Spelling - Discussion & ideas about spelling rules

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)
BHelf
Posts: 119
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Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by BHelf » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:49 pm

I have had her draw pictures to go with the words and she loved that. (She loves to draw and color and doodle.) Didn't really seem to help much, but that's okay. ;) And she mixes up the letters when she spells out loud or writes them. She's never gotten stuck like this before and I do think it is because the rules are grouped together. We haven't done spelling yet today as I've been out all morning but we're going to see how she does today with those 3 words again and then also start one grouping of the next list.

Thanks for all the tips and advice. I never had issues with spelling---just picked it up. And since I am more visual, I could usually tell in school if something looked right or not. So I don't feel prepared to teach spelling sometimes! :)

Brooke
Wife to DH for almost 13 years
Mommy to Eileen-9, Merrick-6, Adalynn-5 and Karis--19 months
http://www.asimplewalk.wordpress.com

cbollin

Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:17 pm

One idea in my mind might be to 'go back' to a phonics step on this.

you can write the words with the silent e on a dry erase board, or paper, or whatever.

take a red marker/pencil,
have her mark the vowel combo,
line over the A, and a slash through the e.

Another idea given how young she is:

do the Study Test method for younger kids instead of the "pre test" list method.

That way you start off studying the list (which you'll trim and group)
mark the vowels
study with the 10 step
do fun stuff

then test later in the week.

check table of contents in SP for more about the "using with younger student".

-crystal

TriciaMR
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:05 pm

BHelf wrote:I like that idea of marking the vowels, Crystal! Thanks! And I'll go look that up in the book. I don't remember seeing/reading that for some reason.

Brooke
I think she means like marking the vowels like you do in K/1st.... Short sounds get a smile over them, the long sound gets a line over the top, and then you cross out the silent letters....

-Trish
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cbollin

Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:12 pm

Marking vowels is done in learning phonics in many programs. And the idea is at least in one of the SP activities, or the task cards or both. ah ha! there it is. 4th edition, around page 215 with the Learning activities section #22. Definitely a way to "catch the weasel" when studying why you got it wrong. and if you have 3rd edition SP, look in the section for learning activities, probably still #22, LOL I just don't want to look up the page number.
BHelf wrote:thanks Crystal! I wasn't doubting you! :) I know you know your stuff. lol! I just thought I had read everything I needed to but it seems I missed lots. haha...
didn't get to much of anything today....too much else going on and I'm too tired.
that SP book is big, so I thought if I could just find the page for you, it would help you find that part faster. It's a really big book. easy to miss an activity that might apply. besides,we type fast and it's easy to not understand what I say. I'm not sure I know my stuff all the time. LOL

It's ok to not get to spelling every day when a lesson has been tough. It gives a natural break to let it settle it and try again. You're doing great. or it is grate. oh great... long A.

blah

-crystal
BHelf wrote:seriously laughing out loud!!! Thanks!! I needed that laugh!

Julie in MN
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Frustrated with spelling

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:43 pm

sarajoy wrote:My 2nd grader is using SbSaS. The spelling lists seem to cover a variety of spelling rules all at once. We are currently in lesson 14 for her and it is all about plurals. Great, but must they cover all these rules for plurals in a 12 word list....adding an s, adding es, and dropping the y and adding ies? Is the word "houses" a necessary example here, drop the e and add an es, only leads to more confusion. Also in that list is "nights" which she hasn't been introduced to the -igh rule as a spelling rule, just as a phonics/reading rule. This is just an example. My dd is really struggling even when we put extra work on studying in the car, and in our reading, and on the computer, and around the house.
I just wanted to be sure you had checked the teacher book for SSS - there is some info in there about the lesson focus. e.g. http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 132#p21639 Have you already checked and it is not helpful to you?
sarajoy wrote:My 4th grader began in 2nd grade with SbSaS. We have been using Spelling Power for her since 3rd grade. We have just finished level B for the second time (the last half of last year and the first half of this year). She got 7 words wrong on the end of level test...but most of her spelling mistakes have nothing to do with the rules that are referred to by the group number. For example, she misspelled which as "wich," sleep as "steep," and poison as "poisen." She reversed the rule about doubling the consonant be for adding a suffix. For example, she spelled writing as "writting" and swimming as "swiming."

Does anyone have any idea how to help my children become successful in this area? Oh, and BTW, completing all 3 parts of Spelling Power could never take only 15 minutes in our house because there is so much frustration with spelling that we usually only do the first 2 parts of the lesson, and depending on the day that can take up 20 minutes.

