Many people ask how All About Spelling (AAS) compares to Spell to Write and Read (SWR). Here are answers to the questions received from from SWR users:
How are words in All About Spelling arranged?
In each spelling lesson, a new rule or concept is taught. Words with similar attributes are taught together. Instead of jumping from one concept to another, students learn spelling in a sequential, orderly way. For example, when the sound of /ar/ is taught, students learn words such as barn, car, hard, garden, shark, smart. The dictation phrases and sentences include words containing the sound of /ar/ for additional reinforcement.
Are all of the sounds for a given phonogram taught at one time?
Yes. For example, when the ch phonogram is taught, the student learns all three sounds: /ch/— /k/—/sh/.
How does All About Spelling teach the spelling rules?
The spelling rules in All About Spelling are demonstrated with Letter Tiles to make the concepts crystal clear in the student's mind. The rules are reviewed as many times as necessary until the student masters the concept. Spelling rules and generalizations are also reviewed with flashcards.
I just can’t figure out the next steps to take in SWR. The AAS program seems much easier to implement—is it?
Every step, complete with graphics, is explained very clearly in the book so the teacher can concentrate on the student instead of trying to figure out what to teach.
In SWR, the i says two sounds: /ĭ/—/ī/. AAS includes a third sound, long e. Why is the long e included in AAS?
The letter i represents the long e sound when it appears before a vowel, as in the words medium, radio, and curious. This sound also frequently occurs before vowel suffixes, as in prettier and sillier.
In my current program, I was told that y never says long e. How does All About Spelling handle the letter y?
Y says long e as in pretty, handy, and city in most areas of the country. It is the most common way to spell the sound of long e at the end of a word.
Does All About Spelling require us to learn new pronunciations for words?
Teaching spelling is not difficult and should not require us to learn special pronunciation for so many words. At times, we do need to pronounce words clearly for spelling purposes, but we don't advocate unnatural pronunciations. We believe in teaching spelling in the most direct, uncomplicated manner possible, while maintaining high teaching standards.
I have heard from many moms on the boards that they could never have taught SWR without having gone to the seminar to learn how to teach it. How does All About Spelling compare in this area?
The All About Spelling method is very easy to implement in comparison to other Orton-Gillingham or Spalding-based methods. It is designed to enable parents and teachers to teach their children without specialized training. Everything you need is right in front of you. You don't have to flip back and forth between different resources. You don't have to figure out what you need to teach next—it is all planned out for you. Helpful notes are included along the way to maximize your effectiveness as a teacher.
Does All About Spelling use a marking system with the spelling words?
No marking system is used. Letter Tiles provide the necessary illustration in a concrete way.
How does the child get the auditory factor in All About Spelling?
After you dictate the spelling word, the student segments it. He says the individual sounds aloud as he pulls down the tile or writes the phonogram. In addition, the All About Spelling program includes a free Phonogram Sounds app that features clear audio enunciation of the sounds of the letters and letter combinations.
I need a more systematic approach that works on mastery before too many new ideas are thrown at my dyslexic child. How are your word lists arranged?
In each lesson, the word list centers around the new concept taught in that lesson. For example, when ee is taught, words on the spelling list include feet, seed, free, deep, and so on. After the student has mastered those words, the Word Cards are mixed with the other mastered Word Cards for review purposes. The card deck is shuffled so words with a variety of spelling patterns are practiced in every review session. The spelling words are also reinforced through dictation phrases and sentences.
First the new concept (words with ee representing long e) is mastered, and then it is practiced through reinforcement activities.
Are all of the Ayres words taught?
Yes, the complete Ayres list is taught, plus many more words.
Can we work at our own pace?
Yes, the All About Spelling program is designed so you can work at your student’s pace. If your student completely understands a particular step, move forward to the next lesson right away. If you need to take an extra day or two for a concept to “sink in,” you can easily repeat a lesson with the extra words provided for that purpose. The program is flexible and customizable to your child’s needs.