All About Spelling
Publisher: All About Learning Press, Inc.
This is one of my 102 Top Picks!
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All About Spelling
See the complete review in 102 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.
All About Spelling (AAS) is an incremental spelling program based on the intensive phonics approach of the Orton-Gillingham methodology. It uses multi-sensory activities that should work well with most learners.
Each lesson focuses on a single concept, such as a particular phonogram or spelling rule, and includes a spelling word list that reinforces that concept. Although the program shares many features with reading programs, and students will learn to read and write words, it is specifically geared toward teaching spelling. You might want to use it alongside All About Reading (also one of my Top Picks) from the same publisher since the lessons will reinforce one another.
Because Level 1 teaches foundational spelling rules that apply to more advanced words in higher levels, most students should begin there regardless of what grade they are in. A placement test on the publisher’s website will help you determine the correct level for your child.
Each level of AAS requires three essential components: the teacher’s manual, the student packet, and either the Basic or Deluxe Interactive Kit.
The student packet for Level 1 contains four sets of color-coded flashcards: Phonogram Cards, Sound Cards (for dictation), Key Cards (spelling rules), and Word Cards (spelling words). It also includes tokens for segmenting words, a progress chart, and a certificate of completion. Flashcards are printed on perforated cardstock, so you’ll need to separate them and store them in your own 3” x 5” index card box or the Spelling Review Box offered by the publisher. With the exception of the Word Cards, the Level 1 flashcards are all used again in Levels 2 through 7. Student packets for subsequent levels include additional flashcards, level-specific materials, a progress chart, and a certificate of completion.
The Basic Interactive Kit includes The Basic Phonograms CD-ROM, a set of letter tiles, magnets for the letter tiles, and spelling divider cards for your index card box....The Deluxe Interactive Kit adds the Spelling Review Box, sparkling bee stickers for use on the progress chart, and a custom tote bag for storing all the components....
The letter tiles are one-inch square laminated tiles of all the letters and phonograms. The adhesive magnets go on the back of the letter tiles so you can use them on a magnetic white board. Author Marie Rippel recommends using a 2’ x 3’ magnetic, erasable white board that you can also use for storing the tiles....Some children may not need or enjoy the hands-on work with letter tiles, and for those students Rippel suggests that you write out words on paper or a white board instead.
AAS lessons are presented as “Steps.” The Steps are fully customizable and designed to be completed at the student’s pace, so depending on the needs of the student, each one might take a couple of days or weeks to complete.
Step 1 in the Level 1 book teaches the sounds of the individual letters, including the various possibilities for vowels and consonants such as “g.” Flashcards are used for teaching the phonograms, and children learn all the sounds of each phonogram (e.g., the two sounds of the letter "g" and the various sounds for each vowel)....
After introducing the letters and their sounds, Level 1 teaches students how to “segment” words by identifying the individual sounds within them. Color-coded letter tiles are introduced, first for learning how to alphabetize the letters, then for constructing words. Dictation begins early in the program beginning in Step 4.... In later lessons, students write the phonogram on lined paper then listen to and spell words with letter tiles. By the end of Step 11, students are writing spelling words and several phrases such as “big dog.”
Step 12 introduces consonant digraphs "th, sh," and "ch," with subsequent Steps continuing to build on prior knowledge to add more challenging phonograms and concepts like compound words and syllabication.
Level 2 quickly reviews Level 1 content in Step 1 then adds 11 more phonograms. The program emphasizes rules and generalizations for spelling, and syllabication plays an increasingly important role....The student packet includes “syllable tags” that students use in conjunction with the letter tiles to identify types of syllables. “Rule breaker” words like of and was are taught at this level, but there are very few such sight words. The amount of dictation expands to several phrases and sentences per day. The vocabulary in Level 2 ranges from simple words like cake, late, and car to a few more challenging and possibly unfamiliar words like compost, humid, and prevent....
Level 3 adds suffix tiles and more syllable tags to the letter tile collection. In addition to work on suffixes and syllables, silent-e words receive more attention as students complete the Silent E Book that comes in the student packet. More challenging phonograms like the sounds of "oo" and ways to spell /k/ are taught along with contractions and homophones....
Level 4 adds prefix tiles to the tile set, then continues to advance with more challenging phonograms like "eigh" and the four sounds of the letter "y." The six syllable types, syllable division rules, and spelling strategies are also taught at this level....
Level 5 adds phonograms such as si and ough, while continuing work on other phonograms such as those that make the /er/ sound. Students also work on plurals, including irregular plurals....
Level 6 teaches phonograms like "mb, gu," and "augh;" exceptions to the i-before-e rule; suffixes such as "able" and "ible;" some “rule breakers”; and other advanced facets of spelling....
Level 7 provides coverage through high school. The program covers advanced sounds, Latin roots, Greek word elements, French endings and silent letters, and some Spanish and Italian words....
While AAS is not as multi-sensory as a program that includes songs and games, it should meet the needs of most children. And it uniquely incorporates multi-sensory learning all the way through high school....
One of the most impressive features of this program is the instruction for teachers. Lessons are explained thoroughly and include teaching tips and cautions about common problems at pertinent points in each lesson. Because you learn as you go, the layout eliminates the need for you to first read through a separate manual whenever you need information. If you should need additional help, the publisher offers free phone and email support.
Basic Interactive Kit - $22.85, Deluxe Interactive Kit - $44.85
Level 1 teacher's manual and student packet - $29.95
Levels 2 - 7 teacher's manual and student packet - $39.95 per level
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- Suitable for: best for one-on-one instruction, but might be used for group clas
Audience: grades 1-12
Need for parent/teacher instruction: high
Prep time needed: minimal once items are assembled
Religious perspective: secular
All About Learning Press, Inc.
615 Commerce Loop
Eagle River, WI 54521
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