Please help. Thanks,
SJ
<<Hugs SJ>>, it's hard when both of your kids have the same challenges.

The spelling examples you gave don't seem to be to be caused or solved by a particular curriculum, although you could always try something else. I give her points for making logical guesses on words she doesn't know.

1. "Wich" is phonetically correct. So, she just needs to realize that sometimes /w/ is spelled "wh" -- and the question words are the most likely to use that spelling (why, what, which). I also sometimes say them with a little puff of air, so they think of the "wh" (sort of like some people say "whistle"?).

2. "Poisen" uses the most logical spelling of /en/. I think the "or" spelling is rare and it could help to say the word the way it's spelled, as in "pois-on" -- I tutor a lot of students who do that for "doctor" (vs. docter).

3. She seems to know that you double the consonant sometimes :) What I do is put a puzzled look on my face and sound out the word -- writt - ing? swime -ing? Sometimes that helps kids realize "why" some consonants need doubling and some don't?

HTh,
Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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cbollin

Re: Frustrated with spelling

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jan 20, 2011 7:22 pm

I hear your frustration with the order of word lists in the SbSS. I've only used the 2nd grade book of SbSS. I know I really didn't mesh well with SBSS to help teach the rules. It was too much for that.

I like a lot of the parts of the program in 2nd grade. I've thought that as long as the teacher had some quality instruction the year before with phonics rules then SBSS would be a review style of workbook, with the added benefit of some vocab and handwriting practice.

I like how AAS is compatible with how MFW does phonics in 1st grade with sound segments and syllables and those kinds of rules. At first with my oldest child I thought "why should I roll back to level 1?" but.... it all works out. It helped me as a teacher to be able to have smaller steps for teaching lots of double the t's rules and all of that. Helped with easy ways to review rules and more obvious ways to state some (I love the way "es" vs "s" is covered for example. did you add a syllable to the word? then go with es, well, I forgot how it is explained with you have a silent e and es...)

I know I didn't always do all 3 steps of SP.. even MFW manual says it is ok if that is missed. I used SP for a long long long time.... 5.5 years.
momsflowergarden wrote:Ok, this is NOT good news. I just invested in Spelling Power and was going to start on Tues with my ds as he is having difficulties with Rod and Staff spelling. UGH. I tried aas but he HATES flash cards so that didn't work. Now what?
Then, let's talk about the good stuff in Spelling Power. I used SP for 5.5 consecutive years, then took a break to investigate AAS, and returned to SP. I dream that some day there will be All About Spelling Power with Structure. So clearly, while I like AAS, I don't "hate" SP.

One of things that I struggled with using SP was that I rushed parts of it and didn't understand it very well.
I just skipped/rushed the "teach the phonics rule" section of SP. We'd copy it and that was it. In retrospect, I should have made sure I had my oldest focused more on making sure she slowed down and looked at the rule more.

I was frustrated for a long while with the lists in SP -- with many spellings at once. I know now that it's easy to just break the list down into similar spellings and study them separately, then mix it up. But, silly me.... I was trying to rush.

In retrospect, I should have done more of the hands on learning that is common between AAS and SP such as using tiles. If you still have the AAS tiles, use them! I love the visual on that. It really helps my child to see vowel teams and all of that. With SP, the tiles in the teacher resource are all black and white, but you can easily make the tiles with colors for vowels, and also tape together some of the vowels to make teams. So, that's another thing to do: tweak teaching techniques while using SP

I was frustrated with the "delayed recall test" in SP. I know now -- duh on me! I know now, that when my child missed a word in review, it was time to look more closely at what exactly she missed on the specific word and not to do what I thought SP said to go back and do all words from a group level. One classic example that I use is from early levels in SP with short vowel words that end in /k/ sound that is spelled with CK instead of K. back, duck, vs. those with short vowel and just K -- blink, think. in those cases, it wasn't that my child needed to study short vowel sound, but she needed to be reminded of /ck/ vs. /k/. If there is another sound between short vowel and the /k/ (thiNK), then you don't need the C.

So, dont' be afraid to use Spelling Power. There's lots of helps on this forum and the MFW office for using it successfully. Many people on here have and are using it well. there are posts in the archives for slight tweaks to make it easier
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewforum.php?f=19

or ask questions. Sometimes it takes a small teaching idea to help the student with the part of Spelling Power called "study the word". One mom out there somewhere called it "catch the weasel". (that's where you seriously focus on breaking down the word into segments and syllables and looking where you got mixed up.) It's pretty much the kind of thing that Julie in MN was talking about where she made it obvious by reading it out loud the way it was spelled.

