Friday - teacher emails me the words
Saturday - I make flash cards and velcro them on the wall by her desk. We work on learning to read the words she doesn't already know. I usually make the cards the same color if there is a similarity like they all end in the same letters or have the same vowel combination so I can ask her what is the same on all the "orange words" and we can also work on finding patterns.
Sunday - read each word then write the word 3 times on her dry erase board. The dry erase board is easier for her to write on since there is less resistance and since this is an "extra" practice day I try to make it as low impact as possible.
Monday - write each word 5 times on homework
Tuesday - write 5 sentences, one for each word on homework
Wednesday - write a different sentences for each word on homework
Thursday - practice spelling test, she writes any words she misses 3 times on the dry erase board
Friday - daddy quizzes her in the car on the way to school
Like I said that was working for us until after the break. After the holiday break she really started rebelling on writing sentences for the second time and I can't blame her because she has already done a full day of school and an hour of private speech on Wednesday night. I feel Cate can compose sentences for her spelling words very well for her age. I say she does so pretty much independently, probably 85% of the time. For example recently she had "nice" as a word and her sentence was "My sister is nice.", on Tuesday for "fly" and she said "I fly with my bee.". Of course once in a while a word throws her like yesterday her sentence for "by" was "I want to by a dress.". But she takes correction on that type of thing pretty well and usually won't make the same mistake the next day. It is more a problem of fine motor & motor planning skills - the spacing, writing multiple words, spelling the other words, and remembering her composition are all tough and time consuming for Cate. But given her challenge in learning her words I can't just give her a night off if we want to her to get good grade on the spelling test. Fortunately for us her teacher is very understanding and willing to allow me to make modification when it comes to homework on nights she has therapy.
Finally after weeks of fighting it, I realized we just needed a new spelling practice routine. I left the rest of the nights the same but took an idea from another mom to make on spelling practice more of a game on Wednesday nights. I take wooden letters (enough to make all 5 words if I have the capacity) and put them scrambled up on her desk.
|this night we used magnetic letters since every word had repeating letters it was less letter on the board|
Then I take the cards down, put out fewer letters (if we'd been using more then the night in the pictures - the teacher took it easy on us the first week after winter break), then read her the words and see if she can remember how to spell them. She may not get them all but we celebrate with a little chair dance every time she does get it right and she loves that!
The manipulative and game qualities of this work make her much more compliant in the process while still helping her learn the spelling. This simple strategy change has not only reduced our homework time, Cate has gotten 100% of each of the three tests since we started it!!! I'm sure this won't last forever (although the number/bean game from the beginning of the year is still a favorite) but with Cate it is all about being creative within the routine when things get rough.