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<p>Dd is an advanced reader (she's 6, reading about a 4th grade level), but not such an advanced speller. She's a whole-word, top-down reader who doesn't "bother" to sound out words (she can, she just doesn't need to 95% of the time). She's great at figuring out words from context and has an amazing vocabulary.</p>
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<p>The problem is that she'd like to do word puzzles (kids' crosswords, unscramble the letters) and she gets incredibly frustrated because she can't spell the words correctly. Usually she just 'cheats' by looking up the word in the back of the book. For example, yesterday she was trying to unscramble 'household object' words in a puzzle book. One of them was <em>hraic</em>. She looked at it for 2 seconds, looked up the answer in the back of the book and then wrote down in the blank: <em>chari</em> for <em>chair</em>. She 'sounded out' <em>chair</em> as <em>char</em> (very age appropriate), and then didn't know what to do with the 'i'. We get a lot of spelling in her writings like that -- 'snow' could be 'snwo' 'snow' 'sown' 'swon'. She's got all the letters, but the internal structure can be a mystery.</p>
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<p>I'm not worried about her spelling; that will come with time. But is there anything I can do to ease her frustration with the word puzzles? Any strategies I can give her? Or is this a case of redirect to another kind of puzzle?</p>
 

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<p>We have the same issue here. Advanced readers, lots of good thoughts that get 'lost' in the translation to paper, frustrations at knowing a word is spelled wrong but unable to fix it, and upset at her own limits (handwriting, speed, etC).</p>
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<p>We have had success with:</p>
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<p>1. personal dictionary (alphabet letters at the top a page, one letter per page, and we  write in words as she wants to know them, so it is FULL of her favorite words!)</p>
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<p>2. review of patterns -- if you can spell hat--you can spell : rat, bat, fat, cat, etc. We have used that for common words that really make her mad that she spells wrong, but can very easily read.....she has learned a few basic 'chunks' and has ran with it and be able to build from it. She figured out quickly she could spell batting, fatter, etc just from the basic -at chunk and the -er, - er, -ing, endings. Works the same with common blends tr, ch, thr, dr. The 'sound' of the blends throws a lot of kids off...but once you learn the 'sound' and its visual (spelling) pattern, you can spell a lot more than the original word</p>
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<p>3. teach her to find it. We encourage our DD to find it in a book , around the house, in another piece of her writing, rather than having US spell it for them.</p>
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<p>4. play spelling games: we do this casually. I want a c-o-o-k-i-e. What should I get? They love the game format and it helps them 'picture' the word in their heads (they are both visual learners, which makes sound spelling harder.).</p>
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<p>5. play with letter tiles. Mix up words you know she can spell. Have her reorganize them.....give her  ogd and have her rearrange them to dog or give her  'kobo' and ask her to change it to book. Even do 4 our of 5 letter.....what is missing  in book....  b_ok?  Start simple and redo the same word with different letters missing.  Even use a word bank would increase her confidence.</p>
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<p>6.teach her to do basic typing (mine LOVE to type), often typing software will highlight mispelled words. She can correct them herself until the 'highlight' goes away.</p>
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<p>Hope this helps. It is very frustrating to my writers to KNOW something is spelled wrong and not know how to fix it!! They are whole word readers and sometime the harder phonic rules mess them up since they never 'learned' them formally</p>
<p> since they were self taught.</p>
 

