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Should I bite the bullet and buy AAS - 4th grader?


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My 4th and 3rd graders CANNOT spell. We've tried Rod and Staff and Spelling Plus (with Dictation). It is starting to frustrate my 4th grader and she has actually asked to work more on her spelling. 

 

Should I try AAS? Any other suggestions? My concern with AAS is the amount of time it takes because I'm about to have my 7th child. However, I do think spelling is important and so I am willing to make the time if it will really help. 

 

Thanks.

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I'd teach your 3rd and 4th graders together since they are close in age, unless their skills are far apart. Just use AAS for your struggling spellers, and let those that don't struggle do something independent like R & S. If they all struggle, do as many groups as you can. You need about 15-20 minutes per student/group. 

 

I started AAS when mine were 11 and 9, and it did really turn things around here. Here's a review I did back then, with some updates (I should update again as my oldest has been done awhile!)

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What materials would I need to order for 2 students? I think my 4th grader will be able to progress faster than my 4th grader. Do I need 2 complete kits for both of them? 

 

Thank you both so much!

 

I'd teach your 3rd and 4th graders together since they are close in age, unless their skills are far apart. Just use AAS for your struggling spellers, and let those that don't struggle do something independent like R & S. If they all struggle, do as many groups as you can. You need about 15-20 minutes per student/group. 

 

I started AAS when mine were 11 and 9, and it did really turn things around here. Here's a review I did back then, with some updates (I should update again as my oldest has been done awhile!)

 

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The top of this page explains what to get for one or more students. If you try teaching them together, get just one set (pretend it's for "one student"). If you decide to separate them, then you could add on a separate student packet/divider cards. The student packets help you customize the review. Kids who struggle tend to need lots of review to retain concepts, and the cards help you to keep track of what they know quickly and easily, versus what they either get wrong or struggle to remember. So if you are teaching them together, you'd review all the cards together until it was easy for both of them.  If you teach them separately, get each his or her own packet, and don't pass it down to a younger sibling until they have made it through several levels. 

 

Struggling students tend to need lots of review, and may need to review some cards weekly or monthly to retain concepts.
 
When in doubt, start with one–you can always order a second later packet. HTH! Merry :-)
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I wouldn't. AAS is expensive, goes slowly, and takes time. I'd pick something that moves more quickly at their ages. If it doesn't work for them, it would take forever to find out and they'd only be spelling words like running after several levels. I don't have suggestions, as nothing has stuck with my poor spellers, but maybe someone else will. We're trying Sequential Spelling now since it is totally different than AAS. My worst spellers did AAS religiously for  2 years before I quit because they were retaining nothing and hated the process. We tried Rod and Staff next and it was also a bust. 

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I think with a 4th grader, I would look into Logic of English rather than AAS. I used AAS 1-5 for my DS and it was good for him, but LoE wasn't available when he started AAS, and I'm not sure I would make the same choice if I were buying now.

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Actually, I would use Apples and Pears instead.

Rule based spelling really doesn't work for all kids, and AAS might take a long time and a lot of money to figure out it isn't working. Even if it does work, it's going to be slow and, particularly at their age, I don't know that I'd want that.

 

I went with Apples and Pears the summer of our 3rd grade year. My (despite two years of a very solid rules based spelling program) weak speller has made worlds of spelling progress in the past year. I should mention the problem wasn't spelling rules exactly. My son knew all the rules. The problem is rules don't tell you which (correct) phonogram or letter to pick in a word (is it froot or fruit?). Visual memory does that. He had (has) weak visual memory for spelling. Even worse, lots of spelling rules are "usually" or "often" guidelines that can't be consistently applied rather than true rules you can count on.

 

I've seen a lot of people write that they don't know why Apples and Pears works, it just does. I guess I'll agree that I'm not sure why, but I think some things may be part of it. Apples and Pears helps the child master just 3 rules that always work. Kids learn to chunk words. The repetition built into the program helps visual memory, even with kids really weak in that area like my son.  I'm sure there is more too it than that! I'm just so happy I finally tried this program. I really believe my son will end up being a decent speller because of Apples and Pears. 

 

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Actually, I would use Apples and Pears instead.

Rule based spelling really doesn't work for all kids, and AAS might take a long time and a lot of money to figure out it isn't working. Even if it does work, it's going to be slow and, particularly at their age, I don't know that I'd want that.

 

I went with Apples and Pears the summer of our 3rd grade year. My (despite two years of a very solid rules based spelling program) weak speller has made worlds of spelling progress in the past year. I should mention the problem wasn't spelling rules exactly. My son knew all the rules. The problem is rules don't tell you which (correct) phonogram or letter to pick in a word (is it froot or fruit?). Visual memory does that. He had (has) weak visual memory for spelling. Even worse, lots of spelling rules are "usually" or "often" guidelines that can't be consistently applied rather than true rules you can count on.

 

I've seen a lot of people write that they don't know why Apples and Pears works, it just does. I guess I'll agree that I'm not sure why, but I think some things may be part of it. Apples and Pears helps the child master just 3 rules that always work. Kids learn to chunk words. The repetition built into the program helps visual memory, even with kids really weak in that area like my son.  I'm sure there is more too it than that! I'm just so happy I finally tried this program. I really believe my son will end up being a decent speller because of Apples and Pears. 

 

:iagree: 100%

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I tried AAS with my son 2 years ago (3rd) and it was SO frustrating for him. Between the rules, moving the tiles on the board and spelling orally, he went to pieces. 15 minutes may not sound like a long time, but to a child who struggles with spelling it's an eternity. Personally, I felt like it was too much work, so with a baby on the way making 7, you might want to find something different. My son has mild dyslexia and dysgraphia and he learned to spell extremely well using BJU spelling. I was really impressed. I've never been a huge fan of workbooks (I guess I don't feel like I am teaching), but this worked really well. He was also a struggling reader until using BJU reading. 

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