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I need help choosing a spelling curriculum


MyLife
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Part 1: What does the hive like for spelling and why? My son is a decent speller (as good as you would expect a 7yo to be) and an auditory learner.

 

Part 2: Although I want to hear about all spelling program, does have anyone have thoughts on Phonetic Zoo or the Grammar of Spelling?

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Spelling curricula seldom improve daily spelling. The students that need them most are the ones least likely to show improvement.

 

Just make sure you don't spend time and money not accomplishing much of anything.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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All of my kids have made solid gains with Spelling You See. It is essentially copywork and then you go over it with colored pencils making vowel chunks, tricky y guys, bossy r etc. Third day is creative writing practice with a picture the child draws and the last day you dictate the piece they have been working on all week and they write it. Works like a charm.

 

We have found traditional spelling to be exactly what Hunter describes. My kids definitely don't retain spelling lists. The only one that looks remotely interesting to me is Sequential Spelling but I haven't had my hands on it.

 

We have used AAS for a short while but it overlapped too much with my phonics program so I discontinued it. It is certainly effective for learning the phonics rules of spelling but I think for a child to become an automatic speller it requires that hand memory from copy work and visual memory from lots and lots of reading practice.

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I have a 7 year old natural speller. She loves spelling. She loves Spelling Power (to the point where she requests it on weekends and vacation). I agree that it's not absolutely necessary to do spelling with a child who seems to pick it up through reading and copywork, but if your child seems interested in mastering new spellings, this is an easy and inexpensive way to do it.

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My dd is Not a natural speller. We have had success with All About Spelling. A) She enjoys it. B) She probably manages to spell things correctly when she writes on her own about 80% of the time, which is a tremendous improvement.

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I think AAS is great. My DS is a natural speller so AAS is really handwriting practice and dictation for him. You can spell things out with letter tiles, which is recommended in the TM, but I just have him write it all out. There's a lesson on a concept followed by words to spell, then phrases and sentences. It frequently reminds him of rules like English words don't end in...Which are great. He is doing AAS3 now and I just bought the TM from Rainbow instead of buying the whole kit again. The kit includes cards to keep track of words and rules but for him it seemed unnecessary.

Edited by ExcitedMama
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My dd is not a natural speller.  I tried Sequential Spelling with her but that did not work.  We did use Spelling Power and that really seemed to work well for her.  I have seen tremendous improvement in her spelling over the years using that program.

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I think AAS is great. My DS is a natural speller so AAS is really handwriting practice and dictation for him. You can spell things out with letter tiles, which is recommended in the TM, but I just have him write it all out. There's a lesson on a concept followed by words to spell, then phrases and sentences. It frequently reminds him of rules like English words don't end in...Which are great. He is doing AAS3 now and I just bought the TM from Rainbow instead of buying the whole kit again. The kit includes cards to keep track of words and rules but for him it seemed unnecessary.

Am I reading this right? You don't use the tiles? My son is kind of a *get it done* type. He doesn't like lots of extra and fluff.

Edited by MyLife
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My dd is not a natural speller. I tried Sequential Spelling with her but that did not work. We did use Spelling Power and that really seemed to work well for her. I have seen tremendous improvement in her spelling over the years using that program.

If I were to buy Spelling Power, what all do I actually NEED.
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If you are wanting to teach spelling rules and incorporate dictation, take a look at All About Spelling--here's a review I did on my blog. It was very effective for my kids, and the gradual writing progression helped to scaffold them to independent writing. Have fun looking at curricula!

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All of my kids have made solid gains with Spelling You See. It is essentially copywork and then you go over it with colored pencils making vowel chunks, tricky y guys, bossy r etc. Third day is creative writing practice with a picture the child draws and the last day you dictate the piece they have been working on all week and they write it. Works like a charm.

 

We have found traditional spelling to be exactly what Hunter describes. My kids definitely don't retain spelling lists. The only one that looks remotely interesting to me is Sequential Spelling but I haven't had my hands on it.

 

We have used AAS for a short while but it overlapped too much with my phonics program so I discontinued it. It is certainly effective for learning the phonics rules of spelling but I think for a child to become an automatic speller it requires that hand memory from copy work and visual memory from lots and lots of reading practice.

Are all your kids visual learners? I wonder if this would work for an auditory kid.

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Are all your kids visual learners? I wonder if this would work for an auditory kid.

I would say my daughter with hearing loss is more of a visual learner by default but I have one son who is completely auditory and it works for him. My other son is high functioning on the spectrum and his spelling was atrocious. Nothing was sticking for him. He would learn the rules with AAS and his phonics program and could read well but spelling was hit or miss. SYS has transformed him in 6 months.

