Emmie's homework this week has been mostly spelling words. She was given 17 words, plus two bonus words which she can't remember and they weren't written on her spelling list she brought home. With CAPD comes many spelling challenges because Emmie doesn't always hear the subtle changes in letter sounds and has problems combing certain sounds, among other things. So, I knew spelling in general was going to be hard work this year. She learns best with repetition, going over the same word over and over again. But, to be honest, it's boring! Since I don't sleep much, I stayed up for hours surfing for ways to make spelling words interactive and fun! Multi-sensory learning is so important for Emmie and many other children. I was determined to find a way where Emmie could feel excited and confident in her spelling. Last night, we had spaghetti for dinner using alphabet pasta...it was the perfect way to get in a quick spelling lesson while eating dinner together! I also found the following websites, please check them out, especially if you have young children. We had already made flashcards with this weeks words, but tonight I created a crossword puzzle for her with her spelling list. Tonight, I'm going to work on putting together "finger spelling" flash cards with her words so she can practice spelling them using American sign language as well as writing them and saying them out loud. I think signing them along with the auditory and written component will help her "tag team" her senses! We also played spelling hangman, spelled our words with Scrabble tiles, and created an mp3 of the words for her to also listen to. She thought that was funny! Next week, I am planning to use the sign language again as well as the idea for "magic spelling". Since she loves the television show "Wizards of Waverly Place", I think the magic words will be a blast! Basically, you take white construction paper (I'll probably cut the paper into strips) and write one word on each with a white crayon. Then you paint over the strips with watered down tempera paint. And like magic, the word appears! I am so excited!
Homework was horrible tonight. She had to use four of her spelling words and create a question using each word. Then, answer the question. Now, if you know Emmie, then you know she is the QUEEN of questions! She is typically asking me, "Mom, I have four questions", then continues with exactly four questions. It could be silly things like "do the clouds every eat?" to "Can we have pizza for dinner", you really never know what you are going to get. But having to create questions using a spelling word, oh my gosh, it was painful! I secretly wanted to say forget it and just have her write sentences, which is what she kept coming up with. I think we need to practice the who, what, when, where, how even more. She completed the four questions but it took us over an hour. Homework also included practicing addition and subtraction flashcards. Emmie excels in math and was looking forward to practicing. We took a break after the spelling word questions, though. Then, when it was time to work on flashcards she was able to focus. She quickly went through the addition cards with adding 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. We are planning to practice 5, 6, 7, and 8 tomorrow along with beginning the subtraction cards. We also had to read from the storybook they have been reading in class. The teachers were kind enough to send me home a copy. Emmie has been trying her hardest to remember which page they stop on. Yesterday, she wrote it on her hand. Big no no! Today, I sent her with a small index card with a simple "Today, we read pages _____" so she was able to just fill in the blank. I am very proud that she remembered to fill it in and we read up to page 34 tonight. I'm sending her with another small card tomorrow, although I would like to find a better system for her keeping track (I'm open to ideas, please!). She is requesting a pink card for tomorrow, how dare I send in yellow!
By the time we finished homework, she was exhausted. She has to focus and work so hard during the school day. I wish there was something I could do to make it easier for her, but at least we are trying to make it fun. I can't wait to see what she gets on the spelling test on Friday! Fingers crossed that all our multi-sensory incorporation pays off and she "gets it".
Spelling websites, that I have found so far: