Spelling - Helps, creative ideas for teaching in general

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Stop me from jumping ship with SP

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Aug 29, 2013 4:26 pm

hsm wrote:I am just not quite "getting" spelling power. Yes, I have read the quick start instructions as well as those in the TM. While those have cleared up some confusion, this program is uncomfortable to me in that it is not what I am used to. I am used to workbook programs, which for one of my children was fine, but the other not so much.

My "struggling" speller is only 8 so it may be just a maturity issue. My kids were in ps before and I am not sure how the phonics foundation was, however, her reading is above grade level. There is a hint of possible issues with her handwriting/spelling. I DO think she is improving since we have started doing copywork in MFW which is pretty amazing since we have only been doing the program for just over 3 weeks. :-)

She will randomly add or drop an e at the end of words. She spells the way she hears most often. For example: watched is spelled wacht. A lot of her errors seems to be based on rules (or not knowing them). I could go on with the examples but I won't for sake of space...

We used All About Spelling a little last year but it was teacher intensive. A workbook program we used before (Spelling Workout) was a struggle for her as well. She didn't remember the words and always missed a lot, never really getting it. That is what the ps also used.

I understand why MFW chose SP with the short time frame it requires because I feel spelling shouldn't take up a whole chunk of our day which is what AAS did. That said, it takes me too long to do SP. Maybe I am not doing it right? I think I am following directions correctly. Did you find there was a learning curve and then it was smooth sailing? To be fair, I haven't given it that much time to work its charm on me ;) I feel like I want a workbook but I already have SP and if I can make it work, then that is my preference. And, when I thought I didn't like PLL/ILL, I realized I was oh so wrong. I also like Singapore a lot as well, so I trust the judgment of MFW. But, I also realize that what works for one family/mom may not work for someone else. Is that the case with Spelling Power or do I need to give it time, like PLL/ILL? Help me love it please? And, tell me my struggling speller will be okay with it. TIA!
Lori,
For my oldest (definitely dyslexic), I use AAS. SP was just not a good fit. She needs explicit instruction on spelling and spelling rules, and SP just doesn't cut it.

If I were to tweak SP to work for a spelling challenged kid, it would mean that every time I got to a new rule, I would probably have to do something like this: let's pretend we're on the rule "/long-a/ can be written ay, ai, ey, ei, eigh, ea, or a followed by a consonant and silent e." I would probably either take a piece of paper and write columns on it with each of those possibilities (ay, ai, etc.) or do it on the whiteboard, and then write the list of words each on a 3x5 card or other slip of paper. Then I would have my kid read the word and categorize it into the right column, copying it. So, the first day of a new list would take longer. Or, I would make that the Monday activity. Then Tuesday test to see what she retained. Then Wednesday and Thursday study the words missed on Tuesday, and test on Friday. If she still missed a lot of words on Friday, I would keep working on that list until she could spell them all correctly.

Another tweak would be (using that same example), to make the rule "/long-a/ can be written ay or ai" and then call out only the ay and ai wods. Then make the rule, "/long-a/ can be spelled a consonant e" and then do those words.

For using AAS, I just set a timer for 15 minutes. We review cards from each color in the box (the "review" section, and then enough out of the "mastered" section to total 5 cards per color), and do any world lists specified at the beginning of the step. Then we just pick up where we left off from the previous day. One of the things I like about AAS is that it only focuses on one spelling combination at a time. For example, words where /long-a/ is spelled ai and ay (since those go together), and rules for why to choose which one.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
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2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
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Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Stop me from jumping ship with SP

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:12 pm

TriciaMR wrote:If I were to tweak SP to work for a spelling challenged kid, it would mean that every time I got to a new rule, I would probably have to do something like this: let's pretend we're on the rule "/long-a/ can be written ay, ai, ey, ei, eigh, ea, or a followed by a consonant and silent e." I would probably either take a piece of paper and write columns on it with each of those possibilities (ay, ai, etc.) or do it on the whiteboard,
I did something like that with my son (he wasn't a problem speller but never had phonics instruction). It creates a nice review if you have it in a notebook.