 

An aside but all three of my kids took the placement test for Spelling Power. My 1st grader landed in grade 3.3 for spelling and my kindergarteners both placed in 2nd for that curriculum as of 4 days ago. Never would have happened prior to SYS.

 

You asked about what you would need above...just the big manual is all and the new version comes with the quick start disc. I also have the task cards and I love those. If you truly make Spelling Power multi-sensory and have the time to do so then the program is great. My problem was being consistent. For us it ended up being lists of words and my daughter did not like it. I love that it is one curriculum for all grades. I really wanted to love it. With that said, I did the placement assessment because they will be doing heavy copywork curriculum next year and I don't want to over tax them with SYS on top of it. I am having a hard time thinking about parting with it though since I love it so.

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I would say my daughter with hearing loss is more of a visual learner by default but I have one son who is completely auditory and it works for him. My other son is high functioning on the spectrum and his spelling was atrocious. Nothing was sticking for him. He would learn the rules with AAS and his phonics program and could read well but spelling was hit or miss. SYS has transformed him in 6 months.

 

An aside but all three of my kids took the placement test for Spelling Power. My 1st grader landed in grade 3.3 for spelling and my kindergarteners both placed in 2nd for that curriculum as of 4 days ago. Never would have happened prior to SYS.

 

You asked about what you would need above...just the big manual is all and the new version comes with the quick start disc. I also have the task cards and I love those. If you truly make Spelling Power multi-sensory and have the time to do so then the program is great. My problem was being consistent. For us it ended up being lists of words and my daughter did not like it. I love that it is one curriculum for all grades. I really wanted to love it. With that said, I did the placement assessment because they will be doing heavy copywork curriculum next year and I don't want to over tax them with SYS on top of it. I am having a hard time thinking about parting with it though since I love it so.

Thank you, this is helpful.
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I agree with Hunter. We've tried various things with spelling rules and word origins,but the more the child has needed help spelling, the less any of those helped. Some simple and inexpensive that gets done quickly has worked well for us. 

 

I like Spelling Essentials for teaching different tactics for learning and encouraging a personal spelling dictionary alongside the spelling rules and part of words. With Spelling Essentials I taught it with just the book and either having them read/answer outloud from the book or writing it out on a whiteboard. Since doing that, my older two have their own personal spelling work. I keep a list of words they've missed and they work on 5-10 words a week, a few minutes a day in different ways: doing word studies, writing them out look-cover-check method, writing them in alphabetical/anti-alphabetical order, and so on. Other than giving them at the start of the week and testing at the end, this is independent work in their notebooks. Any words they miss on the test stay on for the next week and I add new words.

 

With my 7 year old, I also keep a personal word list, but I include her personal review as part of her spelling lesson. I likely won't do spelling essentials and independent work with her until next year ot the year after. She has only started doing spelling as part of her lessons this year. She has also worked on Ultimate Phonics using their sentences as copywork which I think has helped her a lot. 

 

We do spelling lessons on whiteboards. I use Essentials in Teaching and Testing Spelling because I need something with British spellings and it has dictations for each section which I like (and it was cheap on eBay). With my 7 year old, we do 3 review words and 3 new words most days and I read a word and then check after each one and we discuss any issues/mark as needed. Then she writes sentences for her words, I check them, and we're done. The older ones get four words and we check at the end of the whole thing, marking together and getting them to point out the pattern before they write sentences. At the end of each section which vary in size, there is a dictation day with a short story. Those tend to be challenging days. 

 

My oldest, who has the hardest time with spelling, is going to add typing/typed spelling this upcoming year for additional practice in both typing and spelling as someone I think on this forum recommended trying that for struggling spellers. I'm thinking of using sequential spelling since I already have a copy and I think he'll like the longer words and see the patterns easier with them typed rather than writing. 

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Am I reading this right? You don't use the tiles? My son is kind of a *get it done* type. He doesn't like lots of extra and fluff.

If you don't think the tiles would be helpful you don't need them. All you need is the TM. When I bought the TM for AAS3 it wasn't available by itself through their website but it was through Rainbow. There's definitely no fluff. The TM will have the lesson, a concept on something like phonograms, words that use it which can just be written out instead of using tiles and then phrases and sentences. It's very, very quick. They recommend no more than 15 min. per lesson and I think we spent more like 5-10 a day. I break up the lesson over a few days depending on how much writing there is. His stamina for writing is much better than when he started. It's very systematic and super easy to use.

