LOVE Spelling Wisdom-But Have Tweeked, Still OK>?

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  • kellywright006

    OK, so I have broken the mold a little with how I do SW…..and I guess I am asking you to be the CM POLICE? Hee Hee?

    They practice for the dictation M & W and I give dictation on T & TH for my 4th and 6th graders. I have 3 other kiddo’s running around and a newborn, nursing baby. So, it is hard to find time to SIT right NEXT to them and have both hands to put a stickey-note on mispelled words! 

    Anyways, so they pretty much know what words they don’t know. So WHILE I am dictating, I am nursing in the EZ chair and they are sitting on the couch. As the child writes the words, (other than articles and little words) I have them just say the letters outloud, as they are writing. It’s like they are whispering the words as they write them. That way I can hear the mispelled word, and correct them right away, without having to sit right there. Is this way any LESS CM? Seems to me, it accomplishes the same goal, but Iknow I can be wrong!  🙂

    If they get any wrong, do you have them re-do the WHOLE passage the next day, or just practice those misspelled words and go to the next passage next time?

    Also, the 6th grader is just finishing Level 1. The passages are getting LONG. How do you do it? Still dictate the WHOLE thing?

    Also (again)? What If you look at a lesson, and are pretty sure the child knows ALL of the words? Do you skip it, or just dictate?

    I know I asked a lot of quesitons, pls help with all. I can’t wait to get this down and do it RIGHT> I have a lot of kids to go through this with. I am tired of second-guessing all these things I have been pondering regarding the SW technique.






    I’m not an SW expert, but it seems to me that you’ve solved a problem for yourself and your children.  Whether it is precise, or not shouldn’t matter IF it’s working well for you and your children.  I think if they are whispering the spelling to you, they might actually catch themselves before misspelling words at times.  So, it’s an added “checkpoint.” 

    I personally wouldn’t skip the lessons you think they already know.  Being able to get through a dictation lesson accurately the first time will boost confidence and help them see how much progress they are making in this area. 

    It sounds like you are doing a fine job!


    What about the longer passages? Do the whole thing? At the end, of even book one, the type goes down a half of a page. When she writes it out, it’s about 2 pages? Wondering what anyone else does with that?


    I *think* you choose part of the passage to dictate, yet she prepares the entire passage.


    Yes – they prepare the entire passage.  You can pick just a part of it to dictate.

    Sara B.

    I have my kids practice the passage M-W, and then dictation is on Th.  They work on the whole passage every day, but concentrate on words they’re not complete sure about.  Once in a while, they still aren’t ready at the end of the week.  I give them another week to learn it.  It’s probably not CM, but it’s working, and I notice that they are retaining the spelling more by having to do the same passage all week.  However, I don’t always dictate the whole passage.  Shorter ones, yes, but longer ones, it depends.  For example, we are in SW 1 and Lesson 6 with my 9yo.  She didn’t know it last week – kept getting frustrated during dictation (though she was getting it right), so she did it all this week, too, and then as a “surprise,” I only had her write the 2nd half of the passage.  I messed her up LOL she had to sit and think for a few seconds, and then she asked why I skipped some of it.  🙂  But she did great!  And she for sure knows how to spell “sure” and “should” now!

    I never skip lessons, though.  I want to make *sure* they know the words, not assume they do.


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