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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pegasus View Post
    I'm currently gathering information to back up the fact that I think my children's school has missed something.

    My daughter (year 2) used to have a spelling list weekly and it had theme (eg. ck, i-e...) but suddenly they switched to saying that there is research to show that homework is not needed, and the homework is now spellodrome and mathletics.

    I am not happy with this and am gathering information as my daughter has said that she now does Dolch words (which are sight words). I do not like inconsistency and to change phonetic spelling to sight words does not compute (to me)

    To put my "therapist hat on" I know some children do not cope with sight words.

    I clearly recall a 10 year old coming to a therapy session where we made cornflake cookies as an activity. Everytime he saw a long word (cornflake or chocolate) beginning with c he saw cauliflower rather than the logical word of cornflakes or chocolates.

    That example showed me blatently that sight words do not work with children with difficulties.
    I have worked at a few schools. The main one I worked at focused on phonics in the first few years then introduced spelling lists/sight words etc. Most of the others have used sight words from early on. As I mentioned before, some high frequency words don't follow any sort of phonic logic, so learning them by sight really helps.

    The caulifower thing is a common thing for children to do and not necessarily the result of sight words. By the time they are working on spelling lists with a word like cauliflower on it they will have already been exposed to many other long words starting with 'c' - I would assume that some event has helped that word stick in their head. For example they may have had a lengthy query discussion with a parent about why it's called a 'flower'.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrswhitehouse View Post
    Thank you SO much. Those are some great ideas and I will give some a try over this weekend. I like the idea of working on 3-5 at a time and will try that too.

    I think he is a sensory learner.

    So far I've tried sticking labels with the words on to his lego which he LOVES (the lego not the words lol) I've made a car park on paper and put a word in each park and played a game where he parked his matchbox cars in them and we read the words or I asked him to park in 'at' etc.

    I've made flash cars with a glitter glue pen so he can feel the words, I've made normal flash cards that I put sprinkles of gold glitter on and laminated (they are gold words)

    He goes to a tutor every Saturday morning and she has been working with him since December as we knew he was not ready for prep.

    He is still working on being able to read the numbers 6,7,8,9,10 too. He can count to them but doesn't recognise the number symbol when you show it to him.

    I'm now just trying to do things with him a couple if times a day which is a little sad for me as I see other kids in his class get it with not much help and I wish my poor boy didn't have to go over it sooooo many times (which he finds boring) when he could be playing.
    It's great that you are making such an effort to help your child. I wish every parent could be as involved. I also commend you on doing lots of 'fun' ways to incorporate the words. It's so important to me that children enjoy learning, yes some bits need to be a bit boring at times, but on the whole school should be enjoyable!

    Please don't compare your child to others. They are all such unique little beings. He might be able to catch a footy kicked from 50m away when another parent is struggling to get their child to catch a basketball rolled along the floor to them. Every child 'gets' things at different stages. My daughter can draw amazing pictures for her age. When I gave her a pen to play with at about 11 months, she held it in correct pencil grip and started scribbling on a box. My son is about that age now and if I give him a pen he sticks it in his mouth and crawls around the house with it! I'm going to guess that he won't be quite the artist his sister is.

  2. #22
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    Gothel is offline Skip the drama, stay with Mama!
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovebeingamum! View Post
    Does anyone have any other reading programs they've used to supplement school teaching?

    I think I'm disillusioned from a tough time with DS1 (he has fallen under the "dyslexic" umbrella- but that's a whole other thread I suppose!) but now DS2 is in prep and bringing home sight words.

    I know it's all got to be repetition and revision and whatnot, but how is drilling stupid single, words with no context into a five year old helpful?

    The. Was. They. Is. It.

    I hate sight words.


    DH (34) Me (30)
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    I agree, it was torture teaching them to dd1 last year. She just didn't get it, she didn't see the point, and when we worked on them it invariably ended with her in tears under the table.

    I made games out of it in the end. I made up my own cards at home on the same coloured paper as the school sent home, and we played matching games, memory games, I cut them up and she had to jigsaw them together again. We built the words from magnetic letters on the fridge. We played snap. I found a website where you can do customised worksheets so I typed up the words and she traced out the dotted version. I didn't push her to name the word or anything, I made sure I named it myself but the aim was just to get her familiar with them.

    By the 4th or 5th sheet she had got the idea of what was required and it was enough just to put a tick next to each word she got right. Some of the middle sheets were in ribbons by the time she'd put dozens of ticks on each word ha ha. By the end of the year it was a cinch.