Don't place them too high in SP when they are too young.

If you have the MFW 1st grade program, use the hints in there from phonics to review lessons. (I know... people skip those gems).

I'm just saying I know in retrospect I could have used SP way better than I did. I guess the other "frustration" I had with SP was not realizing just how much good stuff is in the teacher notes. in any case... hang in there Sandy - I think you'll be fine. Make sure to watch the video on SP. Don't stress on pre testing if that stresses the student.
-crystal

momsflowergarden
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Re: Frustrated with spelling

Unread post by momsflowergarden » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:43 pm

sarajoy wrote:Thanks everyone for chiming in on this issue. I don't think I'm going to change curricula at this time, maybe I will look into something different for next year. However, I will invest a bit more time at looking into the teacher's manual of SP more thoroughly. That, in itself, is a bit daunting. I will also be taking a closer look at the spelling mistakes my dds are making and see if there is a way to approach those bits and pieces of spelling in a better way. My personal experience with spelling is horrid, even to the point that there is a whole class of former eighth graders, in IL, that were scarred for life because I was the one teaching them English for a semester.

Thanks,
SJ
Did you get the dvd's with your SP? I started watching them and she talks about how the manual really only has 40 some pages that are TM. the rest are pretty much word list and such.
I may not be ready to start this next wk as I do want to get through it and have a fair understanding before I start.

By the way I totally understand what you are saying about your own spelling experience. If it weren't for spell check, well, you probably would have a difficult time reading my notes. I will also say that spell check has helped my spelling ability also. :-)
Be Blessed
Sandy
Mom of 5
Homeschooler of 2, ds 10 and dd 11
Using CLE Math, Calculadders, PLL/ILL, Rod and Staff spelling, AND MFW ECC for History, Science and Bible.

sarajoy
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Re: Frustrated with spelling

Unread post by sarajoy » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:53 pm

I live for spell checker!! Yes, I have the video, actually my next door neighbor is currently borrowing it. I've also looked over the TM and I know it is not as big as "all that," but the charts and cross referencing stuff she has in there seems a bit extensive and complicated. I will be digging in this weekend and searching for gems of knowledge and a bit of a fresh approach for myself. Should be interesting.

Merry
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by Merry » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:24 am

gratitude wrote:Can I ask a related question about spelling?

My understanding was that spelling has everything to do with phonics. In other words, children who can really hear the phonics sounds, or learn them through practice, have an easier time spelling. For those with more experience than I, is this true?

My oldest ds7 is not a natural speller, so when we reached second grade spelling this year we hit a wall the first day, I have taken him back for a good solid 1st grade phonics review. It is working wonders, and he is spelling easily at the level we are reviewing. Thus, building confidence and learning a solid foundation in an area that is more challenging. Most importantly though he is really 'hearing' the sounds. Hurray!

So is spelling based on phonics as I was told?

P.S. I never learned phonics, and my spelling has been my Achilles heel.
Yes, there are 72 basic phonograms. Kids need to be able to hear all of the sounds in a word (some kids with auditory processing issues will skip sounds in words and write things like "fog" for the word "frog."). Then they need to know what choices they have for those sounds. Our language is 97% predictable, meaning that there are very few true rule-breakers ("said" is one--AI almost always says Long A, but doesn't in said and again). What makes it difficult is that there are several ways to spell some sounds. There are some rules that are helpful in some situations (like C is soft before E, I, or Y--so we can't spell "kite," C-I-T-E.). But then some things have to be memorized visually or through other means--there is no reasoning why "city" is not spelled "sity." (Well, we can know that it comes to us from the Latin--sometimes language of origin and morphemes can help, but phonetically there is no "rule" why C is used). There are 9 ways to spell Long E--that's why people struggle so much with that! Good spellers use a variety of strategies including phonics and auditory strategies, visual memory, rules, and morphemes. I think you are on the right track!

Merry :-)

cbollin

Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by cbollin » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:48 am

momsflowergarden wrote:I know I will find this out as I read the manual but can you tell me if SP used/teaches those phonograms?
Spelling Power assumes the student was taught phonograms in phonics prior to beginning Spelling Power.

