Complete = cpmleat in upper elementary

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by otterpop, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2019

    Can anyone give me insight on why a student would make hugely wrong spelling errors?

    The student is a below level reader but not too low, but their writing is sometimes terribly wrong. The student reads well until getting to a long word that they do not know, and then they'll completely guess. A word such as "declaration" might be read as "department" and then "dangerous" with no real attempt to problem solve or try a word that fits with the context of the sentence.

    A word such as "complete" might be written "cpmleat". Sometimes there's a totally random letter thrown in there: "compekpt".

    Often the word is right there on the page when the student is writing the word, but the student does not look back in the question to check spelling.

    Student has parents who are non-native speakers but I don't think that this is an English language problem.

    I've gone backwards and tried giving the student easier tasks to see if it might be a phonics problem, but if I go much lower than their current grade level the work seems quite easy for them. There's also a focus issue that I suspect impacts this a lot. It's mostly with words that they don't know and/or haven't directly studied.

    Ideas? What is the best way to help this child?
     
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  3. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 11, 2019

    The student may have learned to read by whole word rather than decoding by phonics and getting to fluency. Problems tend to really crop up in reading for these students when they hit about 5-7 grade.

    Just because a word is on the page and the child may have guessed it right doesn't mean that student will actually recognize that word and spelling again. Dyslexics are notorious for this. But I am not saying that this child is dyslexic.

    It really sounds to me like this child is a whole word reader who doesn't have the first clue about sounding out multi syllable words. He may also have a limited vocabulary so that he doesn't have the language skills to guess the right word for the sentence.
     
  4. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Feb 11, 2019

    I'd agree with all of this.

    Any suggestions on how to go forward then? Are there any specific strategies or methods you think would be particularly helpful?

    I've already started working with the student on chunking words into syllables, but not all that often, I could probably be more consistent with trying that as an intervention.
     
  5. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Feb 11, 2019

    Rewards is a great problem to teach sounding out multi-syllabic words, but it isn't the only one out there. You also must ensure the student knows phonics. It seems like steps back, but it can help in the end. Chances are, though, it won't come through the writing any time soon because bad habits are so ingrained unless you can convince him to give heroic effort and attention to fixing the problem.

    Fixing this problem takes one-on-one attention and time. It also take a lot of reading with another person willing to make him stop when he gets a word wrong and fix it. During this time reading is done for accuracy and fluency more than comprehension. It is a task to break bad habits.
     
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  6. Unetheladyteacher

    Unetheladyteacher Rookie

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    Feb 12, 2019

    It sounds to me like your student is guessing at the words she read and she is not pausing to chunk, or break apart, words when she reads. She might have limited phonics skills due to her reading education. I would suggest starting with phonics and teaching her everything she needs to tackle unfamiliar words without guessing what they are and jumping over them. I have a 4th grade ENL student who does this exact thing. I was not her teacher last year, but whoever taught her must have let her get away with just guessing words, because it took a good chunk of the year to get her to even look at parts of a word when she reads. If you don't work with kids to build a solid phonics foundation in K-2, by the time they get to third grade and they start reading for information, things are going to be difficult.

    With this particular student I tried a Fountas and Pinnell phonics approach. I tested her on letters, two-letter diagraphs and blends, and three letter blends, just to see where the struggle was (did she know her sounds and could she apply them, or did she know her sounds but had never been taught to actively use them in her reading and writing)? Once I determined how much phonics she knew, I switched to an LLI approach and started teaching her how to use new phonics skills in her reading and writing. We did, and are still doing, a lot of interactive writing, we create anchor charts for unfamiliar sound combinations, and I make sure to have her break apart the difficult words she encounters in her reading. Gone are the days when she can just use her good vocabulary to guess what the words are she is reading. We are also working on the spelling of sight words and on building her spelling skills, because a lot of chunking and decoding of words relies on knowing how to spell large varieties of words.

    For this particular student, I also build her vocabulary through vocabulary building exercises, and I use the seven step vocabulary method, which requires part of learning a new word to be learning how to decode the word, especially if it has unusual letter sound combinations or it has lots of meanings.
     
  7. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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