I am having my 4th grader begin book 1 of ULW and SW. It may be my 37 week pregnancy brain, but I am having difficulty wrapping my head around HOW to implement both ULW and SW. I hope I am making sense. What “should” her week look like in regards to LA using these two resources?CrystalParticipant
Congratulations on your upcoming new addition. Very exciting. They are meant to be used together, just twice a week. So you would pull out both books, the student would read the passage in SW and do the assignment in ULW. The student would then study the passage until they feel ready for dictation (ULW teacher guide has instructions for prepared dictation). Then you dictate, watching closely for mistakes. Or if your child is not ready for dictation they would transcribe the passage. I think most of the work can be done independently, though I still like to sit with my 6th and 9th grader and “teach” the lesson. That is it. Easy peasy.
Ok, that makes sense! Thank you! Question: Am I not supposed to move on to the next lesson in ULW until my daughter can successfully “pass” the dictation?CrystalParticipant
Well, I think the idea is that there should only be two or three words she cannot spell, and if she studies them as outlined she should be successful. I will usually just move on if one is missed, it will come up again later. If she consistently misses words though it may be too difficult. You can shorten dictations to just a sentence or two, or even a part of sentence if needed. Or let her do transcription for a while. My kids are not spectacular natural spellers but this method has worked well for them and they don’t typically miss any words.
Thank you for your prompt respond. That makes so much sense. I think I am just overthinking it all. Thank you for the feedbacksarah2106Participant
ULW alongside SW starts with copywork that naturally moves into transcription. The first half of the book (4th grade in your case) would not be dictation but used as copy work. Half way through the book (year two of using) moves to dictation. ULW guides you as to when make the switch. Don’t jump right into dictation, wait for your student to be ready.
SCM has a great video blog about the natural progression of language arts. It really helped me understand when to know when my student was ready for dictation.
Thank you. I do believe my daughter is ready for dictation. She’s been doing copywork since 1st grade and fill-in the blanks dictation, “french dictation” as used in Brave Writer for early grades, in 2nd and 3rd. I haven’t decided, but I am considering starting in the middle of the book or somewhat near the middle because she has had some grammar instruction already and is way past capitalization and punctuation.Karen SmithModerator
Keep in mind that copywork and transcription are two different things. Copywork is copying letter by letter directly below what is being copied. Transcription is copying one or more words at a time on a separate sheet of paper. Transcription is the transition step between copywork (having the model in sight while writing) to dictation (no model in sight while writing.) Before having your daughter do dictation, make sure she is comfortable with writing the words without the model of what is being copied directly above where she is writing it. It is always better to start a bit easier than where you think the student should be at, especially when starting something new. You want to set her up for success, not frustrate her.
As others have stated, twice a week follow the directions given in Using Language Well. Each lesson will direct your student to read an exercise in Spelling Wisdom, then give a lesson in grammar or English usage based on the Spelling Wisdom exercise.
Oh, and place your daughter according to her spelling ability, not her grammar ability. If she places in Spelling Wisdom “behind” where she would be in Using Language Well, just hold off on the ULW lessons until she reaches that point in SW. Ideally, there should be no more than 3-5 words in a SW exercise that she is unsure how to spell.sarah2106Participant
I jumped a head a little to quickly with one of my kids, not letting them gain skills in transcription though copy work was going well. It was tough and I could not figure our why. We put a pause on dictation, went back to copy work which developed into transcription until I started to see the transcription skills grow and then dictation was success.
Don’t feel pressured to rush a head too quickly. One benefit of working where it might seem “easy” at first is that it can really build confidence especially in those elementary years.
Wow!!! Thank you both for your great input. I feel much more confident taking this on. Nothing wrong with it being “easy” to begin with and work our way up vs starting with challenge and frustration. We will start at the beginning of the book and work our way through. Thank you for the wisdom!
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