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What I hope is an easy AAS question...


PeterPan
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In looking at the samples, I see most lessons have a step where you dictate words which they spell on paper. This step is labeled Word Cards ###: Spell on Paper. It lists the words then instructs you to file them behind the Review divider. Is this being done onto notebook paper and filed in a notebook? Are these perforated cards included in the student materials packet and placed in an index box with dividers? And am I correct in taking it that it is a regular part of daily review/study/reinforcement to READ these cards as a method of visually inputting the correct patterns?

 

I'm in the middle of trying to compare HTTS, which I already have, with AAS, which I don't have. I glanced at AAS at the convention back in April, was impressed, but never went any further looking at it. At this point my dd tests about 7th gr spelling level and now has the visual skills (thanks to the vision therapy) to start moving forward with some analytical spelling that might actually stick. HTTS (How to Teach Spelling) seems to take everything a step further, with more advanced words, more sophisticated dictation, etc., but it doesn't have nearly as good actual INSTRUCTION and methodology as AAS. I've been going through the AAS samples and comparing them to the same topics presented in HTTS, and there's just no comparison.

 

But that's just a long ramble to say I'm trying to wrap my brain around what AAS would actually get me and whether it's worth the money. I have the content in HTTS, just not any decent methodology. Anybody have a whole set of AAS they want to sell on the cheap? Hehehe. I'm thinking we'd go through most of the books (at least 1-6) in a year. I'm trying to figure out how easy it would be to use the sequence and instruction methodology of AAS but bump up the words using the lists in HTTS. If it's all into a notebook, that would be easy. If the words studied are on preprinted cards, that's more of a pain.

 

Any thoughts?

 

PS. If my dd, age 11 1/2, thinks the letter tiles sound fun, will she still think that after she uses them a while? I'm totally shocked for her to say she likes the idea, but she said she does.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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I think you file the cards you did behind the Review divider. That's what you do with the other cards after you've mastered them or worked on them.

 

My kids don't really use the letter tiles much anymore. We use the tiles for certain parts & then write in dry erase for the rest. Some use of the tiles is brilliant, like how they have the different colors for different types when learning (red vowels, blue consonants, including one version of each for y, that sort of thing), but very quickly they don't need the colors any more and the tiles are more of a distraction so we dry erase. It's much faster to write than to find tiles, esp when they are so much fun to play with :glare::tongue_smilie:. (I love AAS. Absolutely love it. But that's how the tiles work out for us.)

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Hmmmm, I'm a little confused. If your dd is spelling at a 7th grade level I'm not sure what early levels of AAS could do for her. I'm not sure what "grade level" it is, but my 4th grader is in Level 5 of AAS. I know that's not 7th grade level and there are only 2 more levels after 5 (7 is not out yet). If you are planning on taking a 7th grade level spelling student back to Level 1 in AAS I'm not sure that's a good idea. Maybe I'm misunderstanding your needs...:confused:

 

As far as the cards.... you can use AAS pretty flexibly. Yes, there are cards for every word, but you could easily create a notebook if you'd rather. There are no specific instructions for a notebook, but maybe your other curriculum has ideas on how to set it up? Or you might already know how you'd like to do it. I don't really use the cards to track. I just keep a bookmark in the lesson we're on and write any words they have trouble with on the list. I don't have a lot of patience for messing with cards... that's just me! If they are having trouble with an entire concept, we spend more time on that lesson and I go back and review the lesson about a week or so later.

 

The letter tiles are great for kids who don't write well (or who balk at writing). I also use them extensively to teach the lesson. My kids, however don't enjoy spelling the word lists with them. It takes too long. So, I have a white board next to our letter board that they write their word list and dictation sentences on. They love that and never complain. I'm guessing your dd would maybe find the tiles fun up front, but unless she really really likes them, my guess is at her age she'd like just writing the words better. Now, if there are other issues involved (you mention visual issues) the tiles might be just what she needs, but if she's writing well my guess is the novelty would wear off.

 

I really love AAS... don't get me wrong. I'm just a little confused why you would need to go back to the beginning with a child who spells at the 7th grade level... but maybe I just don't know what that level is! :D Hope I've been able to answer a couple of your questions... not sure how helpful that ended up being!

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In looking at the samples, I see most lessons have a step where you dictate words which they spell on paper. This step is labeled Word Cards ###: Spell on Paper. It lists the words then instructs you to file them behind the Review divider. Is this being done onto notebook paper and filed in a notebook? Are these perforated cards included in the student materials packet and placed in an index box with dividers? And am I correct in taking it that it is a regular part of daily review/study/reinforcement to READ these cards as a method of visually inputting the correct patterns?

