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SWR question plus combining SWR & AAS

Paisley Hedgehog

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I believe you can totally use the AAS phonograms, though of course no one from the official SWR camp would tell you that. But you are your child's teacher, and none of the systems, no matter how well-thought out, is perfect.


This is essentially what we'll be doing. A combination of AAS, SWR, and Phonics Pathways. Crazy, but possible...it requires re-typing things on my part, and modifying the marking rules, etc., but it's totally possible.

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1. I like having my teachers master log in a primary learning log. I don't do a new one each year, I just review what I did the previous year.


2. I think it is totally acceptable for you older child to use a primary learning log...whatever makes life easier. This is not a hill to die on. ;)


3. If you feel you can integrate the AAS tiles into the SWR lesson...Go for it! I would still try to do some kinetic learning as well. Sandpaper letters, or a sand box really helps them learn those phonograms.

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I've never used AAS, but I'll attempt to share my thoughts.


I am about to dive into studying my SWR manual and have some (maybe duh!) questions.


1. If my child will be using the Primary Learning Log, should my master teacher copy (or whatever the one I'm supposed to make for myself is called) also be a Primary Learning Log or can I use regular lined paper? In other words, am I making a master that will look exactly like my child's and/or that he will be able to copy?


Well... technically speaking, if your dc would be doing the PLL, then you'd want to create your own Master Teacher's PLL as well, keeping at least a step or two ahead. Have you read through Getting Started 101 by Elizabeth Fitzgerald (Endorsed SWR Trainer)? It was a big help to me when I first started out w/SWR. The following section particularly pertains to your question.


Read in The WISE Guide

pp iv-x, 1-19, 25, 35, and 53


While you are reading, you also need to start your own Master Teacher's Log. There have been some questions as to what this is, how to do it, and why you should do it at all. First, let me say that unless you were taught with this method and built these notebooks as a student, YOU NEED TO BUILD ONE! (yes, I'm speaking loudly and emphatically) You can read the manuals, you can watch someone do it, you can even watch a video, but unless you actually dig in and do it yourself, you will not master it.


The Sanseri method is different than other reading/spelling programs on the market. If you have not had a good, solid phonics background, this way of thinking is different than what you've done in the past. The best way to learn it is to DO it. Many times my seminar students have come back and told me that it wasn't until they started putting together their own Master Teacher's Logs that the method started really coming together for them.


When I took my first seminar, Wanda encouraged us to build our own Master Teacher's Log, and much of the class was spent starting this. I went home, promptly put mine on the shelf, and bumbled my way through the program making tons of extra work for myself because I hadn't done my homework. At my second seminar, Wanda again recommended the idea of continuing to build the Master Teacher's Log at home. This time I decided to follow through with the suggestion. It took me several evenings and a lot of work, but when I had finished through Section Z, I had a good grasp of the program. I was able to understand and explain things that had seemed strange at first but which now seemed very simple to me.


In order to be a good teacher for your students, YOU need to understand what you're teaching. It is not enough to just open the book and recite what the author tells you to say. You need to understand WHY you're asking your students to do something, HOW it will influence their learning, WHAT you're teaching, and so forth. The best way for you to do this is to build your own Master Teacher's Log.


Having said that, please also know that you do not have to finish the entire book through Section Z before you can start teaching. I repeat: you do not have to finish it to begin teaching. As a rule, you should always be ahead of where your students are in the program. This will give you the chance to think through and process challenging words, new rules, new Reference Pages, and so forth without having to do so in front of your student(s) while teaching. If you are starting with a non-reader at Section A, then you will have the luxury of learning along with your student and you will be able to keep a good pace. However, if you're starting with an older student who has some understanding of the language and can read already, then you had better get moving!


Which log should you use? I recommend that you begin with a Primary Learning Log as you will be able to complete Sections A-Q in the front part of the book and the Beginning Level Reference Pages in the back. Then when you have finished that, you can start a Black Learning Log, starting with List P and finishing the list to Section Z, while also completing the Advanced Reference Pages in the back per the instructions in your Teacher Text. You'll then have two books; one will be compatible with what you'll be doing with the younger or beginning learners, while the other will correlate with what you're doing with your advanced learners.


When completing these first steps in the Scope & Sequence, follow the instructions in your Teacher text for working in your Learning Log. Be sure to transfer to The WISE Guide when you actually begin Section A. NOTE: Do NOT use the word list in TRHS as the words have been rearranged and updated. However, please read the instructions and dialogue next to the corresponding words in TRHS. Of course, the instructions in SWR line up with The WISE Guide completely. This is where you'll learn the dialogue and begin learning the marking system. These first few lists are critical! Study them well.


