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Toe to Toe / Word wasp

(28 Posts)
tigrou Fri 05-Dec-14 17:22:29

My DD's English teacher has recommended Toe to Toe / Word Wasp to help DD (age 9) with her spelling. Has anybody used them and what do you think of them? We would be doing it at home, because DD goes to a bilingual school with limited class time in English, so she wouldn't be able to do the programme every day with her teacher (but we have a very good relationship, so we will be liaising closely).
Thanks in advance

CastlesInTheSand Fri 05-Dec-14 19:24:58

Toe by toe is not a spelling program. It's a reading program.

Word wasp is a spelling program - but it requires a lot on memory - which most poor spellers have problems with.

What I recommend is a brand new program Spelling Tutor which is far better.

Ohmygrood Fri 05-Dec-14 19:44:20

Why is spelling tutor better than word wasp?

PesoPenguin Fri 05-Dec-14 20:54:37

Yes Toe by Toe is for reading and is mind numbingly boring! I'm not 100% convinced it offers long term improvements either ( although I'm no ed psych!). I've not heard of word wasp sorry, but would recommend Nessy.

mummytime Fri 05-Dec-14 21:15:33

We founds Word Wasp great for my DS, his spelling age went up 2 yrs+ in six months (as measured in school, independently). It's a bit boring, but got a lot of basic words in, by its repetition. dyslexics just like others can learn by going from memory to automatic memory. It show my sons spelling has continued to improve, especially in the words he eels for programming or in games.

CastlesInTheSand Fri 05-Dec-14 21:42:04

Spelling tutor is better than word wasp because it repeats the words you struggle with many more times than word wasp and with gaps in between the repetitions. Spelling tutor only marks a word as learnt if you get it right 7 times in a row over 21 sessions.

And it doesn't repeat the words you get right.

mummytime Fri 05-Dec-14 21:48:17

How much does Spelling Tutor cost?
And what is your connection with it?

CastlesInTheSand Fri 05-Dec-14 21:58:47

No connection. It's just a program I really like.

I've been running a small group intervention with it in my school and I'm very impressed.

It's reaching the very poorest spellers in my school. Their spelling and memory is far too poor to consider word wasp. Plus word wasp is a 1:1 intervention and I can use spelling tutor with a group of pupils at once.

maizieD Fri 05-Dec-14 22:48:36

Have you used Word Wasp, Castles?

How does Spelling Tutor approach the 'learning' of spellings? Is letter by letter or by mapping letters to sounds?

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 00:58:53

I've used the hornet primer, which is the easier version of word wasp with very weak spellers in KS2. I find the first few pages are great and then it quickly becomes too hard. Too many rules to remember (eg which words end in 1 s and which in 2). And hornet goes a lot slower than word wasp.

Spelling tutor goes word by word. And it's up to the pupil how they choose to learn them. If they get stuck I help them break the word up into syllables or sounds or point out the silent letter.

But because it's a computer program not a workbook it always goes at the pupils pace. I don't think a workbook can compare to that.

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 06:55:19

Even though the evidence is that hard writing rather than using a keyboard us more effective for retaining information?

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 07:24:11

Mrz - spelling tutor asks you to write! All of the spelling is done on paper. The program dictates a word or sentence to spell. Pupil writes it. And then marks their work and tells the program which words they got wrong and right.

I'm working in KS2 and yesterday one of my pupils was working on 'in' and 'this'. While another was working on 'where' and 'under'

They had got those words wrong earlier in the week so spelling tutor was repeating them. And it's working, they're learning them.

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 07:49:27

And a teacher can't dictate words without the need for expensive software?

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 07:56:05

As a literacy coordinator I would be asking serious questions about teaching in KS1 if children.were entering KS2 unable to spell "in" shock

mummytime Sat 06-Dec-14 08:18:52

Word Wasp costs about £25, and a parent or other totally untrained person can do it. All you need is paper and something to write with.

I would also be worried if a child in KS2 couldn't write "in", and would think they may need other provision. (The only child near to this I have known fought for and got, a LA funded place at a private specialist dyslexia school.)

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 08:19:08

A teacher can't dictate different words to each child in a group at the same time! And it's an awful lot of work for a teacher, or a parent, to keep track of what words each pupil is learning and when they should be repeated. This is exactly the kind of thing software is great at.

It's a junior school. There are problems in the infant school. But nothing we can do about that.

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 08:21:04

Also, word wasp and hornet primer have one starting point, whereas spelling tutor has 6 starting points. Roughly Y1 to Y6. So a 9 year old wouldn't start with 'in' and 'this' if they were further on than that.

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 08:24:05

Why can't a teacher dictate different words to individual children? It's not difficult to work on different words we do it all the time in phonics interventions.

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 08:25:13

Personally I don't like Word Wasp (can't comment on Hornet as I've never used it)

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 08:26:48

This child doesn't need specialist dyslexia anything. He's making progress on spelling tutor. There are other reasons why his spelling is so poor.

Spelling tutor is easier for parents to use than word wasp. And costs about the same.

Word wasp is ok - although it doesn't reach the weakest children. I think apples and pears is better. And I think spelling tutor is better again. That's been my experience.

CastlesInTheSand Sat 06-Dec-14 08:30:02

Mrz - if you're dictating different words to different pupils than pupils are waiting for you. Which wastes precious time.

Using a program the pupils go at their pace and speed.

A teacher can't compete with a database. You could do the same thing 1:1 but realistically you couldn't in a group intervention.

Coconutty Sat 06-Dec-14 08:30:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

maizieD Sat 06-Dec-14 08:37:15

With Spelling Tutor does knowledge transfer to words which aren‘t on the list for learning? It does only work on a tiny percentage of the English lexicon.

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 08:39:37

How long do you think it actually takes to say "in"?

mrz Sat 06-Dec-14 08:49:52

Admittedly we don't have children unable to spell "in" but we do use individual words within group interventions

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