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Question for those of you who have used Apples & Pears for spelling...(9 Posts)
Hi, I have just received the notes and workbook today and had a quick look through. I am planning on starting over the summer hols with my DS who is just finishing Yr 2. I would be really interested to hear what people's experiences of the programme were, good or bad. Did your DC find a level a day ok or was it too much? Did you feel that your DC actually applied the correct spelling in their general writing, my DS doesn't currently do this as well as he should, can learn for a test but then spells words (even high frequency ones) incorrectly when putting them in a sentence.
Any tips / comments gratefully received
I'm a TA and use Apples and Pears in school approx 3 times per week with year 3 and 4 children. We've seen great progress with it. It has helped the children to remember spellings in their general work and not just for spelling tests.
My DD is just finishing Year 2 and I'm going to do it with her over the summer (she's had a visual assessment and has glasses and exercises to do for tracking problems). Her spelling is awful (although I can read it these days as she makes phonetic attempts!)
I'm currently doing Dancing Bears Fastrack with her because although her reading is coming along nicely (Gold/White level) I think she is whole word reading and not decoding properly and so I thought it would be best to make sure she is confident in segmenting words and secure in all of her graphemes. Hopefully this will then feed through into her spelling.
I think every day would be too much for my DD and so will aim for 3 x per week I think.
Hope it goes well for you.
I've done book 1 with DD1 currently yr 2. Aimed for every day but more normally 4 days a school week with maybe some at weekends. Its not always happened but trying to get it into a routine has helped as has occasional bribery.
Her general spelling has massively improved and her teacher has noticed and commented.
Took about 5 months to get through but there were stoppages due to stuff like sickness in family or other stressful stuff.
A level is supposed to take 10 to 20 minutes but mostly a level would take 30 + minutes often we were doing it after a full school day so sometimes if she was tired we'd do half a level.
I've tried to get her started on book 2 but I think she tired from the school year and her enthusiasm has diminished a bit plus we have few things going on that mean routine has gone to pot.
I've also just bought and tried to start Dancing Bears Fastrack - were told her reading is fine and her phonic awareness is great but when we listen to her read we have concerns there seem to be a lot of misreading words - guessing which her school encourages as a strategy and I'm worried some tracking issues - she certainly does better with the cursor from the dancing bear books.
DD could only manage 1/2 a level a day - but she has severe problems.
I think most kids do manage a level a day.
We did it 7 days a week. And it did help.
However for various reasons we stopped. But school are now starting it up again for me and they'll do it 5 days a week. Hopefully by now she'll cope with a whole level a day.
She did remember the spelling patterns she learnt - and DD seriously has the worst spelling you've ever seen.
At the moment she writes lick instead of like and bick instead of bike because she learnt the 'ck' pattern with A&P but gave up before learning 'ike'
and bick for bike is a serious improvement over what she was writing
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am planning on doing the placement test at some point over the weekend when he is not tired and then hoping to do it 4 x per week but I suppose I will have to wait and see how long each level takes us, definitely can't see us completing a level in 10 mins!!!
DS does have tracking issues (nystagmus) and am guessing that the word search sections will be very tricky for him, we will definitely be starting in Book A and I am guessing it will be at level 30 (hopefully). Did your DC's struggle with this?
Also how strict were / are you in the handwriting? Due to DS visual problems his writing is quite big, though legibility (if there is such a word!!) is improving and I'm not sure he will form his letters correctly within the lines.
In school I try for a level a day but as I do it at lunchtime how far we get is dependent on the dinner time supervisors more than the children
I didn't focus on handwriting.
The word searches will hopefully help your DS. If he can't do them, im not sure how he'll be able to read.
DD started well below level 30. She did struggle - which is why we gave up and started again later.
But if you use the placement test you should start at the right level.....
I thought I'd be starting at the end of the book 1. Did the placement tests and I shocked to find we started at level 10.
She didn't struggle but made steady progress till the end of the book where we did have to go back and repeat last few sections.
I was strict with handwriting - but I think on the website they suggest separating handwriting and spelling practice.
I knew DD1 was having trouble with letters than are commonly problem areas but it highlighted that she was forming a very large number incorrectly so I insisted they were correctly done.
She also couldn't do word searches before this book which upset her at school and struggled with the finding letters in the line bit but by the end it did improve. She can now do word searches and does for enjoyment not sure if that would have happened with time or not.
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