Here's an important tip (don't miss this): Markings are done in red pencil in the Reference Pages only. I repeat: Only use the red pencil to do the markings while completing the charts. Do NOT use the red pencil to do markings in the word lists. We only use the red pencil when we're learning a new concept in the Reference Pages context.


If you are teaching a beginning, non-reading student, then working through this amount of the material will give you a good base for being able to get started with your student. Of course, you don't have to do this much to begin, but you'll have a LOT of questions that'll easily be answered by just doing your homework first. Personally, I think it's well worth the time it'll take to do your homework first. You will be more confident when teaching your student than you would be if you just charged in and floundered about, making mistakes, and confusing you both.


Completing your notebook is your goal regardless of when you start teaching. Hear me on this. I am a busy homeschooling mom with three young children. I understand what it is like not having much time. I understand having laundry piling up, dishes in the sink, and afternoon swim lessons. I also understand that I find time for the things that I want to do or that are priorities for me. The way I completed the notebook the first time was to set aside time each evening once the children were in bed to work on it. Maybe for you this will be just 30 minutes; maybe you have more time. Whatever you can set aside, do it consistently. Make the appointment with your books and stick to it. I would sit down at my kitchen table with a cup of nice tea in my prettiest china (always helps me kick into the industrious gear), and I'd build my notebook. It was actually quite fun.


Once you're through with Sections A-G, I suggest the following method for getting the words into your book. When you're adding words to your notebook from The WISE Guide, first look at the words on the left side of each two-page spread and try to figure out where the syllable breaks would be and write them in your notebook. Then, figure out on your own how to mark the words. Next, look at the right side of the two-page spread to verify if you marked the words accurately. You will learn much better if you actively think rather than just passively copy. I believe the optimal, ideal and most perfect way to complete your book would be to find a partner with whom you can maintain accountability and work together in completing various sections. Write down your questions as you go through the Sections, and brainstorm with your partner answers to your questions. When you are both are stumped by a question, ask on the loop.


Get busy, ladies, you've got some reading to do and a Learning Log to start building!


BTW, I don't do a new PLL each year either. I just keep the same one on hand and close by. I will, however, be creating my own BLL before we begin 3rd grade next year. I'll most likely do the same as with the PLL, creating it only once and just keep it close by to refer back to in the following years as well.


2. Is it possible to use the AAS phonograms with SWR? I can see already that there are some differences between the two, particularly the vowels. Ds has already learned 50+ of the AAS phonograms and I don't want to confuse him.


My initial thoughts are that you'd actually want learn, teach, and refer to the SWR phonograms and spelling rules in order to cause less confusion in the long run, especially if the SWR and WISE Guide manuals are what you'll mainly be teaching from, but perhaps someone who is familiar with both programs can chime in on this one.


Also as a note rather than an actual question: my 5th/6th grader (just turned 11yo) still prefers to use paper with the dotted mid-line rather than unlined wide ruled paper. Should I be concerned and/or make him switch?


I personally don't see any reason why this would cause concern, but then again... perhaps a veteran could chime in?


I'm sure I'll have more questions in the coming days but this is the start.


Bump! :001_smile:

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I think the value of the teacher's log is learning how the program works. My son used the PLL, I used a 50 cent composition book.


As to the sounds, just modify your markings if needed (so if /ee/ is added to 'y', you may have to re-number things). SWR is willing to die on the 'y' doesn't sound like /ee/ hill though...

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1. Making your PLL is all about you learning 'the system.' I personally found the PLL so much easier to understand than the older kid notebook. You can make it on lined notebook paper or in one of those $.50 composition notebooks. Just know that you will have to explain it to your kid how to do HIS. (I've heard the "chart masters" sheets are supposed to be good for this, but I've never spent the money on 'em.) According to SWR people, your first PLL should look exactly or almost exactly like your kid's. IMO, as long as you understand 'the system,' you don't need your own log. And your kid shouldn't ever copy your book.


2. Yes, you can use the AAS phonograms, but just keep in mind that you will have to modify markings (where AAS phonogram sounds might be in a different order or have an added sound) & you won't be able to just mindlessly use the markings in the WISE Guide. If you understand 'the system' or don't use the markings exactly the way SWR does, it won't really make that much of a difference. Just be prepared to teach the word spelling with AAS's version of the phonograms.


Re: dotted midline

It isn't a hill to die on, but I'd be working on switching him over to wide lined paper this year or next. Everything my two olders is doing this year is on wide-lined paper because they are using notebooks instead of loose-leaf paper. Last year, almost everything was mid-lined, but I intro'd the wide lined paper in one or two subjects (depending on the kid). He'll want to transition before high school, regardless.


In a subject where there is a lot of writing (and handwriting is important), I'd say he can keep the mid-lined paper - at least for half the year. Good luck!

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