Tags: Learning To Learn | Literacy, reading, writing skills | SENCO Week

pdf-5226345 SENCO Week Help Sheet 8 – Ideas for Group Education Plan (GEP).pdf

Pupils who have significant difficulties with spelling will need some sort of structured programme. This week we provide some tips and a HELPSHEET which outlines a possible group or individual education plan.

Support for SENCOs

Spelling (part two

) Make sure that intervention work:

  • is linked to a structured programme of teaching
  • is undertaken regularly, for shortish periods
  • involves overlearning, consolidation and revision
  • is appropriately paced to keep pupils interested and challenged, but not so fast that they can’t keep up
  • uses a range of materials and technology (look at catalogues from Semerc, Inclusive Technology, REM ; visit the Education Show to see demonstrations and get advice)
  • is enjoyable and rewarding
  • links to the work in class, with the classteacher :

checking the child’s application of spellings being learned, ‘in passing’

having reminders of spellings/rules in the classroom

‘spot the mistake’ by deliberately misspelling the word on the board and asking pupils to correct it

the pupil while s/he is writing to give encouragement and link the task to what is being learned in the small group situation

  • is regularly reviewed and evaluated against measurable progress made by the children.

Involve the children themselves, and their parents wherever possible, in taking responsibility for their learning and developing effective strategies. The pointers below could be used/adapted to make a handout for pupils and parents:

  • Choose some words you want to learn to spell. They might be words your teacher has corrected in a piece of work, or new words for science, that you are going to need. If you know you use them a lot, or need them for new work, you are more likely to learn them. How many can you work on − three, five, ten? Be realistic.
  • Try to write the words. Get a friend/parent to write the correct spelling at the side. Pick out the part that you get wrong and write it in capital letters or in a bright colour:

yesteday  yesterday  yesTERday

This helps you to notice the part that is wrong. Your eye is drawn to the correction and you are using your visual skills.

  • Use mnemonics. This is probably one of the hardest words to spell! It is pronounced nem-on-icks and means memory tricks. For example, make up a sentence that spells the word: Big elephants can’t always use small exits = because
  • Find little words in big words eg:

listen= lis + ten

intermittent = in + term + it +tent

  • Learn rules eg ‘after suc- ex- and pro-, double E must go’. This means it is succeed, exceed, proceed but precede.
  • Use a spellchecker on your computer.
  • Ask a parent or friend to make ‘wordworms’ and wordsearches on the computer: A wordworm is a sentence without spaces eg: IwasalmostreadyforschoolwhenIheardaloudcrash
  • Your task is to insert the spaces. This will help with your word recognition skills.
  • Wordsearches can be made quite quickly on squared paper, or on the computer (use lower case letters) and can incorporate new words being learned, subject vocabulary etc. You can buy a programme called Word square maker from SPA , which does all the work for you (www.spasoft.co.uk)
  • Get hold of some software packages like Wordshark, which can be very effective in helping you to improve your spelling while having fun! www.dyslexic.com/wordshark
  • Use a handheld spellchecker such as a Franklin SpellMaster. Type in your version of the word and see what it suggests.
  • Stay positive. Think about your successes every day, including all those words you have managed to spell correctly, rather than worry about those you got wrong! Give yourself a pat on the back…

(See Supporting Children with Dyslexia by Garry Squires and Sally McKeown for other great ideas)

NB Learning spellings for homework can become very stressful for both child and parents when there are difficulties. The task can be boring and seem irrelevant; if too many words are given, it can seem impossible and the child knows that he is being set up to fail in the test on Friday morning! If you find that this is happening, discuss with the teacher how the task might be differentiated − there is no reason at all why every child in a class has to learn the same spelling list every week.

SEN News

Special Educational Needs − Assessing and Personalising

is the title of a seminar which will review latest developments in policy on special education needs − offering delegates the opportunity to better understand new initiatives, and to provide feed back to policy makers. The venue is in central London and the date 18 March. The guest of honour is John Bercow MP who is chair of the All-Party Speech and Language Difficulties Group. Following the recent launch of the independent review of services for children and young people with special communication needs, John Bercow will be giving a keynote address, and taking questions and comments from the floor.

Discussion at the seminar will also focus on current proposals aimed at increasing parental confidence and choice, and asses the effectiveness of the Early Support Programme for parents, measures to speed up the statementing process, and the Inclusion Development Programme (IDP) for staff training. More information here.

This e-bulletin issue was first published in March 2008

About the author: Linda Evans is the author of SENCO Week. She was a teacher/SENCO/adviser/inspector, before joining the publishing world. She now works as a freelance writer, editor and part-time college tutor.