Placement - Language Arts, grade levels

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)
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MelissaM
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Placement - Language Arts, grade levels

Unread post by MelissaM » Fri May 18, 2012 7:38 am

Editor's Note: The Language Lessons For Today series by Marie Hazell addresses many of the concerns in the previous Primary Language Lessons and Intermediate Language Lessons books written for teachers in 1900. However, the conversations in the archives provide specific experiences with individual children that may be helpful to some families.


Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader
albanyaloe wrote:Hello,
I've just taken a look at the PLL samples again and am feeling anxious that it may be a bit difficult for my 2nd grader. I wouldn't say we are behind, we just have taken a "better late than early" approach and though she reads, mostly easy books, we're still busy covering the less common phonics sounds. Some of them she actually knows, but I just keep going. I am not sure that she will manage PLL. Must she read it herself?

I don't even think she'd be able to copy out the amount of copywork I saw. I am worrying that perhaps I have been too slack with her, but when she wants to do what we call creative writing (composition) she is capabable of writing a good deal of interesting, well composed sentences, and she copies our Bible verses now and again for penmanship.

How do you suggest starting out if it does seem to be a challenge? How much may be done orally, and then, which parts of lessons would be ok to do orally, and which beneficial to do written. I am thinking perhaps I'd have to get her used to copywork slowly?

Any help and ideas appreciated,
Lindy
No, she absolutely doesn't have to read it herself! *Disclaimer, haven't used PLL yet, but have used ILL for the last 2 years.* You can do as much of it as you want orally - all of it, or definitely most of it. Tweak the amount of copywork to what she can handle. Skip the dictation until she's older, or change it to copywork, or find some other way to make it work for you.

She's not behind, she's doing fine and so are you. :)
:)
Melissa
DD13
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DS2

cbollin

Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by cbollin » Fri May 18, 2012 7:40 am

I know that lesson 2 has a lot of copywork. I imagine advanced students in a classroom in the 1900's would have copied more than some other students. And not all student entering 2nd grade would be ready for any dictation.

No, she doesn't read this book on her own. It's teach together.

Don't panic based on lesson 2 amount of writing. Instead.. try the approach of seeing this lesson as a 2 school days worth of material. one day copywork for 10 minutes. next day, try dictation of that same copywork. If it's 1- 2 sentences, great.. ... if more, fine..

no.. they aren't expected to know how to spell squirrel on their own just yet in that lesson. You can practice it together on paper or marker board a few times before the lesson and allow her to look at the spelling of that word.

more fun and helpful hints ...try here
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... ier#p67941

-crystal

cherona
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by cherona » Fri May 18, 2012 7:48 am

I've only been using PLL for two weeks with my just-turned 7 and 8yr olds. I was a little nervous too because I have also been gently schooling and this was a BIG step up from what we had been doing...But we all love it so far!

One of my favorite aspects of the book is how easy it is to simplify the lesson without having to skip it completely. I have not been having the girls memorize the entire selection only a couple lines. We answer a lot of the written questions aloud instead, and like others have said do copy work instead of dictation. I plan on slowly increasing some things over the year.

I really think you and your students will enjoy it if you don't feel the pressure to do everything exactly as written and push them too hard. :)

Cheri
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albanyaloe
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by albanyaloe » Fri May 18, 2012 2:13 pm

Thank you so much for the posts.
Melissa, thanks for the encouragement. It's funny how easy I think I've messed up. We don't have other HS'ers around us for support, which would be great. Sometimes you just need to hear "it's ok"

Thank you Crystal, for your comments and also your reference to that very helpful thread and the notes you've compiled. I've actually copied into a doc so I can find it again on my pc. Your replies are always very valuable.

Cheri, thank you for responding with your personal experience. I think you're right about not putting pressure on.

I'm going to loosen up and not worry about PLL in advance, then, when it arrives, I'll take a look at the notes, and we'll take it slow and see how we go.