If you are going to use SP for the time being, then I'd use their method for younger students. Younger students typically don't want to get anything wrong. SP is great for older students who like the idea of not studying words they already know, but the little ones don't get that yet. There are some posts about that method here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1394

HTH,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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asheslawson
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Re: Stop me from jumping ship with SP

Unread post by asheslawson » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:48 pm

I used SP with my son - but he preferred a workbook program. I let him do A Reason for Spelling one year - but went back to SP the next for multiple reasons (partly the very high price of ARFS and I just didn't like the workbooks having something for a group, while the extra stuff for a single student was in appendix & I had to print it while I'd paid for that high dollar workbook, even though it was only 1 page). He loved it, but it was more reading on my part and just more time than I wanted to spend on spelling.

After using SP for 2-1/2 years - he is soaring through spelling, and I could probably even stop using it. He rarely misses words. This year I used Building Spelling Skills for him (because he loves the workbooks, and the definitions to look up), and he loves it - he just didn't like SP as much because he enjoys having the workbook. That being said - I am also teaching my friends son in 7th - and he really struggled in Building Spelling Skills (CLP) and my daughter isn't doing that well either. I tried SP for the other 7th grader and my daughter says she LOVES that way of teaching after watching him & begged me to use it with her.

So SP may just work better for certain learning styles than for others. My son wants to know everything about a word, what it means, it's origin, and more. So CLP's program is good for him - but I almost think just for the extra work for him to learn word meanings - he never misses any of the spellings when I give his test. But SP is awesome for helping a child work right where they need it and focusing on the words they don't already know. So even if you jump ship - keep it around - I never had it far - and even doing other programs I referred to the book for ideas. Now - I'm using it again and I appreciate the way the program is written even more than before.

Now I have to find a way to 'grade' it since I need to send grades home to his parents - and that is a little tricky to decide to how to do it - since I don't want to count off for the 5 he misses in the event that he hasn't gotten enough correct on his list to earn a passing grade! But - that is another issue - might post on a new thread for ideas on that if I can't come up with a good method!! ;)
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him" Colossians 2:6
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hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: Stop me from jumping ship with SP

Unread post by hsm » Sat Aug 31, 2013 8:12 am

Thank you Trish and Julie for the tweaking tips and encouragement. I may do something like that with my struggler. Asheslawson, thanks for the SP plug :) My oldest, who is a natural speller and was ps'd through 5th grade, loves doing a spelling workbook so I don't know how SP will be for her. But, she may only need to do a year with it because she is strong in spelling. I actually had looked at CLP's book for her and it looked great too. I was pretty tempted by it for my oldest. I know my youngest doesn't do well with a workbook program though so AAS was tempting me for her. I am happy to hear how SP worked for you.

All that said, I talked to my husband about this and he wants me to try SP for the year and give it a chance. His point was, I had prayed about my choices before making them, and so far I love all of MFW and its recommendations, so why not let SP win me over? If it really doesn't work after giving it a real shot, then we can try something else. I plan to tweak as Trish and Julie suggested, putting more focus on rules and using the method for younger users for my 3rd grader. I need to remember that with homeschooling we have the liberty to tweak and alter as needed for different learning and teaching styles. And, if all else fails, I have AAS sitting on my shelf waiting for me. ;)
Lori-IL
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Ohmomjacquie
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Re: Stop me from jumping ship with SP

Unread post by Ohmomjacquie » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:06 am

Stick with the spelling power! My 9yo struggles with spelling. It thought we'd try a workbook format this year after using SP last year. After 2 weeks we have gone back to SP! I love how simple SP is. test on the words for 5 min. have them use the 10 steps to study and pick up where you left off the next day. Do you have the video? That shows sample lessons and it really helped me figure out things when we first started.
Jacquie
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