What are you supposed to do when the child makes errors when writing down a dictation passage? We did dictation yesterday (Spelling Wisdom 1, passage 62, The Vowels: An Enigma, which is an 8-line poem) and my 4th grader made two spelling errors, left out two words, and added a word.TristanParticipant
First, are you reading it slowly enough for them? My guess is that if they are leaving out and adding words you are reading too big a chunk at a time and not waiting long enough for them to write it. When you read too big a chunk they can’t remember it all long enough to write (and remember the spelling). For that passage I would read 3 word sections, and when a line doesn’t have enough for 3 and 3, do 3 and then 2. So read the first 3 words, let them write it, then read the rest of that line and let them write it. (They will work up to a better working memory but as a 4th grader I would slow down).
As for correcting spelling:
When they are done have them look at line 1 and see if they notice any mistakes. Then line 2, and so on. When you get to a line that does have a mistake, if they don’t see it, gently point it out. Have them circle or underline that misspelled word. Then once you make it through the passage have them practice just those words as copywork, and orally.
My answer differs from Tristan. I used SW with a 5th grader last year and my mother helped a few days and would give only two or three words at a time and it was too easy for him. I want to give enough to stretch their attention without doing too much to frustrate him or set him up for failure. I do not like to repeat it, so I am hoping to get his attention to grow by giving the right amount. Now for a 4th grader just starting out, three words may be a good fit. But it should gradually grow to more at a time. I read the passage naturally, stopping where there is a comma or other punctuation, which helps him remember to write those punctuation down correctly. When we are finished, I read the whole passage again without stopping so he can check his work and add any punctuation before I check it. If there are only one or two mistakes, we simply discuss it and move on. Missed spellings are carried over to the next day to practice more. Also be sure to allow enough time for the student to study the passage ahead of time for prepared dictation.
I described how we use SW here:
I agree with Charlotte Mason that the child should not see the word written incorrectly. So cover it up or just flip the next page to write it correctly for them to practice the next day.caedmynParticipant
I was under the impression that I was supposed to read an entire phrase at once, and not read it a second time, and not have her read it back to me when she was finished. I thought one of the aims was focused attention, like with narrations. She has already written the passage daily for 3 days before going on to dictation with it, so she should be pretty familiar with it. I guess I’ll go back to reading shorter sections and having her read it back to me when she’s done.
Let her know what your expectations are and what she should be working towards. It may take a few lessons to get used to a new way – paying more attention, more words at one time, no repeating, etc. It may also help for her to read it aloud as she studies it, especially if she is more of an audio learner. There should be a gradual progression towards longer phrases as she is ready for more.
I tell my son to listen to the rhythm in the phrase I read and to repeat it in his mind. I compare it to a monotone type of computer voice to make my point. I have never had the student read it back to me. They hand me their notebook to grade. I circle errors and write misspelled words on the page for the next day, and we discuss the mistakes.BlessedMommyParticipant
I JUST watched this video Sonya has on YT last night. It may help you see how she suggests doing it…Melanie32Participant
I only read a few words at a time when my daughter first started dictation. As she became more familiar with it, I began to read a complete phrase at a time. I hand her the passage after she is finished and let her correct her own work. If the mistakes are punctuation errors, we move on to the next passage. If the mistakes are spelling errors, we use the same passage the next week.LeelanneeParticipant
I have a 6th grader who picked up bad habits 1-3rd grade before I started homeschooling. She was taught to spell phonetically and was not corrected when she would misspell words. Now it is almost a chronic problem. I am working on it but it is VERY slow. I have started with SW this year and chose Book 2. But I’m wondering if I should have started with Book 1. I have been doing language every day even though they recommend only 2x per week. And that is because she needs the extra practice. We will go over a word, and she is spelling it correctly by the end of the lesson. But then the next day she is spelling it wrong. So we go over them again. Once more she can spell them by the end of the lesson but the cycle repeats and she is spelling the word wrong the next day. I try not to get frustrated since I know that does no good for her self esteem. Before CM I used All about Spelling, which also includes dictation but in addition the child learns the rules of the english language instead of just memorizing words. I was having success with it but the lessons were rather long. What can I do to help her learn spelling words and KEEP them memorized? Should I have her start book 1 instead of book 2? We are only on lesson 8 in book 2.Melanie32Participant
Copy work and dictation were not necessarily designed to produce immediate results. A child may not be able to spell each and every word they practice spelling. However, over time, the child becomes familiar with how words are spelled. He/she begins to see patterns and to learn to picture words in their mind’s eye. Copy work and dictation will bear fruit but it takes time, consistency and patience. My daughter was still a very poor speller in 6th grade but she improved dramatically in 7th and has now (in 8th) become quite good at figuring out how words are spelled.
The focus is not on how the child can spell each word today, but how they can learn how spelling works to better serve her/him in the future.
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