CD Roms for Spelling

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Anna
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CD Roms for Spelling

Post by Anna » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:07 am

Hi all,

I have a quick enquiry about spelling. I have been working for 4 terms with a pupil who is now coming to the end of Year 3. He started as pretty much a non-reader and has made excellent progress with the BRI/ARI books. He will complete ARI 4 this term. For those of you who don't know the books, this basically means he will know all the code and he is now at the point of just reading many of the new words automatically. He is going to read Set 5 (and poss 6) at home, just to work on more m-w words and keep checking on accuracy. He still needs some support to decode new m-s words - I use the notched cursor. He also still occasionally misreads/ 'guesses' words as he is rather impulsive. As soon as I point to the word he will read it correctly.

I have found it a real struggle to get him to focus on spelling work through writing the words. He just wasn't interested and he is a child who needs to be motivated to learn as concentration has been an issue - this is generally much improved though.

However, lately we've had a major breakthrough with spelling as I've discovered that he loves Word Shark. I no longer use it for reading as I think at least some of the games are too whole-word, onset-rime orientated. It seems a lot better for spelling and he is really motivated to play the games and he loves doing the spelling test and wants to get it all right with no help! So I am very pleased. :grin: He is a pupil where words have usually gone to 'sight' words quickly after decoding a few times and this has increased as he has progressed. He seems to remember the spellings pretty quickly too. I'll have to assess him to see if these stick long-term but I no we'll have no problem with him practising daily at home, so I think they will. :grin:

So I have a few questions. My plan is to structure a spelling programme for him around Word Shark but I was just wondering if anyone had experience of using the CD and had any thoughts. My version is structured around Alpha to Omega and the old NLS.

As it is typing, writing the graphemes and saying the phonemes doesn't work (although of course we can include this too and I feel we should). However, when he is typing he always tends to say each individual letter sound rather than the phonemes and I'm wondering how to tackle this? I understand why he does this because he is thinking about which key he needs to press. He has also always tended to do this for spelling even when I reminded him that it is /sh/ not /s/ /h/ for example. One idea I have is to read the words first (which we do now) and then get him to count the graphemes on his fingers first. I believe Ruth Miskin's prog actually gets children to do this and then they say letter names (I can't remember if this is just for the digraphs). As this pupil is not a beginner perhaps this would work?

I also need to decide which order of intorduction would be best - he already knows the code for reading, as I said and now some for spelling too - eg ar, er etc but needs to work on spelling alternatives.

I also wondered, out of interest, i f anyone had experience of any other spelling CD roms and if there are any which are compatible with SP principles. Most that I've seen seem to be based on look, cover, write check. :sad:

JAC
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:51 am

Post by JAC » Wed Jun 11, 2008 2:35 pm

It's possible to make your own lists for Word shark, based on BRI/ARI spelling lists. It's not difficult to do this if you don't want to stick with Alpha-Omega.
It's also possible to put a keyboard on the screen instead of using the real keyboard, which can make spelling quicker if the child is a very slow keyboarder.
I think I did experiment at one stage at making a 'phoneme' keyboard with a few digraphs, unsuccessfully. ( It's something that might be suggested to the Wordshark creators, although they have just come out with a new version to reflect the new UK approach.)

I understand your problem with keyboard keys and your idea of doing the segmenting before typing in the words sounds reasonable.

You could call out letter/sound correspondences and ask child to keyboard them as a preliminary exercise to whatever spelling you are teaching using Word Shark, so that keyboarding speed is increased on a subskill.

I've got a couple of boys doing Apples and Pears - it's marvellous for getting that sounding as you go - but they also hate the handwriting, so we are having a go at keyboarding some of the lessons, and for some of the lessons I quickly rewrite the exercise on a white board. Novelty value at present, but after all, keyboarding is also a skill they will have to learn sooner or later.

The DI programmes get the children to segment - /c/ -/a/ -/t/ , then spell out the letters, C A T so it must be ok!!

