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thruachild'sI thruachild'sI is offline
 
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How to help a student that can't spell
Old 09-28-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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I have a very bright student that is above average in just about everything except spelling. We study our words all week long and when Friday comes around he fails every spelling test. He just can't spell the words. How do I figure out what skill he is lacking? How do I help him? The students all do different activities during the week and he does just fine on his activities. He doesn't have test anxiety but something just does not click. When I asked him to sound out the words he is unable to relate letters to sounds. (5th grade by the way)


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spelling
Old 09-28-2009, 05:14 PM
 
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I am dyslexic and my daughter is as well. Spelling is the one area where it comes out strong. It is possible it could be this problem. I had to teach my daught all kind of tricks to get past spelling tests. She is now a senior in college with honors/deans list. Can the student spell the words orally? Have you tried giving a shorter list to the student to see if they can get them. You might want to read up on dyslexia and see if this child fits the information. My daughter was a good reader after some early intervention in 3rd and 4th grade but spelling will always be a problem.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:16 PM
 
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student read? If he is unable to relate letters to sounds how does read new words?

In my opinion you were able to answer your own question. If he is unable to relate letters to sounds then you need to start there. He should be able to look at a letter and know its sound. I would go to a K teacher and ask them for some phonics tests to assess where he is. I would also ask a "reading coach/leader" for some help if you have one.
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Old 09-28-2009, 05:54 PM
 
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You could try giving him the Words their Way developmental spelling inventory to see where he is at. That might give you more specific areas to focus on.

It could very well be that he has a learning disability. How is his writing? Is it really messy? I had a student once who was gifted/LD. He had dysgraphia which really impacted his writing and spelling but he was still a very capable reader. He did much better on a computer or dictating his written work. He learned to use spell check and had a few other adaptations as he got older.
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He has no problem reading or in math
Old 09-28-2009, 07:00 PM
 
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He participates in everything that we do and is on level or above with everything. We practice our spelling on the computer on Spellingcity during the week. I've never check to see if he is taking a pretest - I'll have to see if he is doing that.

In our school they don't spend a lot of time writing - I know that is terrible, or at least I think it is. So I've only actually seen two writing assignments from him. They were average. I'm not familiar with Words their Way - I will have to read up on it.

Dyslexic crossed my mind, but wouldn't that transfer into his math as well? I need to read up on it more. I studied it in school but that was a long time ago.

I need to get his last spelling test and sit down with it and analyze it. He seems to not hear the vowel blends if I remember. I graded so many papers that afternoon I can't remember for sure. But it also seems he didn't have a lot of the first letters correct as well.




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Old 09-28-2009, 07:43 PM
 
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He could very well be dyslexic, but very, very smart and have come up with ways to navigate around it. I work with lots of dyslexic kids. Most can't spell worth a darn. Many can learn to read, and read well, but the spelling is the BIG CLUE that there is something seriously wrong.

My littlest sister (7th grade) is super smart and also dyslexic. She has a photographic memory and has basically learned to read entirely by sight. She can hardly spell CVC nonsense words and makes NO sense of the vowels. It's really been difficult for her. She is smart enough that she is doing 9th grade math, in AP classes in EVERYTHING but needs someone to check her every word or use spell check before turning something in. She has memorized enough words now that she has generally decent spelling, but when she doesn't know a word, first she asks someone (say a science word that's new to her) and then she just remembers it. It takes her awhile to spell it though, but she has enough strategies that she usually looks back in the book.

Something funny: She couldn't spell WHEN for the LONGEST time... like as a fifth grader... AND my step-mom had made WHEN the password to get on the computer. My sister would have to type that to get on the computer every time, and still couldn't remember. When she finally got that word, my SM changed the password to something else.

It's possible that if this boy doesn't have terrible spelling during class assignments he is using the environment (word wall, posters, prompts on the board, etc) incredibly well to compensate.

**** I realized I didn't give you HELP! I would have him assessed if possible and then see if it's really a problem. You could probably do a little test yourself by just having him spell and write nonsense words. See how he does. He probably needs to review the vowels, because they are so tricky, and perhaps needs some intervention. However, if he is above grade level in everything else, he probably won't get the help. Teach him how to use spell check.

And maybe do more writing
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Old 09-28-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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Dyslexia doesn't always effect math. My dd is dyslexic but excels in math and sciences. Her biggest challenge in math is transferring information from a text book to a notebook.

Here is a link to the WTW spelling inventory. It's a great book if you can get a copy to read.

http://www.elko.k12.nv.us/wwelem/fil...0Inventory.pdf

Here is the one for older students, but guessing from what you said the primary one may be more helpful - http://www.tc.edu/rwp/assessment/200...spellingug.pdf
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Spelling disaster
Old 09-29-2009, 06:53 AM
 
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I teach a 7th grade self-contained class and I have a similar situation. I have a young man who will not write and when he does (the bare minimum) his spelling is aweful. We talked about it today and I promised that I would do my best to get him on grade level. He spells when "wen" and things like super "supr" He had this difficulty all last year as well. I'm having him tested here through the school, but in the meantime we are working together to try and make some progress. He has no self confidence in this area, hates writing and has no desire to do so. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
-Mrs. JB.
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Old 09-29-2009, 08:20 AM
 
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I agree with starting with the spelling inventory and using that to target his weak areas.
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Something else...
Old 09-29-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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does he have any hearing issues? Is there any way you could have his hearing checked? This could be a problem as well because he would not be hearing the sounds correctly or at all.
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Hmmmm
Old 09-29-2009, 07:15 PM
 
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My first reaction was that he has dyslexia. I just went to an inservice where Susan Barton was the presenter. You could google her. I have a friend who is in her early 30's who has just been diagnosed as being dyslexic and is attending classes at a center that follows Susan Barton's program and is now developing the skills needed to read and spell. It has made a noticeable boost to her esteem!

Also, you could look into Beverly Tyner. She has a program that uses a very systematic approach to teaching spelling patterns (Ex. short "a", long "a" words, "ar" words, etc.) A word wall is needed, though, due to the unpredictable nature of high frequency words. We've been using this at my school for the past year and have seen success!

I'm guessing there's a word wall in your room. My resource teaching applied for a student to get a computer so that it predicts the word that you're trying to spell, and will give a list of words that the student is looking for (Ex. The student starts to spell "they", a possible list may be "the", "them", "then" and "they").
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no one in my school has a word wall - -
Old 09-30-2009, 05:39 PM
 
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not sure why - but there aren't any. When I started I had a BB designated as a word wall and was told it wasn't necessary and not something they "stressed". I only have a few BB in my room and they are covered with "required" posters.

I will check out all the sites and see if I can't find something that fits this students performance. He is such a good kid that I really would like to help him if I can.
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my son has that problem too
Old 10-01-2009, 10:45 AM
 
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had a conference with my sons 3rd grade teacher I knew he had issues with spelling but not they have FCATS testing to pass 3rd and shes worried about his spelling he to spells words totally phonically but he also knows and spells many without doing that, he reads good, and is fluent he understands what he reads and love to write what could be his problem? anybody have this same situation?
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