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If you don't think the tiles would be helpful you don't need them. All you need is the TM. When I bought the TM for AAS3 it wasn't available by itself through their website but it was through Rainbow. There's definitely no fluff. The TM will have the lesson, a concept on something like phonograms, words that use it which can just be written out instead of using tiles and then phrases and sentences. It's very, very quick. They recommend no more than 15 min. per lesson and I think we spent more like 5-10 a day. I break up the lesson over a few days depending on how much writing there is. His stamina for writing is much better than when he started. It's very systematic and super easy to use.

 

Actually the TM's are available on the AALP website too--you just go to the level's page and click on "Individual Products" to see the TM.

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I haven't used it yet but I've chosen Spelling You See. I figured it's spelling, copywork, dictation, and is something interesting to read and write about rather than just word lists. I'd rather spend the time on the end goal, writing, and only consider a different approach if it looks necessary.

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Actually the TM's are available on the AALP website too--you just go to the level's page and click on "Individual Products" to see the TM.

So, I just showed my son Spelling You See, Spelling Power, and All About Spelling at CBD and explained how each one worked. He chose AAS "without the tiles."

 

Looking at the website, it seems I should just put him in Level 1, but Level 1 seems a bit easy for him. Is there a way to go through the lessons more quickly?

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So, I just showed my son Spelling You See, Spelling Power, and All About Spelling at CBD and explained how each one worked. He chose AAS "without the tiles."

 

Looking at the website, it seems I should just put him in Level 1, but Level 1 seems a bit easy for him. Is there a way to go through the lessons more quickly?

Yep. You can power through the early lessons pretty quickly at whatever pace you need. There is a great deal of flexibility in the curriculum.

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I haven't used it yet but I've chosen Spelling You See. I figured it's spelling, copywork, dictation, and is something interesting to read and write about rather than just word lists. I'd rather spend the time on the end goal, writing, and only consider a different approach if it looks necessary.

Your student will enjoy it I am sure :) My daughter loves it so much. I cannot believe how far she came with it this year. I wish I would have had it for my older boys.

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So, I just showed my son Spelling You See, Spelling Power, and All About Spelling at CBD and explained how each one worked. He chose AAS "without the tiles."

 

Looking at the website, it seems I should just put him in Level 1, but Level 1 seems a bit easy for him. Is there a way to go through the lessons more quickly?

 

Yes you can--here's an article about how to fast-track through level 1. Enjoy!

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So, I just showed my son Spelling You See, Spelling Power, and All About Spelling at CBD and explained how each one worked. He chose AAS "without the tiles."

 

Looking at the website, it seems I should just put him in Level 1, but Level 1 seems a bit easy for him. Is there a way to go through the lessons more quickly?

AAS is super easy to speed up or slow down. If the lesson goes quickly you could do another one a day. If it's easy you could make the lesson a quick review and not go through everything or spell everything. AAS1 went very quickly here. I think AAS2 had more writing so it went slower.

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As others have said you really just need the book that comes with the cd.  The cd has links to the forms which you do not have to use but can be helpful.  I liked the daily forms and the 10 step study sheet.  It laid everything out beautifully for dd.  I know some folks who have got the activity cards but only a few have used them.  It really depends on the child.

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AAS is super easy to speed up or slow down. If the lesson goes quickly you could do another one a day. If it's easy you could make the lesson a quick review and not go through everything or spell everything. AAS1 went very quickly here. I think AAS2 had more writing so it went slower.

I think he will go through AAS 1 quickly. AAS 2 (and beyond) is where he needs the work. Anyway, a good friend is selling me her used 1 and 2, which definitely helps money-wise.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My DS8 almost 9 is a natural speller. I do not spend a lot of time on spelling. I chose to let this be a more self-guided class for DS. We use http://spellingclassroom.com/ The tricky 450 words by grade. Each list is broken in weeks. There are word introduction flashcards, games, puzzles, quizzes, and of course the test. This is his one and only online class. My rules go at your pace, min of 3 modules before a test, the test must be passed with 90% and above before going to next week's list. As a teacher, I can monitor his progress on the games and tests. The cost is $24.95 for monitoring. Free if you don't want to monitor. They offer spelling, vocabulary, sight words, holiday, US presidents, summer school.

 

A couple of things happened, I got a little 15-30 minute break, DS had fun working on his own, he took ownership/pride in accomplishing his goals and he saw a reward for his hard work in terms of a very quick, minute-long video game. 

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