Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cate's Spelling Homework (Day 7 of 31/21)

A couple days ago I detailed Cate's school schedule so it seemed right to follow that up with a post on homework.  Homework is both the bane of my existence and an excellent tool to help Cate.  The difference is completely up to Cate.  Some nights the 15 minutes of 1st grade homework take 20 minutes, some nights it take an hour, some night it falls in the middle somewhere.  Our routine on the nights we don't have a therapy or an activity after school is to come home after picking up both girls, do chores, let the girls watch 15 minutes of TV while eating a snack, then do homework and play outside before dinner.  On the nights with an after school commitment we try to do homework as soon as we get home.  For Cate it is important that we have a dedicated place to do homework so my parents refinished and painted the old desk set that I had as a kid and we put it the kitchen. 

I took some of Ric's old baseball card holders and made them into sleeves to put spelling word flash cards in.  I did Velcro attachments to the wall behind her desk so we can move them around. 
The ability to move the flash cards around adds a motion to her homework that can help keep the fidgeting down.  Normally when we do the writing spelling words multiple times I will take them all down from the wall then have her choose one to write by putting it in the center spot.  Then after she writes it 3 times she moves it down the line and puts up her next one.  It think for Cate this process works much better then just trying to get her to sit still and write a word 3 times. 

Cate's spelling word cards - one is pink because it was a hold over from the previous week.

Normally the nightly homework fall into a pattern - a spelling activity, a math activity, and reading a book.  The teacher allows me to modify the homework assignment to fit Cate's level.  Like for the spelling portion, we modify to included only the 5 words she has been assigned (from the 10 the rest of the class is tested on).  So for example the spelling portion for the whole class Wednesday & Thursday was 5 scrambled spelling words each night.  I modified that to one night of writing each of her 5 words 3 times and one night of scrambles for her 5 words.  Last night was the scrambles which was fun because it was a new activity for us.  I left the word cards up and then gave her a little nudge like "look there is w and a th, which word has both", but she had to actually pick the correct word and write it on the line.  She was so proud when she finished the scramble portion.  So this was definitely a learning opportunity because not only was she working on the spelling words, I was able to help her with some strategy for that type of activity. 

Since that portion went so well, we did a little extra spelling - a practice spelling test.  The words this week have been a huge struggle for us because when Cate sees a "th" she says "they, regardless of what the word should be.  She is jumping to a conclusion on that combination for some reason. So a spelling list that includes this, that, and then was not easy for either of us.  I would get very frustrated because every time I showed her a card she'd say "they", then I'd say "no it is this, see the is at the end", then I'd show her the card again immediately and she'd say "they".  You get the picture.  The first night we normally work on reading the spelling words and writing them, she normally can read all 5 the next night.  This week come Tuesday she couldn't read any of them consistently, I was truly worried she might get a zero on this weeks test.  But to my surprise after the scramble assignment the practice test went great.  She got all 5 right with very little hesitation!!!  That doesn't not necessarily mean she will do well on the test but it is at least hope she can.
Cate is turning on her brain!

I'll update when I find out about the spelling test later today!

*** update - Cate got an 80% on the spelling test that week - she missed "then" by spelling it "thin"!! so all our work is not for nothing!

Just so you won't be too bored I'll do math and reward system in a separate post!!

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh, you're scaring me!!! I have absolutely no time and no preparation for this, but Sammi's got some spelling to learn on top of her regular homework, too. I LOVE your ideas, but now...just trying to implement them and get my tired child on-board. I love how amazingly Cate's doing with this, and how organized you are!