This board is amazing and I do so appreciate it. :-)
Thank you,
Lindy
Lindy,
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gratitude
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Re: Wondering if PLL may be too difficult for my 2nd Grader

Unread post by gratitude » Fri May 18, 2012 11:59 pm

albanyaloe wrote:Hello,
I've just taken a look at the PLL samples again and am feeling anxious that it may be a bit difficult for my 2nd grader. I felt the same way before I started PLL with my second grader last September. By lesson 5 or 6 my nervous feeling was gone, and I was completely enjoying the book. I wouldn't say we are behind, we just have taken a "better late than early" approach and though she reads, mostly easy books, we're still busy covering the less common phonics sounds. Some of them she actually knows, but I just keep going. I am not sure that she will manage PLL. Must she read it herself? No. It is actually meant to be used with mom doing the reading and teaching as you go.

I don't even think she'd be able to copy out the amount of copywork I saw. PLL is scheduled 3 days a week in ADV. I decided to spread it out over 4 or 5 days a week so I could spread out copy work and dictation lessons. So a picture study lesson will take one day. We do the grammar lessons orally (so he hasn't been copying those) and it takes one day. Then the copy work lessons of multiple sentences and the dictation lessons of multiple sentences I have him do one sentence a day. Thus, a six sentence dictation takes 6 days. It has worked well for us, and not put too much hand writing (not a favorite for ds8) into the day.I am worrying that perhaps I have been too slack with her, but when she wants to do what we call creative writing (composition) she is capabable of writing a good deal of interesting, well composed sentences, Wow. You are not behind at all.and she copies our Bible verses now and again for penmanship.

How do you suggest starting out if it does seem to be a challenge? Slowly. I had my ds8 copying dictations from September to January. Then I started to add in the dictations. It has gone well.How much may be done orally, and then, which parts of lessons would be ok to do orally, and which beneficial to do written. I do all of the grammar and picture study and poetry orally. Conversations too.I am thinking perhaps I'd have to get her used to copywork slowly? If she hasn't done copy work I would start slowly. MFW1 has them copy one Proverb a week and write a sentence or two in the Bible note book a week. So the copy work has been built over the course of a year before PLL. The Writing with Ease book, we don't use but I have seen it, has them do copy work I think twice a week for a year prior to any dictation. If needed break up the copy work. I know my sons both do best with one sentence a day rather than 2 - 4 sentences a day. If I am taking it too easy on them hopefully someone will interject here for you, but so far I think their writing and speaking is building so I like what I am seeing.
I hope this helps.

Any help and ideas appreciated,
Lindy

TriciaMR
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PLL Question

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:19 pm

lovehomeschooling wrote:We just started PLL and I'm not sure if my son is ready for it. We are using All About Spelling and he is only in level 2 of that. He does well with the dictation included in his spelling although he almost always forgets capitals and periods. He also has no idea what a sentence is, although I have tried to explain it to him. He doesn't see any difference between the phrases and the sentences I dictate except that I tell him, "these are the sentences."

The first copywork/dicatation lesson contained MANY words he didn't know how to spell yet. Also, it seemed like a large amount for him to copy. Am I not expecting enough from him?? We only got through the copying the first paragraph and he filled an entire page! I can't imagine how we would have gotten through all three paragraphs. Three pages of writing?? That seemed like a lot. Also, it is very frustrating for him when there are so many words that he has not learned the spelling rules for yet, such as squirrel. It takes him forever as he looks back and forth for each letter. He is doing great on the rest of the lessons though.

We just finished up MFW 1st a month or so ago, so we are only in week 5 of Adventures. He was doing really well in writing with his Bible notebook, but he really struggles with the summaries in his history notebook. Maybe he's not quite ready for second grade writing?? Or should I be pushing him more??
You know, we do AAS too, so I don't do any dictation from PLL or ILL (my boys are 4th graders now). I do PLL dictations as copywork. And those that are really long like that, only about 3 sentences/one paragraph is all at that age. I also have two dyslexic children, and I got the StartWrite software, and I make pages with that for those copywork lessons so that they can copy from the line directly above and not have to look onto another page or even to the very top - I put a blank line between each line that I can fit on the page. Both of them (well, the oldest can do it now, but she's 14) have had trouble with copywork when it isn't right on the line above.

