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Coco_Clark

Sequential Spelling

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I have two horrendous, horrible spellers.  Honestly, they have done a different program every year until I just plain gave up in the middle of last year (Logic of English Foundations, Rod and Staff, Spelling Wisdom, Logic of English Essentials).  They are now 11 and 9 and I'm ready to try again because oh man, is their spelling bad.  These are two excellent readers!  I don't get it!! 

I'm looking at Sequential Spelling now.  Any yeah's or boo's?  It looks very mom-directed.  I like independent, I mean, don't we all?  But I'm also willing to put in the work if it means I don't have to decipher (very phonetic) nonsense.  I also have two pretty natural spellers (age 11 and 10) that tested into level 3 of Sequential.  So whatever the first two do, I'll be doing with the second 2 as well.  Will teaching two different levels of Sequential every day take up half the morning?  What does the day actually look like?  And will I need 4 books (two copies of 1 and two copies of 2 so each child has his own) or can I just buy one of each?  

Edited by Coco_Clark

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I'm currently using ss with my two older kiddos.  We've been using it for two years now.  Both are advanced readers but were terrible spellers.  I had them do aas up to level 3.  I believe ss recommends that they at least be at aas level 3 but don't quote me I might be recollecting incorrectly lol.  I got them ss for the computer.  They do it completely independent of me.  I think it takes them less than ten minutes a day.  I use a coiled lined notebook with the day numbers on each page.  They listen for the word, attempt to spell it and correct the word right after if they spell it wrong.  So far so good.  I've seen a real improvement.   I use dvds but I believe they offer an online option.  I wonder if they offer a trial???

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If you go with the books (instead of the online option), you only need the teacher books, and just one copy. The student books have spaces for them to write the lists and then some busy work activities that use the words.

I started my son in 5th grade in book 1. It helps his spelling. I don't know how, but it does. I gave him a spelling assessment at the start of book 2. Four months later (so about half way through the book) I gave him another assessment, and he had made 7 months of progress according to the assessment. This was from a kid that literally had made no progress in spelling in 4th grade on the same assessment. 

It's really quick. So quick, in fact, that we've started to do two lists a day as a way to accelerate it. I take four days to to a single page (four lists per page), but we do two pages at a time. So when we start a book, I do list 1 and list 5. The next day we do list 2 and list 6. 

 

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1 hour ago, Coco_Clark said:

But I'm also willing to put in the work if it means I don't have to decipher (very phonetic) nonsense.

From this, it sounds like your bad spellers are able to accurately break words into sounds and pick a legit spelling for that sound - only it tends to be the wrong spelling option for that particular word.  So things like "grate" for "great" and "fealing" for "feeling"? 

If so, it sounds like their auditory spelling skills are good, but their visual memory for spelling is weak.  They can use their auditory processing skills and phonics knowledge to reason their way to a phonetically-legitimate spelling; what they can't do is remember *which* phonetically-legitimate spelling goes with which word.  (This is the opposite problem to what my bad spellers have.)

Are your bad spellers good pattern matchers?  As I recall, Sequential Spelling is arranged by spelling pattern, so if your kids see and remember patterns, SS might be right up their alley.  I think a lot of what you've used is more rule-based, and at a certain point you can't rule your way into spelling; sometimes the rules just narrow down the phonetically-legitimate options but still leave you with more than one option to choose from in the end, and you just have to remember which one goes with which word.  I know for me, pattern-based spelling (where the rules are implicit) plays to my strengths better over explicitly rule-based spelling - I didn't really grok spelling/phonics rules (and spelling by rules) till I worked through a pattern-based phonics primer, absorbed the patterns, and then noticed how the rules described those patterns.

Also, I believe Apples & Pears is supposed to be good for kids who have problems remembering which spelling to use - it really drills things over and over till they are second nature.

~*~

Just in general, my experience with my bad spellers is that it takes a lot of mom-centric work to be successful.

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1 hour ago, silver said:

If you go with the books (instead of the online option), you only need the teacher books, and just one copy. The student books have spaces for them to write the lists and then some busy work activities that use the words.

I started my son in 5th grade in book 1. It helps his spelling. I don't know how, but it does. I gave him a spelling assessment at the start of book 2. Four months later (so about half way through the book) I gave him another assessment, and he had made 7 months of progress according to the assessment. This was from a kid that literally had made no progress in spelling in 4th grade on the same assessment. 

It's really quick. So quick, in fact, that we've started to do two lists a day as a way to accelerate it. I take four days to to a single page (four lists per page), but we do two pages at a time. So when we start a book, I do list 1 and list 5. The next day we do list 2 and list 6. 

 

Yes, we are using the books.  What does the lesson look like?  Is it all oral dictation?  I might just get student books for my weak spellers, busywork is lame but they may need the repetition.

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After the first few lists in book 1, there are 25 words to a list. They tend to follow similar spellings patterns on the page. So list one might have a lot of words that end in "ress" (impress, compress, etc). The next three lists will have the same words, but with different suffixes added.

We don't follow the exact instructions. Instead I read the words one by one and he types them. I have auto-correct turned off, but the red misspelling squiggle still on. So he gets immediate feedback if he has the word incorrect (I do still have to watch, in case he has a homophone instead of the word I gave). If his word squiggles, he tries to fix it himself first before I help him by spelling out the word orally. If we were following instructions I would read the word, he'd hand write it, I'd write the word on a white board, noting spelling patterns with different colors, and then he'd correct his work if needed. We've always done it with typing, and it works for him. I'm sure there are some students that would do better with writing the words by hand instead.

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I would recommend looking at Apples and Pears instead. The entire program is viewable online so you can get a sense of how it works.

My really poor spellers (and I have a few of them) have needed programs that did the exact opposite of focusing on patterns and instead had them focus on building words. You'll need to click on the titles and both the TM and SB in order to understand the program.

https://www.soundfoundations.co.uk/en_US/shop/

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