Blending again!

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Maltesers
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Post by Maltesers » Thu Oct 25, 2007 12:20 pm

Whoops that was me! I didnt realise I wasnt signed in.

Maizie you need to change this forum to registered members only. Otherwise you are likely to get spammers posting here :???:
www.freeforum101.com/hltastaffroom

www.hltastaffroom.blogspot.com

Judy
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Post by Judy » Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:09 pm

Thanks, Maltesers (I presume you are the 'guest'!). I think I will do as you suggest and move on before it becomes such a 'big deal' that all their enthusiasm evaporates.

And thankyou too, Jenny.

My worry about saying the whole, blended word is that in the case of the 14 yr old, he has the best 'sight' memory I've ever come across and I've noticed that once I've said the whole word, he will add it to his bank of sight-words and not blend it the next time he comes across it. And the 8 yr old is good at learning things by heart so I'm afraid she will just repeat after me and it won't help her blending at all!

Maybe I'm being overly cautious but I've found that, when children have been taught by other methods it can be difficult to know to what extent they are decoding properly. I do use nonsense words to check on this, but that uses up the precious little time we have if I do it too often.

Judy
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Post by Judy » Fri Oct 26, 2007 9:57 am

Well, I nearly fell off my chair in shock yesterday evening! My eight year old pupil read:

pram, sped, drat, tent, pact, nest all by herself.

And then she went on to read:

stand, scram and strip!

I know her mother does work with her at home in between lessons, reading from the decodable stories I have written but of the words above, only 'tent' and 'strip' will have been in the stories so I know she hasn't learnt the words as sight words.

Two things I noticed were -

1) This happened at the very beginning of her lesson. Later, when she was tired, she didn't do as well.

2) The words were printed in large font (36 or 48) and well spaced so she was able to point to each individual letter with her finger as she sounded it out. She seems to prefer this to using the cursor but it won't be as easy to do it with a smaller font.

So it seems to have suddenly fallen into place and I can only hope the same thing happens with the 14 yr old soon. Thankyou very much for all your suggestions and please keep your fingers crossed that something similar happens soon with the older boy.

Goodenough
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Post by Goodenough » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:12 pm

Dear Judy,

I find your problem very interesting because I have come across it several times. At the moment I am working one to one with an adult. He can almost always hear the word if I say the sounds but it is much more hit and miss when he says them himself. He can now blend cvc words himself but for many words with more than 3 sounds I have to say the sounds for him, then he "hears" the word. He comments on this wistfully, wondering why it is so easy when I am the one saying the sounds. I reassure him that he will improve (keeping my fingers crossed that I am right) I believe he will improve though and am proceeding on this assumption. The students I have had before who showed this pattern all got it eventually. I think you should continue on with your student but with lots of reviewing of earlier work. Sometimes the ability to blend by herself comes all at once and then the more correspondences she knows the better. One thing that helped my students was to tell them that they must say the sounds quickly, all in one breath if possible, this seems to make it easier to blend. Certainly my present adult student has to go back and start again even on a cvc word if he hesitates over a sound.

Best of luck!

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:25 pm

Is it because the correspondences are not yet spontaneous?

If they don't have an instant recall of the correspondences it might be that it is difficult to concentrate on the art of blending. I don't know for sure, but it sounds reasonable to me! ;-)

Judy
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Post by Judy » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:34 pm

Kelly, I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner; my 14 yr old's lesson was cancelled last week because of half term and I wanted to wait and check the spontaneity of his recall of the correspondences.

What I've noticed today is that he knows the correspondences very well indeed. What is not yet spontaneous is his use of them! His first reaction is still very much to treat words as 'sight words' as he knows so many of them!

For instance, he struggled with 'lug' and 'fib' and especially with 'fled' but read 'melon' 'upset' and 'frantic' with no hesitation at all! On a previous occasion he read 'scram' as 'icecream' (I think I've mentioned before that he has a very good memory for 'sight words' and can remember a mobile phone number after simply looking at it for a couple of seconds.)

I think this is going to be tough nut to crack, especially as he does absolutely no work in between lessons! :cry:

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:26 pm

I think I can relate. :roll: For me personally I find it more difficult to decode words that are visually similar to other words that I have stored. So a word like 'lug' would be more difficult for me because instantaneously (without conscious thought) I am 'thrown' visually similar words such as 'log' (although I admit that not all the words even LOOK similar!) :shock: .