As far as understanding/explaining a sentence... A sentence is a "complete thought." So, use the phrase and sentence lists in AAS and read a phrase, maybe it is: green grass. Then as him if it is a sentence. If he says yes, say, "I didn't say 'The grass is green.' I just said 'green grass.' If I were to use that in a sentence I would have to say, 'He ran on the green grass.' See, 'green grass' is just part of a thought." Just keep working on it and working on it. Eventually they get it. You have to model a lot for 7 and 8 year olds.
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Joyhomeschool
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Joyhomeschool » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:35 am

There are three stages to dictation that might help you.
1. Read the passage out loud together. You will notice any new words or punctuation and point them out to the student. Study them. That might mean using the whole passage for copy work.
2. Dictate the passage. Slowly either a few words at a time or sentence at a time. When. My kids are starting PLL I remind them to use capitals and I say "period" or "comma" when there are those punctuations. They are learning what those are and where those go so this helps.
3. Check the work and recopy or study the mistakes. So if squirrel was misspelled then they erase rewrite squirrel. Your teaching editing skills.

AmbleSide online has a great article about dictation:
http://www.amblesideonline.org/PR/PR17p ... sons.shtml

They do not have to do it perfect, but you shouldn't challenge them too much. So if one sentence is challenging enough then do one sentence of the dictation. If its all overwhelming use those passages as copy work and circle the commas, periods and capitals with a pen in Different colored ink. Pll is a frame work, you adapt it to for you.
Vicki
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Julie in MN
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:07 am

I love reading Trish and Vicki's very experienced advice. Like Vicki mentioned at the very end, dictation might not even be done by some. I've always felt sheepish to admit, but I could never get my ds to do dictation, so we settled for copywork, and even that was mostly just the Bible verse. It didn't ruin him to skip dictation. Yes, he is a person who is weaker in the reading/writing area than in the math area, but we've always worked on that, and in 12th grade he does indeed know what good sentences are (notices poor ones), maybe more than a lot of his college classmates (he is dual-enrolled).

I wanted to mention something about 2nd graders knowing what a sentence is. I tutored for some years at an early-grammar-heavy program, and really being able to "talk grammar" or "do grammar" didn't transfer much at all into being a good writer. At home, I loved using PLL as a conversation, getting my son to look at what he was putting into writing, observe written language, start to understand what is going on when we put our thoughts into writing.

At your ds's age, I found it helpful to get kids to "hear" the difference between baby talk and big kid talk (2nd graders are certainly big kids in their own eyes!). Kids will laugh if you try to say "Want cup. Cup blue." They know in their heads that those are not correct, even if they don't know why. I might ask how a big kid would say that, then I might write them both (at home, it would be on the marker board) and talk about how they are different. Along the way I'd plant the idea that one was a complete sentence, and that we want our writing to sound like big kid talk with good sentences.

To me, gradually learning to look and listen attentively to their writing is what PLL excels in.
Julie
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Yodergoat
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Yodergoat » Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:35 pm

I love Julie's "big kid talk" comparison! That is great!


My second grader has not learned parts of speech and we have not been doing dictation. But she does listen to lots of good literature, and when doing her summaries for her history notebook she can come up with good sentences... although sometimes I have to remind her that she should make sure her summary would make sense to a person who has never heard about the topic (for instance, she tends to just jump right in and say something like "They signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776" without first explaining WHO they are and WHAT the Declaration is). But that is sort of a different subject. ;)

Out of curiosity, I just asked my second grader to explain "a sentence." I wonder if her wording could help another child her age?

