Topic | Question on Dictation with Using Language Well

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  • onsagerfamily
    Participant

    Hello – my 10 year old son is using Using Language Well and Spelling Power – Book 2 this year. He is doing great with the spelling in dictations, but often misses the punctuation (semi-colons, dashes, quotation marks.) Any suggestions on how to address this? Also, I would love ideas or suggestions on how to help him remember simple grammar things that are included in ULW like pronouns and such.

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    Since he is doing great with the spelling component, feel free to raise the bar. Let him know that you are expecting him to include the correct punctuation in the dictation passage, so he should be sure to study that as well as the spelling. It can be helpful to discuss the reasons certain punctuation is included as you are doing the pre-dictation read through and study time. So you might take a couple of minutes during that time to talk about the punctuation and see if your son can tell you why each mark is there (similar to those type of exercises in ULW Book 1).

    Review of grammar is included in the ULW Book 2 with all of the parsing exercises. I think those frequent reviews would help him remember the grammar.

    Grace
    Participant

    I am confused about ulw and spelling wisdom.  My son, 8, just started both in book 1. I read that it is supposed to be just transcription for 3rd grade, but I am wondering how I am to check if he has learned to spell the words? We have just done 2 exercises. Should I do dictation also? Do I not worry about dictation and him memorizing the spellings? He loves spelling wisdom and gets excited for spelling. I just want to understand how to do it

    Sonya Shafer
    Moderator

    Grace, you can subtly evaluate how well he is doing at spelling from memory by watching his eyes as he transcribes. If he looks at one or two words as a phrase, then looks at the lines where he is writing and writes the whole phrase without looking back, he is writing from memory. That’s how transcription should be done—the goal—and how it will prepare him for dictation (writing the entire passage without looking back). Some kids reach that goal easily; others need a little time to build their confidence.

    In lesson 8 of the teacher book, you will find a suggestion to ask him to spell a word or a phrase orally (without looking) after he has finished the transcription. That’s another way to encourage him to pay attention to the spellings. Those little suggestions will be sprinkled throughout the exercises, but you can do it every time he transcribes if you want to.

    Grace
    Participant

    Ok.  Thank you Sonya. That helps a lot.

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