it, I spell a syllable and he writes it. This is becoming rarer though. Now the words that he doesn't have a hope of spelling are those that don't really follow any rule like "usual". I just have him practice memorizing it on the spot. "u. s. u. a. l" Spell it out loud 4 times. He won't remember it the next time, or the next time after that. But he has it now, a year later. I do not track words he misspells. We just keep going day after day with whatever the passage gives us.
30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, 40 weeks a year. Been doing this for 1.5ish years and he loves it because he sees progress. I'm always positive, and compliment him on the fact that he is willing to put in the effort to fix this problem. "Yes, most other people don't have to do this, but you drew the short straw. But you have *chosen* to make an effort, and that is awesome." We also discuss that we expect to continue this until he is 17 or 18. He's not fussed.
The key here is that *his* dysgraphia is about a lack of automation. He knows the rules. He has proper pronunciation. He has good phonemic skills. He reads well. He composes well. It is just that *encoding* sound into text is not *automated*. This technique has made a massive difference to his ability to write down what he wants to say, and has really increased his confidence that there is a way to fix this problem and that he can do it.
Ruth in NZ
Edited by lewelma, 20 January 2018 - 10:03 PM.