    Make it fun is my advice! Good luck, it does get easier

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  4. #23
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    @mrswhitehouse i already sounds like you've been using some great ideas yourself and glad my suggestions were useful to you

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    *it* not i

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jussi View Post
    be careful using letter land though, as studies have been done that have shown it to teach students the character names and then for them to have difficulty associating the sounds and assimilating their knowledge into words because they are spending too much thought on the characters and stories and not enough on the letters and sounds themselves. The basic rule of thumb is 'think smarter, not harder'. In other words, it is better to use a method that takes only a small amount of 'brain space' rather than taking up all the brain space with unnecessary thought paths. If it seems complicated, it probably is and there is likely to be an easier way to solve the problem. The less cluttered the brain is, the more space there is to develop thought further and become even more advanced in the skill being learnt.
    The thing with letterland is that it gives another way to learn it. It is fine to say "less complicated" etc but for kids that are struggling with the traditional or rote learning it can work wonders. Teaming simple and memorable songs and ideas can help a lot.

    Sometimes it is about finding the right tool for the child...not trying to make the child conform to a tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by River Song View Post
    The thing with letterland is that it gives another way to learn it. It is fine to say "less complicated" etc but for kids that are struggling with the traditional or rote learning it can work wonders. Teaming simple and memorable songs and ideas can help a lot.

    Sometimes it is about finding the right tool for the child...not trying to make the child conform to a tool.
    Yes my son has come leaps and bounds since learning about hard that man and golden girl etc. made a boring old h into something he could remember. His tutor often tells him a story from her childhood (sometimes made up) to get him to remember things. Eg. How she used to play baseball (plus a funny story of her playing it) and the bat looked like a one and the ball like a zero and that was the number 10. Something about storing it in his long term memory better if it had a story with it.

    He does tend to call the letters Harry hat man etc sometimes so I can see what the other post was meaning but going from a child who wouldn't remember letter names at all it has really helped.

  8. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by River Song View Post
    The thing with letterland is that it gives another way to learn it. It is fine to say "less complicated" etc but for kids that are struggling with the traditional or rote learning it can work wonders. Teaming simple and memorable songs and ideas can help a lot.

    Sometimes it is about finding the right tool for the child...not trying to make the child conform to a tool.
    Yes my son has come leaps and bounds since learning about Harry hat man and golden girl etc. made a boring old h into something he could remember. His tutor often tells him a story from her childhood (sometimes made up) to get him to remember things. Eg. How she used to play baseball (plus a funny story of her playing it) and the bat looked like a one and the ball like a zero and that was the number 10. Something about storing it in his long term memory better if it had a story with it.

    He does tend to call the letters Harry hat man etc sometimes so I can see what the other post was meaning but going from a child who wouldn't remember letter names at all it has really helped.

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrswhitehouse View Post
    Yes my son has come leaps and bounds since learning about Harry hat man and golden girl etc. made a boring old h into something he could remember. His tutor often tells him a story from her childhood (sometimes made up) to get him to remember things. Eg. How she used to play baseball (plus a funny story of her playing it) and the bat looked like a one and the ball like a zero and that was the number 10. Something about storing it in his long term memory better if it had a story with it.

    He does tend to call the letters Harry hat man etc sometimes so I can see what the other post was meaning but going from a child who wouldn't remember letter names at all it has really helped.
    what i was trying to say, is that it can complicate the whole thing for some students, but yes, it does work for others. It really depends on the child. The other thing is that no one approach in isolation is going to give your child a holistic education. Any approach or program should be taken for the parts of it that are working, but in conjunction with the 'good' parts of other approaches as well. It really depends on the way your child learns best. Some students are better geared towards stories and characters, but for others it just confuses them further. If it has worked for your child, then good! Letterland is clearly geared at their preferred mode of learning. If not, then another approach may be better suited to your child. Using the wrong approach for your child's style of learning is what will clutter their brain space, because it will take them more thinking to engage in a style that is not their own.

  10. #29
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    When my daughter started on sight words last year my expectations of her were to high. I relaxed about the whole approach and made it fun by playing games. We played teachers which was one of her favourites. It is all about repetition.

    By the end of their first year they are expected to know the first 100 words.

    A year later I cannot believe how well my daughter reads and writes, she really surprises me sometimes. Knowing her sight words has given her such an amazing foundation.

    Just make it fun and no pressure and i am sure he will pick it up in no time It seems a little daunting at first but they soon get the hang of it

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  12. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jussi View Post
    what i was trying to say, is that it can complicate the whole thing for some students, but yes, it does work for others. It really depends on the child. The other thing is that no one approach in isolation is going to give your child a holistic education. Any approach or program should be taken for the parts of it that are working, but in conjunction with the 'good' parts of other approaches as well. It really depends on the way your child learns best. Some students are better geared towards stories and characters, but for others it just confuses them further. If it has worked for your child, then good! Letterland is clearly geared at their preferred mode of learning. If not, then another approach may be better suited to your child. Using the wrong approach for your child's style of learning is what will clutter their brain space, because it will take them more thinking to engage in a style that is not their own.
    Sorry I totally understood what you were saying about it confusing some kids and adding extra things for them to think about rather than just focusing on the letters. I forgot to write that at the end of my post 😄 was just trying to say it was one thing that has works for my son when not much else has. 😃


 

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