Wednesday, December 17, 2008

All About Spelling Review

This was a real blessing to be able to review All About Spelling. From the moment I started to look over this program, I knew I was going to like it. Marie Rippel has done a wonderful job of simplifying one of the most difficult subjects to teach with all the different rules to remember. The materials are so well organized! I will tell you there is some setup time involved, although some of that has been changed and they have taken measures to cut down on some of the initial prep time. Once you have everything set up and ready to go, the program is a breeze to use and you will be glad for the simple system she has developed.

This program is available in four levels with the fifth to be released in 2009. It is recommended that all students start in Level One, even if they move quickly through it. This is a very hands-on, multisensory program. It's like it was created with my son in mind!

All About Spelling is based on the Orton-Gillingham method that identifies phonograms and how they are best taught. This is especially great for children who are dyslexic. There are 24 steps the child needs to complete in level one beginning with learning all the sounds of the alphabet. This means EVERY sound each letter can make. You can even purchase a CD to help you and your child learn the proper pronunciation for all of the sounds. Up until now, my son couldn't tell me all of the commonly used sounds for each letter. He can now tell me all of the sounds for each letter and he can do it instantly! We've only made it through the first 12 steps of level one, but his spelling has already improved. He has even mentioned to me a few times that he spelled a word he didn't think he could spell before.

There are four types of cards used in the system:
  • phonogram- these give visual and verbal review of the sounds. A card is held up and the child must give the sound the phonogram makes.
  • sound- these cards give aural and tactile review. The student listens to you dictate the sound and he writes the letter(s) that make the sound.
  • key- these cards introduce and reinforce spelling rules.
  • word- these contain the words your child will learn to spell.
An index card box can be used to organize these cards and the dividers are even provided for you.

In addition to the cards, there are letter tiles you can purchase along with magnets you can attach to the backs to be used on a magnetic board. You don't however have to use a magnetic board if you don't want to. It just makes it easier later in the program when you are using more letters and they need to be kept in certain groups. If you keep them on the board, you won't have to set them up each time you do spelling. As the child sounds out a word, he pulls down the corresponding letters from the alphabet arranged in front of him. This really helps to involve the visual, auditory, and tactile methods of learning.

Halfway through level one, your child will start to write phrases that are dictated to him. This is another way to reinforce what he has learned. Eventually he will be writing whole sentences as he moves through the different levels.

There is a built in review for all the concepts learned. This is so nice because you don't have to worry about remembering it yourself. Levels two through four are set up in the same format but continue to build on the foundation laid in level one.

This is a well thought out program that is very effective. I am so thrilled to have been given the opportunity to use it. My son is dyslexic and struggles terribly with spelling. I can truly see this program helping him tremendously. I plan on using it through all the levels! If your child has even the slightest problem with spelling, I would highly recommend you try this program out. I think you will be impressed!

The cost:
  • Price: Level 1 is $29.95
  • Additional Material Packet (for extra child): $12.95
  • Letter Tiles, necessary item: $9.95
  • Magnets for letter tiles, for use with magnetic board: $5.95
  • Phonogram Audio CD-ROM: $14.95

To find out more about this program, please click here.

Heidi Miller-Ford

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