On the other hand, if I am given a word that I don't have any visual similar words for, then my mind is free to just decode.

What I have found hardest is trying to 'ignore' the onslaught of words my brain throws at me and just get on with decoding the word. It isn't a conscious thing for me. I don't 'choose' to think of words as whole words, I don't choose to guess, but it feels like my brain has been 'wired' (trained :evil: ) that way. I haven't as yet been able to make it stop (and considering my age perhaps I can't :lol: ).

What I have got better at is 'avoiding' the words. Kind of side-stepping it in my brain. I am finding that easier and easier, however it is just plain hard work. :roll:

Damn whole language. :evil:

Judy
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Post by Judy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:00 am

Thank you so much, Kelly!

I often wish I could find out what goes on inside the heads of my pupils and your willingness to share your experiences is a great eye-opener!

It may even enable me to work out a strategy to make things easier for my pupil. On the face of it, it sometimes seems as if he's just being stubborn and I know his parents think he is being lazy. Whereas you are telling me just what hard work it is to ignore the incorrect whole words that come into your mind! Somehow I need to find a way to interrupt the process which has obviously become a 'reflex'. If I succeed, you will be the first to hear about it! :grin:

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:09 am

I am relieved to hear that I am at the top of the list! :lol:

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:23 am

Judy, it may just be that he is lazy. His parents could very well be right (and they probably are).

However, I do think it is worth bearing in mind that it may be really hard work for him. It's such a frustrating internal struggle. :roll:

Good luck. He is so lucky to have you.

chew8
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Post by chew8 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:07 am

'What I've noticed today is that he knows the correspondences very well indeed. What is not yet spontaneous is his use of them! His first reaction is still very much to treat words as 'sight words' as he knows so many of them!'

For what it's worth, I am finding something similar with four very weak 7-year-olds with whom I've been working since mid-September. I start most sessions by revising the grapheme-phoneme correspondences we've covered so far, using Ruth Miskin's cards. The children are all pretty good at this, but don't always apply their knowledge when reading words.

The one who is the quickest at giving sounds when shown the cards is actually the worst of the four when it comes to applying her knowledge in reading, whether it's the reading of single words in Bingo-type games or the reading of decodable books. Part of the problem is that she thinks she's already quite good enough at reading and wants to go on just recognising words as she has done in the past. She doesn't sound out unless I remind her, and then she often does it with a bad grace.

The child making the best progress is one who is slower at giving sounds when shown the Miskin cards but who always sounds out without being reminded when she is reading words. Even she, though, is a bit better at recognising digraphs on the cards than when she sees them in words - e.g. she will give the right sound when she sees 'ou' on a card, but will sometimes sound out the letters separately in words such as 'found'. She is nevertheless coming on in leaps and bounds.

Jenny C.

mtyler
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Post by mtyler » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:16 am

I wonder if hiding the rest of the word to encourage decoding would help. I remember reading about this, but don't remember where. So, for the word, found, have a card cover all but the 'f', then expose the 'ou' then expose the 'n', then expose the 'd'. Only expose the next grapheme when the one previous has been decoded. This might be irritating for the student, but it might work in resetting their habits.

Has anyone tried this?

Melissa
Minnesota, USA

Judy
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Post by Judy » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:39 am

That was exactly what I was wondering about, Melissa.

The difficulty, though, in this case, is knowing which words he is going to attempt to read as 'sight words' as he knows so many! I'm never entirely sure to what extent he is actually decoding unless he makes a mistake.

Kelly
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Post by Kelly » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:45 pm

I think Dancing Bears uses them. They call them cursors (piece of card with a little chunk out of it).

I do think they would work well for those of us that can't help ourselves ;-) .

Judy
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Post by Judy » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:52 pm

Kelly, I do use a 'cursor' a lot and find it extremely helpful, even though some of the older, whole-word-taught children absolutely hate it! (One even told me she was allergic to cardboard to avoid it - so I made her a plastic one from an old credit card! Mean, aren't I!)

But I only use it once a mistake has been made or a difficulty has arisen. Maybe I should abandon any idea of achieving fluency for now and use it for every single word for a while, to get this lad in the habit of decoding?

What do others think?

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