I asked, "Can you tell me what a sentence is like?"

She said: "A sentence is a string of words."

So I said, "Blue yellow duck hat. That is a string of words, but is that a sentence?"

She laughed. "No, that doesn't make sense. A sentence is a string of words that make sense."

I pointed to a balloon she was blowing up. "Balloon in mouth!" I said. "Is that a sentence?"

She smiled and replied, "No, because it doesn't make sense. It sounds like a baby talking."

I asked, "How would you make that into a real sentence?"

Gail said (mimicking the voice I had used for my "balloon in mouth" comment), "You have a balloon in your mouth!"

I pointed to the cat and just said, "'The cat.' Is that a sentence?"

She said, "No, the cat has to do something or you have to say something about the cat. Otherwise it's just random words."

So I said, "The cat runs. Is that a sentence?"

She replied, "Yes, because now I know something about the cat."

Then she looked suspicious and asked, "Why all this talk about sentences?" :~


I found it interesting that she made the "baby talk" connection. We do discuss sentences quite a bit. During Spelling (we use Spelling by Sound and Structure), I often ask her to use the spelling words in a sentence. So if the word is "babies," she may say, "Mrs. Jamie watches the babies in the nursery at church." I try to encourage her to be creative in these instead of just making short ones like "Babies are cute." It has helped her in forming lots of variations in sentence structure in a gentle and fun way. I think that has helped, as well as all of the Bible Notebook summaries from First Grade and a little journal we kept in Kindergarten.

I don't do the dictations with her because she does plenty of writing otherwise and she would not do well at the spelling (at all!) and would be very frustrated. If she writes a word incorrectly she tends to remember it incorrectly in the future, and it sets her back. So I think that skipping dictation is fine! Mayhap work on sentences orally to skip all the tedium of writing and spelling until he has the concept of the sentence cemented in his mind.

I do like much of PLL but the dictations are something we skip entirely. I suppose this may not be popular advice... :~
I'm Shawna...
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Yodergoat
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by Yodergoat » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:39 pm

I meant to add also that we do a form of dictation but I prefer to use words she knows how to spell, and I relate these to her spelling words or things that are happening. But they aren't dictation from PLL. It is a good time to practice punctuation and capitalization and such, but doesn't get her flustered about spelling. And we keep it short, just one sentence at a time and we might do 5 or so sentences. I try to make them fun, such as "I got a new kitten yesterday! We named him Sparky. I hope he gets along well with our puppy. They may become good friends!" Stuff like that... nothing earth shattering. ;)

Part of my purpose in this is to get her to listen to all the words in the sentence and pay close attention. Some days she does better than others at this. If it is a particularly hard day for her in paying attention, I tell her that if she gets one without any additional reminders she can be finished and move on to the next subject, and then she can amazingly remember everything I have said without repeating. :~ (I do know the lack of attention is a discipline issue and not a memory or auditory issue.)
I'm Shawna...
... a forgiven child of God since 1994 (age 16)
... happily wed to William since 1996
... mother of our long-awaited Gail (3/15/2006)
... missing 6 little ones (4 miscarriages, 2 ectopics)
... starting Rome to the Reformation this fall!

lovehomeschooling
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Re: PLL Question

Unread post by lovehomeschooling » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:12 am

Thanks for all of the great suggestions. Sorry I haven't replied. I haven't signed on in several days.

Trish,
I have told him a sentence is a complete thought. If I give him a phrase and a sentence, he can tell me which is a sentence, but he has difficulty changing a phrase to a sentence himself. For example, when we did the frost lesson, he was answering many of the questions with one or two words. I had to work hard to get him to change the phrase into a sentence. I think modeling more will help with this. I really like the baby talk vs. big kid talk comparison. I think that will help as well.

Maybe that would help having the copywork on the line right above. He does not struggle with his handwriting, which has the writing above and line to copy underneath, with several sentences and words/phrases, but he shuts down if I give him the Bible verse to copy or any other page with several sentences.

