Starway to spelling

This forum has been created to provide a non-challenging environment for teachers and parents new to using synthetic phonics.

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Post by JAC » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:33 am

I use Apples and Pears a lot, as a tutor, (when I can also get parents to do the lessons needed.)It is a very fine programme, easy to use. I should think your son would start in Book A.
There are samples on their website.

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Post by palisadesk » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:48 pm

I'll second the recommendation for Apples and Pears. It's especially beneficial for children with significant challenges to good spelling (poor memory, slow recall of letter shapes and GPC's, weak phonological skills, etc.)

The instructions are simple and easy to follow, which is of great help to a parent. Many effective programs have teacher materials that are daunting to a non-pedagogical person!

One thing to be aware of, it is a mastery based program, with built-in mastery tests every 5-10 lessons (I forget which). If a child does not meet the mastery targets, you are supposed to repeat those lessons. Oops -- what to do if you have already written in the book? Unless the child finds spelling easy, you can expect that you will have to repeat groups of lessons (levels) from time to time. You could buy two workbooks, but another option is to use page protectors and have the child write with a fine-point whiteboard marker.

What I do is buy a packet of heavy-duty overhead transparency plastic sheets, and make non-slip, heavy-duty page protectors as follows:

1. Put two plastic sheets together.
2. Using medium-width masking tape (about 1" is OK), tape the outer edge of one long side so that the two plastic sheets open like a book.
3. Then, with the pages closed and the taped side to your left, do the same to the top (short) side.
4. Now you have a double-sided, heavy duty page protector that you can slip over a workbook page, and which will stay in place and not jiggle or move up and down as the child writes on it.
5. Remember to wipe the sheets clean shortly after use, and record errors or things to remember for the next lesson in a notebook.

Works for me!

Susan S.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:01 am

frances5 - please will you contact me on .

Thank you!

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