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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 9:17 pm 
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I know a child (currently 6 years old) who learns new spellings very quickly, and can spell them out loud accurately quite easily with few errors.

However, the same child makes significantly more errors when writing them down - either at home or in a spelling test at school. Missing letters out is the usual thing, or writing letters in the wrong order. I don't mean while using the same words in a creative writing task (probably zero hope here of the right spelling being used), but when being asked to write it down immediately after just having spelt it correctly out loud.

Is this a normal part of the learning process for a six year old, or a potentially early sign of a specific learning difficulty of some sort - if so what?

What is the best way of helping the child as it must be frustrating to "know" the right spelling, but not be able to write it down accurately each time.

Child is otherwise of above average intelligence, reads beyond age etc.

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:18 am 
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Hi Mystery, my bright 6 year old also learns spellings very quickly and can say them out loud easily. However she also writes them almost as accurately (just the odd letter missed out through carelessness) and nearly always gets 10/10 for spelling tests.

Although I am no expert, I would say the child you are talking about has a problem getting the words on to the paper. It sounds too extreme for plain old carelessness. Could it be dyslexia? I'm sure someone with experience of it will know whether dyslexics can spell in their heads.

Agree must be frustrating for child when they know they can do it, it just comes out all wrong..


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:55 pm 
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Many children do well in spelling tests but go haywire when spelling independently- when writing their own little stories, for example, but you say your child can't write it when she is learning it. Do you use the names of the letters or the sounds...'Kay' or 'kuh' ...and is she confused by this? six year old are still using sound names usually.
In my humble opinion, it is developmental and usually means children have not internalised the phonic rule that they have apparently learned so well for a weekly test. Being able to sound/spell it out is not the same as being able to write it or apply that rule to unknown words. So..if your child has ' or'words to learn one week, really go over the pattern and say
' So how would you spell 'port', snort' 'etc. Write the 'or' in felt-tips, write it in shaving foam on a table or a sand tray. It is the mutli-sensory stuff that really works and it is use and practice of the pattern that makes children really learn it. In my experience, many dyslexic children can't spell the word at all automatically unlesss they do loads of multi-sensory practice first so be patient and practise lots. There are 44 phonemes and only 26 letters so learning to read and write is one of the biggest achievements in your child's life!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 10:37 am 
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Thank you both for your helpful responses.

Teacher, the exact "problem" is as follows:

The child (nearly 6 years old) can:

1. easily learn the spellings of new words and say them out loud e.g stair, chair, whirl, third, - can spell out loud phonically or using letter names (better at former than latter)

2. has known "phonics" (jolly phonics) since early pre-school age, including most of the things like er, ea, or etc etc. Learned all of that jolly fast.

3. has generally never had much difficulty sounding out and blending either from a word written down or spoken to him /her

BUT, when writing does the following:

1. will miss out letters in spelling tests for words that he/she clearly knows the spelling for

2. frequently writes the mirror image of letters (and the same for numbers), even when he/she is copying (also when tired goes back to reversing the sequence of numbers e.g. 51 instead of 15)

ALSO, when reading

1. Says dislikes reading, but loves being read to, including stuff well above his/her age and without pictures. (Not keen on writing, but enjoys dictating stories. Spoken grammar good, naturally dictates in well -constructed sentences, but says not sure where to put full stops when writing)

2. Mixes up similar words when reading out loud, guesses a lot rather than seeing what is actually there (but often to good effect even so it makes sense even though it is not what is written down and has similar meaning to what it actually says)

3. Is in guided reading group at school with reading matter that does not match up to what he/she reads to parents at home (ORT stage 8/9 at home, ORT stage 6 in guided reading at school)

4. Relative to others has sunk down spelling groups at school

With numbers:

1. Was much slower to recognise numbers 2 and 5 looked too similar, 3 and 8 too similar, 9 and 6 too similar, 1 and 7 too similar. So did not accurately recognise numbers until part way through Year R

2. Great on number concepts, shape and space etc

3. In top group for numeracy at school (has risen up groups)

Above average on both reading and numeracy (don't know about writing and spelling).

Pre-school thought he/she was strong on the literacy side and not the numeracy side, school obviously thinks the opposite!

No eyesight problems according to optician, no apparent hearing problems.


Is this all just normal for her age? Or early possible sign of some kind of SLD?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:40 pm 
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a bit too early to say in my opinion. However good practice for Dyslexic children is good for all.

Google "Letters and Sounds", which is a phoneme based reading and spelling scheme used in schools now. I find it really good Lots of multi sensory stuff, writing teh words helps reinforce the shape and "feel"of a word. As teacher said lots of children are less accurate when writing than in single word spelling tests as the brain is also thinking of the content.

PM me and I will send you some website details for Letters and Sounds, (some are subscription ,but have a free section too)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 7:38 pm 
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Mmm. Interesting. I have an ealy intervention policy at school now and we identify all children leaving Year 1 who we feel are 'not quite getting it' with reading/spelling. We use a Reading Recovery, intensive phonics work/muli-sensory stuff or whatever intervention is necessary/ appropriate to get that child into gear. You have checked hearing/eyes quite rightly.
Children of this age still reverse a lot of letters and numbers so that doesn't necessarily ring alrm bells but I'm afraid testing is the only real way to go on this one. There are various tests that will give teachers a picture of where the child is in terms of phonological development, being able to break up words etc etc.
Has the class teacher expressed any concerns to you? Two schools of thought....children progress at different rates/learn in their own time/not ready to read at the same time as others etc. etc.and, what I personally believe (and this is only MY opinion) reading and writing is such a big step that if children are not reading properly at the end of year 2 there is a lot of catching up to do as they enter KS2 when they face far more difficult reading material. The idea would be to gently sort out what might be aproblem now before it gets any larger!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Location: Birmingham
Funny how you mentioned the difficult with 9 and 6. Until just a few years ago, my 11 year old still had difficulty with 9 and 6, and still wrote his 3 the wrong way round (mirror image!). He's got over that now, teacher says he is level 6 maths and has just got his first choice grammar!
My husband is dyslexic and literally struggles to spell our children's names. I would say from the info you have given that there is no way your child could be diagnosed as dyslexic. In fact it all sounds very normal (and in many schools, far better than normal) for a 6 year old.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 11:25 pm 
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If its any consolation my DDs spelling is atrocious! My year 4 son does better - much better! But she scored over 400 in the Kent test and is doing really well at GS - they do pull her up on spelling though, but most of her work is expected to be done on computer!


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 11:33 am 
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Location: Not in a hole in the ground but in a land where once they dwelt-the Beormingas
Dear Mystery,

I saw your other post on the SEN section and thought to reply on here as your DC doesn't sound SEN at all.

I don't claim to be an expert but during my postgraduate studies in education, we did glean through these areas. If it is any consolation, there is some research that disputes the overall effectiveness of spelling tests. Spelling and gaining ownership of the word are also separate areas.

Sometimes children learn a word and are able to de-code its digraphs but during composition, they would completely mispell the word. I have encountered this especially with DC4.

I have a six year old who sounds similar to yours. He also mistakes his 9 for a p, etc. But I think this is a common facet in bilingual children.


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PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2010 7:07 pm 
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The child is question is 5 years old!!

Leave him/her alone - he/she has plenty of time for spellings - he/she had better things to do at the moment.


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