Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Daniel's First Spelling List

Today, we finally got to start spelling. We had to wait until D-Man learned the proper way to form all of his letters. He had picked up some bad habits by trying to figure out how to write by himself, so we learned the proper way to write each letter. I thought that he would fight me, but he didn't have any problems. I think that he likes knowing the "right" way to do it instead of guessing or making it up each time he writes a letter.

I had planned on taking it fairly slow only doing 2-4 letters each day, but D-Man had other ideas. He didn't want to only do two letters the first day, he wanted to do ALL of them. So, we did. He insisted on doing that everyday. I found that it was much easier for him to write on a dry erase board instead of a piece of paper. He doesn't have to put much pressure on a dry-erase marker, so it keeps him from getting tired as he writes. Here was his dry-erase board the first day:

Yes, it is very colorful. I think he did a GREAT job.

I figured that we couldn't just practice letters everyday or he would get bored. Plus, now that he knows how to form them correctly, he will have plenty of opportunity to practice them as we do our spelling words. One of the prinicples that SWR keeps repeating is to get on with it.

I decided that we would only do 10 words/wk this year so that it wouldn't take too long and D-Man wouldn't get tired writing them. The first 10 words were a breeze for him. I didn't know how it would go since he's never spelled before. He can read all of the words easily, but spelling is a different skill. I'm glad that today was easy for him so that he'll be excited to do more later. We wrote them first on a piece of paper so that he wouldn't have to concentrate on his penmanship. Later, we transferred them to his log concentrating more on penmanship. Here is a pic of the words in his log.
If you're wondering why there is a 3 on top of the a in all and the y in my is underlined, that is part of the program. We use marking in our log to remind us how a phonogram sounds in the word. The 3 indicates that it is the third sound of "a" and the line tells us that it is the second vowel sound of "y" (standing in for "I").

This log essentially becomes his textbook for the year. It has reference pages in the back that we are building and his spelling words in the front. We will be reading these words throughout the year to help him gain fluency.

When we do our spelling words each week, he doesn't just copy them. I tell (dictate) the word to him and help him figure out which phonograms to use for the words. He actually had to think about how the word is constructed. I think it is a great method to learn phonics to both encode and decode words.

Now that we have our words for the week, we'll do several enrichment exercises with them and have a test on Friday. I'm very interested to find out how he handles his first test.

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