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Using the Spelling Sheets in a differentiated way

 
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 8:55 am    Post subject: Using the Spelling Sheets in a differentiated way Reply with quote

At the time of writing this (11 June), the Spelling Sheets are a new strand that we are in the process of uploading in units 1 to 6.

These sheets are ideal to use with learners of all abilities.

The following suggestions offer a range of opportunities which may be appropriate in your circumstances. Please note that it is best to use these spelling sheets at the end of units of work or in the 'layered' way when you re-visit and revise a unit of work:

1) 'Say the sounds' of the graphemes in the graphemes list at the top of the sheet

2) Look at the first picture (top left) and say the whole word of the picture.

3) Orally segment the picture word into its sounds (mainly phonemes but sometimes there are two phonemes treated as 'one' such as 'qu' which we teach first as /kw/, 'nk' which we teach first as /ngk/ and 'x' which is actually two sounds /ks/ - and then '-ue' which can be long /oo/ but can also be code for /yoo/.)

4) Count the number of sounds on thumb and fingers of the left hand (palm facing so you get the left-to-right tracking at all times).

5) Check the number of 'sound dashes' under the word. Does this match the number of 'sounds' of the proposed picture word? If not, think of another possible picture word - or, if necessary, ask the teacher to provide the focus picture word (as noted on the guidance word list sheet).

6) Write down the graphemes on the sound dashes but check that they are in the graphemes list at the top of the sheet. Some learners, however, will not need this support list and teachers may make the decision to 'fold back' or to 'cut off' the grapheme list. Alternately, teachers may want to use the Spelling Sheets as an assessment opportunity - can the learner recall the necessary graphemes entirely from memory?

7) Where learners are also learning to write letter shapes correctly, check that the letter shapes are correct and that the learner knows where to start writing the letter shape. Teach learners who are unfamiliar with these letter shapes that they are written 'from the top' (for printing) or from 'left to right' (so, for example, the 'stick' of the letter 'b' is written before the 'ball' part!). Also encourage learners to write on the sound dashes as if these are 'writing lines' to get the correct position on the lines - as the graphemes are MODELLED on a writing line in the top list! Teachers may ask the learners to write the letter 'in the air' to rehearse letter formation or to check the learner knows the correct letter formation.

eight) Edit (check) the spelling by sounding out and blending the written graphemes - can any errors be identified? Have the graphemes been written in the correct order. Ensure learners say the sounds exactly as they have written them and not what they THINK they have written!

9) Extension work might include selecting focus pictures and their words and using these in simple spoken, then written, sentences. For example, the picture 'tin' in unit 1, sheet 1, could become, "The tin is red." The learner draws the tin and then writes a sentence with capital letter at the beginning and full stop at the end. Able learners or older learners may well be able to expand on the sentence and develop it accordingly. For very young learners, it is sufficient just to aim for a very simple sentence in writing although orally the teacher could encourage extension of the spoken sentence, "The red tin has been opened for the black cat's dinner."

Please don't hesitate to add your comments to this thread about how you have used the Spelling Sheets in your setting and whether you have found them helpful. Wink
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using manipulatives:

The graphemes list at the top of each Spelling Sheet is a very useful list for quickly gathering any manipulatives that you wish learners to use either instead of writing down the focus words, or prior to writing down the focus words.

The learner still goes through the process of orally segmenting the spoken picture word and identifies the 'sounds' - tallying the number of sounds identified with the number of 'sound dashes' under the picture word.

Next the learner selects the manipulatives to build the correct spelling. The editing process can still be performed with the manipulatives and any errors corrected followed by a final editing process (sound out and blend all-through-the-word).

Manipulatives can include magnetic letter tiles (some of which can be purchased in educational catalogues with letters actually joined together as 'digraphs'), Grapheme Tiles and the graphemes on the appopriate CanDoCubes.

Grapheme Tiles are available to download in either 'black and grey' (black for vowel phonemes and grey for consonant phonemes) or 'dark teal' in every unit 1 to 12 of the Phonics International programme. You would need to use these cumulatively.

CanDoCubes are the lazer engraved, wooden cubes from a very succinct synthetic phonics programme I have written which are entirely complementary to the Phonics International programme and which can be used with other synthetic phonics programmes. They are especially ideal for home use and for small group work. You can view these at www.candocubes.com .

Using manipulatives adds another dimension to the teaching and learning and some learners are motivated to learn when such resources are used. It also avoids the need for 'crossing out' written work if it is incorrect.

That is not to say we, as teachers and learners, should avoid 'crossing out'. It is not a 'big deal' to make mistakes in learning to spell and write. It is not a reflection of any form of inadequacy and we, as teachers, must ensure that 'crossing out' written errors is part and parcel of our teaching work.

We ARE aiming for perfectly correct spellings and perfectly correct letter formation etc., but we need to do this in a climate where 'errors' are not regarded as anything to do with the learner's 'self esteem'. For far too long now, teachers have been trained to avoid 'crossing out' work, to avoid the use of 'red pens' and to avoid marking for spelling errors. This is, in my opinion, to the detriment of writing standards - but also to the detriment of our 'teaching' standards!

Have we created a generation of learners who don't want to discover whether they have spelt words incorrectly or used poor grammar?

I frequently model where I have 'gone wrong' modelling how I put a line through my work (to cross it out) and then modelling the best way to correct my work.

In fact I DO make mistakes with spellings occasionally and I DO frequently ask for a colleague's opinion or refer to a dictionary to 'check' the correct spelling. Wink
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Debbie Hepplewhite


Last edited by debbie on Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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debbie



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CanDoEducation Limited: www.candoeducation.com

This company makes not only cubes as part of a synthetic phonics programme, but also sets of cubes to support learning about grammar. The grammar cubes include cubes with whole written words of all the 'word classes' and instructions for how best to use them.

Use of the grammar cubes would follow on from the basics of learning the technical skills of blending words for reading, segmenting words for spelling and handwriting.
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha, ha!

I was just checking my messages and noted that I spent 'colleague' wrongly at first - just at the point that I was saying how I checked spellings in a dictionary or asked a colleague! Laughing Wink
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