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What to do when your child hits a wall with AAS?


Ewe Mama
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Alvin has been doing AAS very well for the past two years and is on Step 7 of level 5. This level has been a struggle for him and he is getting frustrated with it. I want to use something else for a while and then pick it back up when he feels ready, but I don't want him to lose what he has already learned. What should we work on in the meantime?

 

Other programs I currently have are Spelling Plus and Dictation, Spelling Power, Spelling Wisdom levels one and two, and R&S levels 3 and 4.

 

He is a great natural speller, wants something with a minimal time commitment, and something largely independent. He is a very visual learner. I have looked through all of the above and shown them to him, but he just shrugs and doesn't really care what we use as long as it's short and to the point. I'm leaning toward R&S 4, but it doesn't feel quite right for him.

 

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.

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Well, you're pretty far into the program.  What's the wall about anyway?  Are there previous concepts you missed or needed to spend more time on?  Is he just not ready to advance and needs to grow up a little more?

 

When we've hit walls in AAS, which one of my boys has done repeatedly, I've just stopped advancing and kept doing the same thing over and over.  Maybe that sounds horrible, but (shrug) it's been fine because we don't do spelling but for a very short time every day.  So when we've gotten stuck and it felt like we weren't ready to advance, I would alternate between reviewing the words that were what we call the "trickers," making up my own dictation sentences to keep practicing, and making up my own writing stations.  So most weeks we've been stuck for awhile, I would spend maybe 5-10 minutes reviewing words and then give maybe four or five sentences for dictation that I would make up on the fly by just flipping back and looking at the various words we've learned.  And then every once in awhile I'll break it up with a writing station I've made up.  And, eventually, it feels like we're ready to move on and we do.

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I'm pretty sure he just needs some time to mature before moving on. Usually if he gets stuck we just spend a few more days on it an move on, but he is just not doing well on this level. The complicating factor is that he is doing the level with. Joy, my eldest, so he is slowing her down. Normally wouldn't be a problem, but She is chomping at the bit to move on, so I think it is time to separate them.

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Ah, yes.  I had to separate my twins in AAS very fast.  One is in level 4 now.  The other is starting 6.

 

Spelling Plus is cheap and easy.  We tried it and it didn't really work for us, but the common words element might make it a good stopgap for supporting spelling in his writing.

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I had to split mine as well.

 

When mine hit a wall, we did a mastered review of all of the previously learned phonogram, sound, and key cards, and the word cards from the last half-level to level. Level 5 is when the program really starts to pull together everything they've learned and gets into longer words. So, it's an especially good time to see if there are any gaps in what he's remembering before trying to move on. 

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I think you should go with your gut and just shelf it for a bit.  Spend some time playing spelling bingo, doing dictation, etc so he doesn't forget the content he's mastered and then pick it up again when he's ready.  I wouldn't worry about doing any daily spelling curriculum at this point. 

 

Out of curiosity, what level did you start him on? 

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I think you should go with your gut and just shelf it for a bit. Spend some time playing spelling bingo, doing dictation, etc so he doesn't forget the content he's mastered and then pick it up again when he's ready. I wouldn't worry about doing any daily spelling curriculum at this point.

 

Out of curiosity, what level did you start him on?

 

We started at level one with our four elder children at the same time. It became obvious by the end of level one that it was not a good fit with Simon and Theodore, so I switched them to studied dictation and continued AAS with Joy and Alvin. He kept up with her quite easily until we hit level five.

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We started at level one with our four elder children at the same time. It became obvious by the end of level one that it was not a good fit with Simon and Theodore, so I switched them to studied dictation and continued AAS with Joy and Alvin. He kept up with her quite easily until we hit level five.

 

Since he's moved so quickly, it sounds like a rest is probably a good idea.  My oldest zoomed through level 3 and aced the lessons but didn't retain much of them at all.  We ended up spending our first semester this year going over level 3 a second time, keeping the lessons short and light.  We've just started Level 4 now (and she's 10!) so your little guy is doing awesome! :)

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Scholastic often has "No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling" in its dollar days sale. In fact, it looks like they're currently including it: http://teacherexpress.scholastic.com/no-boring-practice-please-spelling-mkt9734

 

It is a fairly short book but can be done indedpendently and reinforces many of the rules taught in earlier levels of AAS.

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Scholastic often has "No Boring Practice, Please! Spelling" in its dollar days sale. In fact, it looks like they're currently including it: http://teacherexpress.scholastic.com/no-boring-practice-please-spelling-mkt9734

 

It is a fairly short book but can be done indedpendently and reinforces many of the rules taught in earlier levels of AAS.

Thanks for suggesting this. I actually bought it ages ago and forgot about it. I will check through it today.

 

I'm really bad at actually using all those dollar days books, but I certainly am good at buying them. :)

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