Hooked on Spelling

All About Spelling Works !!!

Over the last few years I have been using an excellent spelling resource that produces amazing results. That resource  is  All About Spelling. I am telling you about this program because I have noticed on different forums that parents and teachers have been concerned about the way some children are being taught spelling. This has led to worry in families with children being the ones who are suffering with self esteem issues emanating from a deterioration in self worth due to poor English results. When children are referred to counselling, often times, poor access to the curriculum is the major problem.  I know that the best spelling program is available and anyone is capable of teaching spelling with this resource.

I have always been fascinated by spelling , I suppose you could say, I am hooked on spelling.

Before I tell you about this program that outshines all others, let me begin with a little story.

Aimee’s Story

Aimee came to me with many problems. These difficulties were all related to her lack of attendance at school and consequently her lack of academic skills & knowledge needed in Year Three.

Aimee is a beautiful child who always compliments me on how lovely I look even though at times, I look as though I have had no sleep, worked too hard and not had the time to match my accessories with my clothing. But, I really appreciate her efforts to make me feel special.

Aimee’s hearing and sight were tested and it was noted that she needed glasses. I thought that this would solve all problems but I was wrong! Aimee had missed so much school that she had no foundation to build on, she needed to start at the vey beginning . I had to teach her the sounds of the letters, group by group and then work with letter cards to accelerate her learning so that she could close the gap rapidly. I was amazed at what Aimee could achieve. She was so excited about improving her spelling and cooperated without a hint of tiring. I followed the amazing Level One Program devised by a Literacy consultant, Marie Ripple.

Eventually, I spoke to the class teacher who knew what we were trying to achieve and was supportive in helping Aimee in the classroom with the same strategies used in tutoring. As we all know, it takes a village to raise a child!!

One of my main concerns was the poor self esteem that Aimee had developed due to her low, academic success. She found it difficult to make friends and seemed to be ostracised. I see the social implications of poor academics so frequently in my work, it breaks all of our hearts as parents and teachers.  Boys tend to misbehave whereas, girls go under the radar and become quiet and withdrawn. However, once the child has the positive attention of the classroom teacher and begins to be excited about learning and improvement, these self esteem issues seem to diminished. This is what happened with Aimee-she became a different child.

Aimee’s Program

How was Aimee able to close the gap in such a short period of time?

I monitored Aimee daily to see what she could or couldn’t do and then went back to consolidate the skills that she found difficult-going over the work until it is consolidated is vital for kids like Aimee.

Secondly, we followed Marie Ripple’s program in each lesson from the first level upwards. In these lessons Marie has developed a format that is simple to follow and children find it easy to understand. The first part of the lesson either revises taught skills or introduces a new skill. Then there is practice using that skill. Finally, at the end of the lesson there is a dictation where the student can showcase her accomplishments. This dictation is an attempt to generalise the learning to a longer piece of writing. You would probably have noticed that your child can spell some words that are still repeatedly incorrect in his writing. Dictation is one way of improving this area and eliminating bad habits.

There are many reasons why this product assures results:

  • It is a spiralling, spelling curriculum that moves slowly from what the student knows to what is new
  • It provides lessons that are explicit and easy to follow
  • It follows the spelling curriculum content descriptors and adds the extra lessons that other programs leave untouched.
  • It is a resource for teachers and parents-home schoolers love it
  • Parents who know little about spelling skills can easily follow the lessons in the program
  • I have used the program to fast track students in a Year Three classroom in preparation for the Australian national testing, NAPLAN.
  • It is a program that students can relate to because it is a step by step teaching resource that follows many theorist’s work. Vygotsky first talked about the zone of proximal development which explored the concept of moving from the known information to the very next step in the child’s learning.

I have often felt remorse when I see children coming home with spelling homework that hasn’t been taught. The spelling lists have no strategies to guide learning, so inevitably, the children try and memorise. And of course, some children can accomplish this with good Friday results, but the spellings aren’t generalised into writing. I will be exploring this issue in another post this week.

All About Spelling  provides a program that delivers the skills of spelling under the umbrella of the four areas of spelling:

Phonetic teaches the different letter combinations that make the same sounds

Visual teaches the child how to use developing visual skills to recognise the correct combination of letters that make a particular sound

Morphemic teaches suffixes and  the rules that apply. Also, prefixes are taught-these change the word’s meaning

Etymological teaches Greek and Latin roots and their meanings which increases vocabulary comprehension

These are the areas of spelling that the curriculum identifies as the items to be addressed.

If your child is dyslexic, this program will aid him in learning how to spell because All About Spelling uses the Orton Gillingham approach to spelling. This multi-sensory program provides instruction that dyslexic children can access easily.

Please ask any questions in the comments section below.

I would love to hear what you think about this program-let me know in the comments section below.

Ann Foster tutors children who have difficulties in reading, writing and spelling.

Contact Ann on 0414340883 or email letterboxdelivers@hotmail.com

Website: www.letterboxlearntoread.com

Ann holds the following qualifications:

Diploma of Teaching

Bachelor of Educational Studies

Master of Education ( Special Needs)

Master of Education (Counselling & Guidance)