 

.

 

They are the perforated cards, then filed behind the review divider. If dd got them correct, I put them behind the "mastered" file. If she got them wrong, I'd put them behind review.

 

You coulda caught me in June, I gave all this away for free. :001_huh: I'm just not a seller.

 

I use a regular spelling program then use the words in sentence form, dictating them in context. Cost less. I thought it was all too time consuming and just too much in general, but I think the program is good.

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The cards are in the student pack as are key and phonogram cards. You do dictate the word, as in SWR, for the student to write. The student does not read the cards. (But I suppose you could make that part of your process.) Then the cards are filed in the review section.

 

I think you'd start with Level 2 as much of Level 1 is learning the phonograms. Level 2 begins with a good review of anything taught in Level 1. I'm sure much of that will be very simplistic for your dd. As in everything though, it sets the foundation for the rest of the learning. You're correct that you'd go through several levels in a short period of time. I believe there's a placement test or at least placement advice on the AAS website.

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Ok, so the tm is instructing you to have them practice writing words from dictation that are also on cards to be filed and reviewed? If they know them they go into the mastery section of their card box? That makes sense. Is there some methodology they suggest on that practice? They just read them? Quiz them?

 

I knew this was going to confuse people, lol. She spells adequately, but it is all visual, despite quite a bit of SWR. Up until VT this summer, she couldn't even sound out words. So what I'm wanting to do is go back through EVERYTHING, leaving nothing out, to make sure there are no holes in her understanding. I can't take anything for granted, because I truly don't know what she's doing based on understanding vs. what she is doing based on visual memory. Your visual memory has limits, and I think it's going to hold her back. So at this point it's merely a question of HOW to do it, not whether. She definitely needs to go back and review everything.

 

Lilac, what curriculum are you using now? She hates workbooks, but it totally had not occurred to me that something like Spelling Workout or some other such typical workbook series might work for her. Workbook stuff seems to go in one eyeball and out the other with her. I loosely pondered doing Megawords (either with AAS/HTTS or alone), but it just has nothing to attract me, no visual, no nothing). I could go back to SWR with her, but after 5 years of it, we're about through, done, not wanting to go there. Also I think she would do well with the structure of looking at patterns, rather than looking at everything as isolated occurrences the way SWR does. It's a nuance, but something the OT said, to look for structure with her. And yes, if I had known you were GIVING it away, you would have been on my Christmas card list forever. As is, sounds like you're on someone else's. :)

 

I think y'all are right that we would use the tiles only for instructional purposes. On the AAS older beginners page Marie R suggests using a pretty notebook, gel pen, and white out. Don't know if I'd go that way or the whiteboard. I think it would make the most sense to use the whiteboard for the included words (most of which she would already know) and use the notebook for the harder words from HTTS.

 

So is there a cheaper or more sensible way to get where I'm trying to go and I'm just not seeing it?

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In looking at the samples, I see most lessons have a step where you dictate words which they spell on paper. This step is labeled Word Cards ###: Spell on Paper. It lists the words then instructs you to file them behind the Review divider. Is this being done onto notebook paper and filed in a notebook? Are these perforated cards included in the student materials packet and placed in an index box with dividers? And am I correct in taking it that it is a regular part of daily review/study/reinforcement to READ these cards as a method of visually inputting the correct patterns?

They are cards that come in perforated sheets with the program. All the first set of spelling words come in this format. The extra words do not, but you can add your own cards.

 

Later on in the program they do have a silent e book, that you write words into, and a homophone page you keep track of homophones on. They also have a writing station where you use homophones and add endings to words already covered then make sentences with them.

 

 

PS. If my dd, age 11 1/2, thinks the letter tiles sound fun, will she still think that after she uses them a while? I'm totally shocked for her to say she likes the idea, but she said she does.

 

The tiles are fun for my kids to play with, but my oldest two prefer to do their spelling on regular notebook paper. We do the instruction with the tiles, and they play with the tiles. Just don't do the spelling with the tiles.

 

BTW my oldest, who if you remember was stuck at a 7th grade spelling level coming into AAS, continued to be stuck through the first year of AAS (levels 1-3) but now in level 4 it seems to have come together and the last SWR diagnostic I gave her had her spelling at an 8.8 grade level. My plan it to have her finish AAS then do Megawords, just to keep her from forgetting.

 

Heather

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Ok, so the tm is instructing you to have them practice writing words from dictation that are also on cards to be filed and reviewed? If they know them they go into the mastery section of their card box? That makes sense. Is there some methodology they suggest on that practice? They just read them? Quiz them?

