Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hiking on the Appalachian Trail

We spent Saturday morning hiking on the Appalachian Trail.  I have always lived near the Appalachian Trail, but I'm guilty of NEVER experiencing it's beauty. 


Our spring family goal is to spend more time outside.  This was a perfect way to start achieving our goal!  The girls loved walking down the path, crossing over rocks and trees, to get to the overlook point.  The views from every direction were breathtaking!  It was a gentle reminder of the beautiful area that will call home.  


They also enjoyed exploring the area.  Mac came home with a lot of little treasures in her pocket!  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

TOS Review: Spelling You See


Spelling You See uses an innovative approach to teach children how to spell with no word lists, no spelling tests, and no memorization of spelling rules.  Instead, children are exposed to brief daily activities that integrate writing, reading, speaking, and listening.     

There are currently 5 levels available in the Spelling You See program.  Age and grade level should not be the determining factor when deciding which level to begin; instead, it is more appropriate to choose a level based on spelling skills.  Placement guidelines are available to help determine which level is best suited for your child.  In addition, there are samples from each level. 


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I was curious to see how the Spelling You See approach would work with Izzie, 7 years old.  I'm guilty of giving her a weekly spelling word list to memorize throughout the week.  She perfectly retains the information for her weekly spelling test, but then the words magically disappear.  I'm always surprised when she's writing and asks me to spell a word that she just spelled correctly on last week's spelling test!  
 
After reviewing the placement guidelines and samples from each level, I decided that Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C) would be the best fit for Izzie.  


We received the following:
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Instructor's Handbook, $14
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Student Pack, $30

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What's included in the Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Instructor's Handbook?
 


The Introduction includes the Spelling You See program's philosophy, a summary of the five developmental stages of spelling, and placement guidelines.   
 
The Getting Started section includes an overview of the program, items needed, organization for the 36 lessons, and tips for success.  Followed by detailed instructions for the first seven lessons with a general summary of each activity.     
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Instructor's Guide

In the back, there is more information about guided reading, chunking, copywork, “no rule day”, and dictation. Furthermore, there are answers to frequently asked questions and a collection of helpful resources including passages for dictation.
 
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What's included in the Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Student Pack?
 


The Student Pack includes two student workbooks and a pack of erasable colored pencils.  There are a total of 36 weekly lessons divided into the two student workbooks.  Each weekly lesson is divided into five parts, A through E.  In addition, each weekly lesson is designed to be completed over a five day period, one part per day, lasting only 10-15 minutes each day. 
 
The first 7 weekly lessons use Nursery Rhymes to help build confidence of the beginning reader.  Weekly lessons 8-36 are nonfiction passages about animals.  Both provide opportunities for vocabulary development, as well as, learning to spell words in an interesting context. 

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How did we incorporate Spelling You See into our daily schedule?

Each day, Izzie spent a maximum of 15 minutes completing the daily activities.  Each weekly lesson took five days to complete and consisted of five parts, A through E.   Each part has two worksheets, Section 1 and Section 2.  Section 1 presents the passage (Nursery Rhyme or Nonficition Animal Story), then the passage is read and chunked.  Section 2 varies among Copywork, "No Rule Day" and Dictation.
 
Days 1, 2 and 3 covering Parts A, B, and C
 
The first three days (Parts A, B, and C), the passage is read daily to the child by the parent.  The same passage is used all week to encourage familiarity and development of visual memory. 
 
In the weekly lessons 1-7, after the parent reads the Nursery Rhyme to the student, they will read it together, while clapping the rhythm, then the passage is read again, this time having the student point to each word.  
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Lesson 1A
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Lesson 6B
 
In the weekly lessons 8-36, after the nonfiction passage is read by the parent, the child and parent will read it together, while the child is pointing to each word.  

Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Lesson 8A
 
Afterward, the child is introduced to the "chunking" process, where a specific letter pattern is located and marked within the passage.  The same specific letter pattern is reinforced throughout the week.
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (C), Vowel Chunking
 
Lastly, the child copies a section from the passage and then will chunk his/her work. 

Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Copywork

Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Copywork with Chunking

Day 4, Part D
 
Day four (Part D) is referred to as the "No Rule Day".  However, the passage is read and the child will chunk the passage, just like days 1-3.  Afterward, the child has an opportunity to be creative with illustrating and writing about the current passage.    
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), No Rule Day
 
Day 5, Part E
 
On day five, the passage is read and the child will chunk the passage, just like the previous days.  Afterward, the passage is dictated to the child. 
 
Spelling You See: Wild Tales (Level C), Dictation
 
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What did I like about Spelling You See?

1.  The lessons are easy and short, only 10-15 minutes a day.  This is beneficial if you have a child that needs short, focused lessons. 

2.  The beginning Nursery Rhymes, weekly lessons 1-7, were a great way to transition Izzie into this program.  Since she was familiar with the passages, it greatly helped with her confidence.  The following lessons about animals are interesting and keeps Izzie's attention.

3.  The lessons are colorful and engaging.  I really liked the chunking process, which encouraged Izzie to focus on individual words.

4.   The incorporation of copywork and dictation within the lessons made it extremely convenient.

5.  Izzie doesn't have to spend time each day memorizing a word list for a spelling test.  Instead, she is learning how to spell words in context. 

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Be sure to check out what other Crew Mates had to say about their experience with Spelling You See.

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Afternoon Tea



  
Izzie had a wonderful afternoon at the Tea Party hosted by our local library.

 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spreading Spring Cheer!

The girls created adorable St. Patrick's Day cards for the residents at our local nursing home.

 

We have been visiting with the residents once a month since the beginning of the school year.  The residents are beginning to recognize the girls and the girls are much more comfortable with them too.    It has been such a blessing for everyone! 

The girls were super excited to deliver their St. Patrick's Day cards and green candy to their friends at the nursing home!  During this visit, they were able to help make peanut butter feeders too!

 



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