Cameron’s Reading and Spelling Improvement Plan

Cameron’s reading and spelling (and handwriting) need a lot of work so I put together a remediation plan that we started doing a couple weeks ago. I think it’s helping. He’s starting to spell things correctly a little more often and his reading seems to be improving. We’re doing a lot of focusing on his random capitals (those are improving dramatically) and writing letters like p and g completely above the line (no improvement yet).

For the first two weeks he started with a D’Nealian handwriting page with 3 letters on it. He would also make those letters out of clay. He finished the alphabet last week so he doesn’t have to do those two thing anymore.

We started Sequential Spelling I over again. This time he is doing it with me instead of the DVD. The DVD made it a bit too easy to cheat. He does a lesson of 25 words each day. Most of the rest of his improvement plan is based around those daily words.

He does a dictation fill-in-the-blanks worksheet I make. The only words he needs to fill in are the spelling list words. I immediately correct his spelling on these. They are mostly for the random capitals and above the line issues.

He reads 1/2 to 1 chapter of a book. Right now he is reading a book about a fourth grader who has trouble in school, particularly with reading and writing. He later learns he’s dyslexic and that’s why he has so many problems.

He does a writing prompt. Nothing major, usually just finishing a sentence. We’re going to work up to whole sentences by him alone and then to paragraphs and more.

He does typing copywork, typing the list of his 25 spelling list words. He also does handwriting practice/copywork of his 25 words.

He goes through quite a few flashcards each day. The idea is for him to look at the word and instantly say what it says. He depends greatly on sounding out words and if that doesn’t work he guesses based on the beginning and ending sounds and the shape of the word. Of course that slows him down in reading dramatically. So the flash cards are an attempt to turn words that he would otherwise sound out or guess into sight words (which is pretty much what naturally happens when people learn to read well).

The cards are the Dolch sight words that do not have phonetic patterns and any words in his spelling lists that he cannot read immediately the first time. Some of his cards are duplicates of other cards. He has to get the word right 5 times in a row on daily practice. Then the word is moved to weekly. He has to get it right the first time five times in a row once a week before the word is considered mastered and the card is retired. If he misses a word in the weekly pile twice in a row it returns to daily practice.

All of this takes a considerable amount of his school time, but I think the effort will be worth it in the end.

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