 

They usually say to do cards X, Y, & Z, or to choose from this list, or to do about so many until they are mastered & then switch to another group (with guidelines like only work on one vowel or similar sound in each group). What you do with the cards depends on which cards. Even in AAS 1 there are many different types of cards that are used differently. It's pretty laid out in each lesson though.

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I knew this was going to confuse people, lol. She spells adequately, but it is all visual, despite quite a bit of SWR. Up until VT this summer, she couldn't even sound out words. So what I'm wanting to do is go back through EVERYTHING, leaving nothing out, to make sure there are no holes in her understanding. I can't take anything for granted, because I truly don't know what she's doing based on understanding vs. what she is doing based on visual memory. Your visual memory has limits, and I think it's going to hold her back. So at this point it's merely a question of HOW to do it, not whether. She definitely needs to go back and review everything.

 

Oh and I figured out that with my oldest she was also doing a lot from visual memory, including syllables. I finally had to require her to show me how to break the words for analysis down to make her quit doing it from memory. :glare:

 

Heather

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I use R&S Spelling, which is completely like Spelling Workout minus the Bible integration. I think SW is shorter as well. But I'm in the middle of transitioning to HOD's studied dication for spelling. I can't quite wrap my brain around having it be enough, but we've been through a lot of phonics.

 

But what I do is take R&S spelling words and put them into a sentence and have her write the entire sentence. The funnier the better so she would get spelling in context rather than in lists.

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Oh and I figured out that with my oldest she was also doing a lot from visual memory, including syllables. I finally had to require her to show me how to break the words for analysis down to make her quit doing it from memory. :glare:

 

Heather

 

Bingo. I know she's doing all this from visual memory, and that is why she has stalled out. But her world totally changed with the VT. Now she can actually look through a word and see each letter sequentially, which she didn't before. They had exercises for this, where she had to do different markings (circle, underline, etc.) to each letter of words on a page. The fonts got smaller and the words got longer, and of course there was a time factor to it. But the long and short of it is it paid off. She can now look at a word and see every single letter, and she can read small font books with ease, which she couldn't before. They claim it literally retrains the brain. Whatever it is, I'm taking it.

 

In any case, Siloam, that's exactly why I'm doing this. I know going forward visually won't do as well for her as going back and pondering everything analytically, with some logic stage thought processes. I think things will click now that didn't before. Before she would know things one day and not the next. Nothing every stuck right. And that's a good point that Megawords could be review for another year (7th or 8th) to keep things fresh. She may need that. One year through certainly isn't enough to solidify things over the long haul.

 

My only consolation (on the $$) is that I'm going to use this with my little boy, right? :)

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Lilac, that's very interesting. You're right that context has always been helpful to dd. We've done a lot of dictation over the years. I think what I'm trying to do right now is a very analytical approach. HTTS has dictation sentences, so they may be enough to satisfy that need for context.

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It helped to have the extra info! I know it was a lot to explain, thanks for doing that. I don't think you'll be disappointed in AAS. We don't have any visual issues here, but AAS has been one of our favorite things to do. My ds continues to say how much he enjoys spelling (that is after both he and his sister were in tears every week when we first started hsing and did weekly lists/tests). It will be worth the $$. If it's for you, you'll want to use it with your little guy... and I'm guessing it has great resale. I'm just hoping she doesn't "update" before my last little guy is through! :D

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Jan, don't expect too much. I'm probably going to drop many components and blend it heavily with HTTS. I'm working it to an older student. I got all the levels, because I think it might even be possible to go through it horizontally and accelerate (all the lessons all plurals sequentially, etc.). We'll see. I don't see us using the box or word cards. HTTS has more complex word lists and dictation sentences for the same rules, so I'll probably blend them. It just won't look the same as a regular user. Guess we'll see what happens. With dd I just teach what I see, can't predict.

 

After all that negativity, I'll just say I'm very impressed or I wouldn't be ordering. I went through most of the samples, comparing her instruction, lesson to lesson, to topics in HTTS, and there was just no comparison. It's NOT structured properly for an older student, and she really ought to write a book that condenses everything and is meant for OB. (or else include more advanced word choices and whatnot) But she has clearly done a good job here. AAS came out after we were already 2-3 years in SWR and in our groove. It was behind dd spelling-wise (still is), and didn't seem to be what we needed. But now with the VT her processing is so different, I think it will be good to go back through things. I wish it were more compacted or suited to older students, but that can't be helped. So I'll just do the best I can with it. Dd is starting into her "that's too young for me" thing (just announced she's beyond memory work songs, haha), so I have to tread carefully.