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<p>Thank you, these are great strategies! I tried the 'spelling game' last night. Actually, she initiated it by saying "we need to go to the library and see if we can find the b-o-o-k". I responded, 'that's right, we need to see if they found the "s-h-e-e-p-d-o-g..." (I'd returned the school library's copy of "Sheepdog in the Snow" to the public library by accident.) It did take her a bit, and I realize that's because of the 'sh' blend.</p>
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<p>I think she'd love the letter tile ones where I mix up letters and have her rearrange them, and I bet we can get her to find the word some of the time.</p>
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<p>I've turned the spell-check off on the Open Office Writer because it was slowing her down and she was asking every 30 seconds how to spell something. She's busy writing her 'autobiography' and I don't want her getting hung up on the details of spelling. Maybe I should turn it on for later drafts?</p>
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<p>Ds really learned to spell with the Bookworm Adventures Deluxe computer game. He was in 2nd grade when we did that, but I think dd's reading is ahead of where his was at that age. Basically you have to spell words to defeat your opponents, and if you don't spell it right, it won't accept it. Ds really learned about the basic patterns and how to build up words by adding suffixes (-er, -ing, -s). It helped him learn which words double the consonants (bat - batter), which ones remove the silent e (give - giving). So maybe it's time to break that out. I didn't think of it for her because ds is such a different kind of reader. He really builds things up from the parts. Dd just goes by the shape of the word.</p>
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<p>Hi my ds1 is just like that too when it comes to spelling - reads from context and in fact, he reads scrambled words fine but can't put them in order. We suspected mild dyslexia and I began working through the Dolch List with him some weeks ago, as well as what you did with your ds - working through the suffixes etc. I find that these really help to ease his frustration when it comes to writing and multiplies the number of words he is able to spell. At least he is now confident enough to want to play Scrabble which is another great way to weave spelling into the everyday.  </p>
 

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<p>DS is the opposite: loves, but also needs, an analytical, rules-based approach. So this may not be helpful, but...</p>
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<p> would she be interested in learning in a more formal way? There are some spelling books that use a pattern-based approach that she could probably whiz through. (I like the Well Trained Mind forums for curriculum advice geared toward a particular situation, and I know I came across some situations like yours when I was looking at spelling for mine--I was looking for rules, rules, more rules, but there were a few systems that were mentioned that had a very top-down approach, where students are presented with words and then gently guided to notice a pattern once the words are familiar. So very much not for us... but maybe for you?)</p>
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<p>Also, if she likes spelling games, would she be interested in playing around with different codes (Braille, sign language, Morse code, numbers=letters, flag alphabet, military alphabet)?</p>
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<p>Heather</p>
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After some initial frustration, DD has made great leaps and bounds with spelling in the past few months, so one thing to keep in mind is that it may just suddenly click. I am amazed by what she can spell now vs. what she could spell at the beginning of the school year. I think she is mostly a sight word reader, too-she still sometimes makes wildly off guesses when she runs into a long word she doesn't know (though she can sound out if prompted, she tends to just plunge forward with an approximation). However, I also know that playing Bananagrams has been great for her spelling. It's a really fun game for adults, too.<br><br>
We also play spelling bee in the car, but I don't know if all kids would like this or not. We sort of goof it up, making silly noises for right answers and wrong ones. It's actually a great game to make her focus on something other than fighting with her brother.
 

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<p>I think maybe the way she is doing the puzzle might be a good learning strategy, and not really "cheating."</p>
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<p>She figures out the answer, and then by trial and error, spells it... then checks it, and writes it down.  Sounds like a good way to learn spelling!</p>
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<p>Interestingly I was a highly VS kid, but gifted in reading/writing... and a terrible speller!  So they do exist. </p>
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<p>Edit to add, my kids love Puzzlemania.  It has all kinds of puzzles, and they all have answers in the back.  I think the kids like to figure them out, and that as long as they try, it isn't bad to check the back...  It has been a good "following directions" type lesson too.  They have tons of puzzles and mazes, math games. So you get your money's worth.  <a href="http://www.highlights.com/puzzlemania-home" target="_blank">http://www.highlights.com/puzzlemania-home</a></p>
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<p>oh, It looks like they are changing it and making it "all new," it looks less dense, but about the same qualities of puzzles, and more colorful.... it says 7 and up, but my 6 year-ld has enjoyed them for the past year.. some of the puzzles are harder then others.</p>
 

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<p>Different spelling games my husband and I played w/ my kids (bright, but I don't know if "gifted")</p>
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<p>* Scrabble  - you can make new rules about dictionary use if you want</p>
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<p>* Hangman - all you need is paper and a pen</p>
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<p>* word polygon - m y daily newspaper has it as a puzzle and I like to play it & my kids sometimes watch or try to help</p>
<p><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_polygon" target="_blank">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_polygon</a></p>
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