I think we will be shortening the dictation/copywork to 3 sentences or less and using it as copywork when we come back from break in January.


Shawna,
This conversation was really helpful. It showed me areas what he is missing. I think he would tell me no with each question too, but he would have difficulty explaining why it wasn't a sentence. I will try having him create sentences out of his spelling words more often. He does this quite often on his own, but we don't discuss it much. When he is listening in history, he can tell me exactly what the story is about, but he includes ALL the details. We have to work more on shortening it to a summary. We can do this orally, but he really struggles when it comes time to writing it down.

Blessedbyfive wrote:So, those of you that do AAS, do you also do the dictation there? Next year when we do PLL, will he be expected to do the dictation from AAS 3, AND the dictation in PLL? This topic is interesting to me, as I try to decide what LA to put with Adventures. It would bother me to ask him to spell words he hasn't learned the rules for.
When we do AAS, I do not have him do all six sentences in one day. I split the words, phrases, and sentences up into a couple days. It is taking us longer this way, but it is much more manageable for him. I think we are going to stick with the dictation in AAS and make the dictation in PLL copywork. Some days, we don't follow exactly what is suggested for LA. I try to make sure he is writing every day. If he is going to be writing a lot in two different subjects, I eliminate the writing in one of those subjects. So, if AAS and PLL both called for writing, I either skip PLL, shorten the amount we do from AAS, or do a different lesson that day in PLL and just do the AAS writing. Does that make sense?
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WisdomAcademy
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Language Arts differences 2nd-3rd grade?

Unread post by WisdomAcademy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:39 pm

WisdomAcademy wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:39 pm
Hello! I am looking for some help to figure out where to place one of my children in Language Arts for next school year. He will turn 8 in June.

A little bit of his backround, we attempted Kindergarten(MFW & Classical Conversations)when he was 5 and quickly learned he just wasn't ready. The following school year, at age 6, he attended public school Kindergarten. He's in 1st grade in public school now and is an excellent student academically and is very kind and helpful with other students.

We will be homeschooling(using only MFW next school year) and I am trying to decide if I will consider him a second or third grader with respect to Math & Language Arts. He writes well, reads well and aces spelling tests without studying. He is a very independent student and thrives on a schedule.

What are the big differences in MFW for Language Arts between 2nd & 3rd grade? What should I be looking for as prerequisites for 3rd grade Language Arts?

I will be doing ECC with him and his 6th grade brother I also have some tag-a-longs who will be using MFW 1st & MFW K, in addition to even younger tag-a-longs, 3 1/2 y.o. & 2 y.o.(and I also have an 8th grader, 9th grader and 11th grader to oversee just to give the whole picture of our homeschool ;)

Thank you for any information you think would be helpful! :) I am looking forward to using MFW curriculum again(i used it with my 4 oldest children when they were little).

-Debbie
Reply from Julie - Staff » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:30 pm
Hi Debbie,

I thought I would begin with some nuts-n-bolts, and then hopefully other moms will chime in with personal experiences.

1. Spelling by Sound and Structure is used for 2nd grade because of its nice phonics review and because of its study-test method. Early on, it became apparent that 2nd graders could be discouraged by getting words "wrong" and preferred to study first and get all of them correct!

Spelling Power uses a test-study method, which older children enjoy because they only study the words they don't know. They are freed from practicing words they already know. Likely, you can predict whether that would work for your particular child.

2. Language Lessons for Today is used for "English lessons" from punctuation to poetry, and expectations could be adjusted for the student's abilities. It might help if you looked over the samples for grades 2 & 3: https://www.mfwbooks.com/wps/portal/c/samples .

3. If you choose level LLFT-3, then a good dictionary such as the Merriam-Webster's we carry will be helpful during several lessons.

4. Typically cursive is taught in 3rd grade, although it can be done at any time.

5. WorldKids magazine will likely be included free in your package either way.

Julie

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