JAC
Posts: 517
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:51 am

Post by JAC » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:48 pm

Hi Anna
I was using Word Shark with a student again today - he also likes spelling - and there is a game where you don't have to type anything in, but from the jumbled up letters, select the letters to spell the target word. Also one of the maze games operates in a similar way.
I don't know how well you know WS but I seem to have overlooked many features over the last couple of years, and it does warrant a thorough examination if you can stand it!
Apparently the new version is more geared to Letters and Sounds plus more games. There seems to be an awful lot already so I wonder if there is anyone with the new version who can review?

cheers
JAC

Anna
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Location: Herts

Post by Anna » Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:54 pm

Hi Jac,

Thanks so much for your replies and apologies for the delay in replying. It's been a busy week, with 2 new pupils.

Yes, we play the maze game and he enjoys it. I do think we need to say the sounds before reading the words so he is segmenting, otherwise he'll just rely on his visual memory when playing the games or do his routine of saying a sound for each letter (not grapheme) as he types.

I got him to do that yesterday for some qu words which I had added. I'd spotted he was spelling it as kw when working on another sound. To start with when saying the sounds on his fingers, he was still saying k and then w but by the end he'd got qu. I think I'm going to use the Ruth Miskin routine, which is similar to the DI one I believe (saying the sounds and then letter names for digraphs and trigraphs). I'll need to clarify this with those who are familiar with Read Write Inc as I just saw it when flicking through Geraldines' copies of the books.

I like your idea of practising the spelling on the keyboard first and will incorporate this. I'll write the routines with his mum too as she'll be supporting him practising at home.

I actually decided I needed to buy the new version. His mum is buying it so I do need to be able to use the new version for planning a programme. It looks better as it says it is phoneme-based (refecting the Rose guidance presumably) and indeed it ties in wih Letters and Sounds and not the old NLS structure. I'll review it here once I've had a good look. :smile:

JAC
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Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2005 1:51 am

Post by JAC » Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:46 pm

How are you getting on with the new version of Wordshark? I splashed out and bought it last week, and from what I have seen so far I am very happy with. It offers a great deal more than the prevous version of spelling by phoneme, very SP friendly.

g.carter
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Post by g.carter » Tue Aug 05, 2008 8:22 pm

I may have to grit the teeth and do the SEN/TES exhibition in London during the October half-term. Last time I was there - about 4 years ago - WS had just added a pg component and probably they've done more since then - worth talking to the WS expert and having a go with the machine and finding out what's in the pipeline.

Anna
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Location: Herts

Post by Anna » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:25 pm

Hi Jac,

Sorry not to reply sooner. We've had a relative staying. Yes, so far so good with Wordshark. I think in terms of games there are only a few new ones - although the children really enjoy Flums, which is one of the new games! I really like the new facility where the words can be split into phonemes and the child can sound out and then listen to the sounds to check. This has helped with my dilemma.

The early lists still have some words grouped by rime - I wish the vowels were mixed up but I think as the children have had a good SP grounding by this point it's ok. I mainly use it for the more advanced spellings anyway. I'm using it with those who are quite advanced with the ARI books and probably in Sept with a few who have finished my other programme (Sound Reading System) but need more work on spelling, as they have weak short-term memories. It does fill a gap for those older pupils who need lots of regular practice but are turned off by workbooks!

It has a whole new section which ties in with the Letters and Sounds sequence but I haven't had a chance to look at that as I don't teach in school.

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Susan Godsland
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Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Aug 31, 2008 10:16 pm

Do have a look at the new Jolly Phonics CD-ROM. It's the only phonics CD-ROM that I'm willing to recommend as it sticks to the synthetic phonics principles throughout:

Jolly Phonics interactive games on CD-ROM: 20 games / 3 levels. http://jollylearning.co.uk/2008%20Catalogue.pdf

cartwheel
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Post by cartwheel » Tue Nov 04, 2008 8:24 pm

I just downloaded a demo version of the Jolly Phonics CD-Rom to check out a few of the activities. It looks great.
It goes as far as into the code as (some) alternative spellings of the vowels. (E.g. in one game, the child chooses among vowel spelling alternatives: ay, ai, a-e, ai)

http://jollylearning.co.uk/

Jennie

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