SP certainly uses the phonograms, but does not always go back over all details of all of them. example, it doesn't get into ay vs ai, but will discuss why OU vs. OW

not all are taught at the same time in SP (neither is the case in AAS)

but they are there :)

Julie in MN
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:03 pm

gratitude wrote:My understanding was that spelling has everything to do with phonics. In other words, children who can really hear the phonics sounds, or learn them through practice, have an easier time spelling. For those with more experience than I, is this true
My oldest ds7 is not a natural speller,
I'm not sure I'd say it that way. I might say that the ideal, most streamlined, life-long good speller started with a good phonics base. But in my own experience, I have known almost no strong phonics students, yet I know many good spellers.

I think good spellers come at that skill from a variety of methods. The very young good spellers I've known are almost exclusively using memorization (such as my youngest ds). Then there are folks like me, who just read a lot and "knew" if something looked right. I also was a good list-maker and looked-upper (not much phonics in the old Dick and Jane readers I was taught with).

Some of spelling just *is* memorization - there are several ways to spell a certain vowel sound, and unless you are extensively familiar with language origins, you just have to memorize groups of words that use a particular spelling. I think there's something to just being the type of person who pays attention to minutia, too.

But I suspect that early phonics will create a "real" spelling skill that will extend to words you've never seen before.
Julie
Last edited by Julie in MN on Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
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mamacastle2
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by mamacastle2 » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:06 pm

gratitude wrote:In other words, children who can really hear the phonics sounds, or learn them through practice, have an easier time spelling. For those with more experience than I, is this true?
Hmmm... I know my dd9 used a pretty extensive workbook/phonics approach to reading and struggled with spelling up until this year (4th grade). My ds7 (2nd grade but really only 1st grade age - December birthday) on the other hand learned to read using 100 Easy Lessons and is a fantastic speller. My dd9 is always asking him to spell things for her. He can just see things once and then know how to spell them. Both my husband and I are just really good natural spellers, but my husband's brother is a super intelligent guy (doctorate), and can't spell worth a darn. And they both attended the same school, with the same curriculum, with the same teachers (small private school). So... I tend to think spelling is kind of like other abilities - some people just have more of a natural knack for it than others. That being said, I think those without that natural knack can still learn to be better spellers.

One thing that helped my daughter was a back-up of phonics review. We did use AAS, and while I do like the program, it is costly (comparatively), teacher-intensive, and time consuming. Now that I know better myself the basic phonograms and why the language and spelling rules work the way they do, I can teach SBSS and SP more effectively. There are cheaper methods to learn the spelling rules. If you've done MFW 1st, that should be a big help. There are cards and CDs with the 70 basic phonograms for $8-9. Check out this book I found when I did a quick search - "Tricks of the Trade" - children apply spelling rules to words they have specific problems with and keep them categorized in the workbook. I have not used this program. Just listing what you can find cheaply with just a quick search.

Another thing that helps when we do the spelling words is that I pronounce them for spelling. So, for instance, enough - I might say, "Which. Whhhhhich." Or "Poison. Poys-on." It might seem like cheating, but it helps to put the spelling and sound together audibly in her brain. I remember doing that for spelling bees when I'd learn a word I didn't know how to spell (like I'd always say fuschia - fuss-chia (which by the way is only one possible spelling for it)). Anyway, I am not trying to steer you or anyone else away from AAS. I used it and did like it. And using 3 levels of it helped me teach SP much more effectively now. You can also use spellingcity.com for a cheap way to practice spelling the words. I did that also last year.

You can also help with the lists by giving your child the parts she shouldn't know. For example, with nights, you said you're dd didn't know the spelling rule for that. Just the phonics rule. You could either refresh her memory, or just write night and ask her to make it plural. If she writes nightes, than you know what part she needs help with. I actually didn't know houses was subtract e and add es. I always just say "if it ends in e, just add s."

Anyway, I'm being long-winded. I am hoping you find something that works for your kiddos. Don't be afraid to shop around a little. Or at the very least that you can easily tweak what you have to make it work for you. For the spelling city site, you can use the word list from SBSS and enter it and then your dd can play games with it all week long on the computer. They also have a really cool "teach me" function where the computer spells the word letter by letter audibly. It's a pretty cool, free site.
Jeanne
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gratitude
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:06 pm

cbollin wrote:
mamacastle2 wrote:If you've done MFW 1st, that should be a big help. .
I know I was guilty of skipping stuff in MFW 1st in the notes (the first time), then I just "saw all of it" the 2nd time and went "wow.... how did I miss that?"
-crystal
I did the MFW 1 TM, but since I don't know the spelling rules myself, I did miss most of them. I could have explained it better to my ds if I had known the rules. Did they teach those in school???

So when we reached Rod & Staff Grade 2 speller we hit a wall, and I have backed up to a basic grade 1 phonics program to work on spelling (he is reading great!).