Edited by OhElizabeth
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Jan, don't expect too much. I'm probably going to drop many components and blend it heavily with HTTS. I'm working it to an older student. I got all the levels, because I think it might even be possible to go through it horizontally and accelerate (all the lessons all plurals sequentially, etc.). We'll see. I don't see us using the box or word cards. HTTS has more complex word lists and dictation sentences for the same rules, so I'll probably blend them. It just won't look the same as a regular user. Guess we'll see what happens. With dd I just teach what I see, can't predict.

 

After all that negativity, I'll just say I'm very impressed or I wouldn't be ordering. I went through most of the samples, comparing her instruction, lesson to lesson, to topics in HTTS, and there was just no comparison. It's NOT structured properly for an older student, and she really ought to write a book that condenses everything and is meant for OB. (or else include more advanced word choices and whatnot) But she has clearly done a good job here. AAS came out after we were already 2-3 years in SWR and in our groove. It was behind dd spelling-wise (still is), and didn't seem to be what we needed. But now with the VT her processing is so different, I think it will be good to go back through things. I wish it were more compacted or suited to older students, but that can't be helped. So I'll just do the best I can with it. Dd is starting into her "that's too young for me" thing (just announced she's beyond memory work songs, haha), so I have to tread carefully.

 

I am interested in seeing how you combine this with HTTS for an older student. I have HTTS as well and just decided this week to give it another try. My 5th grader is currently using Apples and Pears spelling which is working, but we are both so tired of it we need a break. My plan is to eventually take her through Megawords, but I think she needs a little more work before she would get the most benefit from Megawords.

 

Jan

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Ah, gotcha! Yeah, the bummer is that you'll go through so many levels so quickly. But if you compare lessons in HTTS (which you find using the table of contents) to lessons in the samples of AAS, I think the wheels will start churning for you. It's not rocket science. HTTS lists more of the options for a spelling rule and gives more dictation phrases and sentences. AAS does a terrific job explaining the rule and how to present it, differentiate it, etc. Also, I don't need retention of spelling right now so much as understanding. She is retaining everything visually (from reading), and we've done lots and lots and lots of dictation over the years. That repeated use plus the visual input of the reading has helped the actual spelling. But if it's all visual, after a while they just fill up and stall out. So that's why in our case I don't anticipate using say the word card box, because she already knows how to spell their words. But those basic rules and skills pop up in more difficult situations too and come back to bite you, which is why we're going back.

 

Guess that's clear as mud, lol. I DON'T think the answer is ever single-faceted. I don't think you can go wrong with dictation. In our case some of the stuff we had done before inadvertently communicated to her she was dumb and didn't know how to spell. Took quite a bit of positive experience to reverse that.

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It's NOT structured properly for an older student, and she really ought to write a book that condenses everything and is meant for OB. (or else include more advanced word choices and whatnot)

 

She has mentioned plans for a "quick start" book for older beginners in the future, so I think she will create one sometime. Good thought!

 

Merry :-)

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I figured it had to have crossed her mind. I'm just not in the loop to know all the plans and upcoming stuff. :)

 

So is 7 the last planned level, or are there more?

 

It's the last planned level to take kids up to high school level spelling. She has also talked about doing a high school program for people whose kids still need additional work, but it's not scheduled yet that I've heard. Most people will go to studying vocabulary, Greek & Latin roots, correcting spelling in their writing etc...

 

Merry :-)

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I'm in AAS level 2 with my 2nd grader and he's doing great with it. Even at his fairly young age, though, we pretty much only use the tiles when I'm demonstrating something and I want the visual red on blue effect. He practically never uses them to spell words himself - he either uses dry-erase or just writes it straight into his notebook.

 

We also pretty much never use the word cards - I didn't even bother to punch out the green level 2 cards, since we hadn't used the level 1 cards since 1/2 way through that level. Generally, he doesn't even do a pre-spell on the cards - he just goes straight to writing them correctly in his notebook. He really gets this stuff!! The only one who uses the cards is my 4yo - when he wants to come "play school", I'll throw out 10-20 cards so that he can write the words on a piece of paper and have everyone admire his work :)

 

That said, however, I absolutely LOVE AAS and will definitely continue on with all the levels and start again with my younger son when he is ready. Even though it turns out he really doesn't need the multiple sensory levels of learning, the idea is terrific - and the book lessons are totally worth it whether you have the tiles & cards or not!

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