So when we go back to Rod & Staff Grade 2 speller will it have the spelling rules? Or what book can I buy to learn them myself, so I can teach more effectively?

Spelling was the one area in school I was unable to ac-cell in, and it shows in my home school. ;)

Julie in MN
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:08 pm

gratitude wrote:So when we go back to Rod & Staff Grade 2 speller will it have the spelling rules? Or what book can I buy to learn them myself, so I can teach more effectively?
I posted a couple of websites that I like for spelling rules here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 643#p21643

You can also find more if you do a google search for "phonogram rules" and look for some of the big names in phonograms (spalding, riggs, sanseri, AAS, Don Potter's application of Why Johnny Can't Read, etc). They often have a big list.

Or if you have the $$ and want a book, there is The Handy English Encoder by the Bluedorns or I think Jeanne mentioned some others.

But if you want a really practical method, then you might try "teaching yourself" by going through your student's 1st grade manual or SSS/SP and finding the rules and making your own rules notebook, or doing one together with your student as you "discover" a cool new pattern together. I had my son make his own notebook when I brought him home to school in 3rd and found out he was strictly memorizing. I feel there's something about making it your own that helps a little, too.

Julie
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jasntas
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Re: Frustrated with spelling - Related question

Unread post by jasntas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:27 pm

Julie in MN wrote:But if you want a really practical method, then you might try "teaching yourself" by going through your student's 1st grade manual or SSS/SP and finding the rules and making your own rules notebook, or doing one together with your student as you "discover" a cool new pattern together. I had my son make his own notebook when I brought him home to school in 3rd and found out he was strictly memorizing. I feel there's something about making it your own that helps a little, too.

Julie
That's a good idea, Julie. I never thought about writing down the rules as we cover them so they are all in one place and easy to find when it comes up again. ILL has you do something similar but I never thought about doing this with the spelling rules in 1st. Thanks. :)
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gratitude
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Re: Frustrated with spelling

Unread post by gratitude » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:14 pm

Julie in MN wrote:I posted a couple of websites that I like for spelling rules here:
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 643#p21643
Julie
This link is WONDERFUL!!

Thank you! Maybe I can finally learn how to s-p-e-l-l (hee...hee..heee) 8[]

I like your idea too of making a list with him so he can make this information his own. Great idea !!

Julie in MN
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teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:27 pm

hsm wrote:How do you teach your first grader when to use a k or a c when spelling? He wants to do c-a-t with a k because he hears the k sound. He mixes them up with other words as well. Is there an easy way to explain this that isn't over complicated for a beginning reader?
Hi Lori,
With my first grade grandson, I usually remind him that English has words that come from different languages that use different spellings. So, we probably worked the K into English because of words that came from Greek, for example. This may make more sense to him because he's learning to read in Spanish in school.

Anyways, here's a list of spelling rules that I like. Right near the top is "Spelling the Sound /k/": http://www.dyslexia.org/spelling_rules.shtml

I would say that early on, most of us just learn that we mostly use C, rather than thinking about one-syllable words and such, but it's good to have the rules on board for the future, when new words get more complex and aren't seen everyday.

The e/i/y rule is especially helpful.

Julie
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(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
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TriciaMR
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Re: teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Aug 18, 2014 1:43 pm

The rule is, if the sound is /hard-c/ we try c first. Also, /c/ says /soft-c/ before e, i and y (think circus - the first c is the /s/ and the second /c/ is the k). But, you always try c first.
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hsm
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Re: teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by hsm » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:15 pm

Thanks for those hints and link. I understand the spelling rules but for my newly reading 6 year old I don't want to overload him with rules. Not sure how to explain it to him. I guess just tell him that English is complicated and both letters make the hard c sound but sometimes c pretends to be an s. :~
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TriciaMR
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Re: teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Aug 18, 2014 3:43 pm

Just tell him when you hear the "c" (hard sound) sound, you always try c first.
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
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living.grace
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2014 7:37 am

Re: teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by living.grace » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:07 am

At this age, I taught the little poem: "'K' before the 'i' and 'e', 'C' before the other three - 'a', 'o', 'u'!

As they get more advanced, you can use more complicated instruction to teach other uses of 'K' and 'C'.

HTH
Home educating 6 amazing children in Australia.
Beginning K and ECC in 2015

hsm
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:09 pm

Re: teaching "k" or "c"

Unread post by hsm » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:42 am

Great ideas, thanks!
Lori-IL
K/ECC, CtG/Learning God's Story
dd-12, dd-9, ds-6

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