Repentance….WRTR #5

in 3GRD, 4GRD, 5GRD, 6GRD, 7GRD, Blabber, Spelling, WRTR

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The louder and more set against something I am, the closer I am to buying into it the next day.  I haven’t figured out why that is.  But it happens.

The words I get to eat this round are all about Rule #5.  Y and I only say /i/ and /I/.

It’s stupid, right?  They both say EE as well!  I’ve hated it for years. But after reading the teacher’s manuals and seeing some youtube videos of actual WRTR classes, I get it.  That and marking up Wordly Wise 4 for my 7th grader, it REALLY helps to have that rule.  Crapola.

So, here’s what I discovered.

First, the Spalding lessons don’t go like I thought they went.  Each lesson is:

  1. Review “sounding” some hard phonograms.
  2. Review writing some hard phonograms from the sounds.  Here’s a video of steps 1-2.
  3. Dictate 5-10 words according to “spelling” into the notebook. 
  4. Read them (and others in notebook) according to spelling.
  5. Read them (and others in notebook) according to reading. Here’s a video of steps 3-5, and another.
  6. Front load tomorrow’s words, rules, and syllabification.

So, what makes the change?  That “reading according to spelling” and “reading according to reading.”  I didn’t realize the stark difference between the two. In other Orton Gillingham methods, those are usually united.  (Like AAS, Recipe for Reading, etc.) Spalding DOES NOT teach children to sound out for reading. That’s for spelling only.  Reading is whole word, and only after WRITING it is learned. Spalding even talks about it in her book, calling sounding out a bad habit.

Anyway, I tried out using Rule 5 in WW4 with my son.  As soon as I went back to Rule 5, which, BTW, he was appalled as well, his spelling of dictated words improved. After a few words, “Wow, Mom, that is better.  I can’t believe it.” It’s so hard to mix up “i” and “e”. (Here’s what the Spalding folks have to say about it.) The irritating thing is that some seem to suggest that huge swaths of the population actually SAY /bA bi/.  But, since the link above says that you are welcome to read the words for “reading” according to your regional pronunciation, that keeps me from burning the book.

What does my WW4 lesson look like now?

I dictate the words according to SPELLING. Then we read through according to spelling (like in the videos, segmented and unaccented) then in another order for reading.  (I have a notebook, which I will scan for you soon so you won’t have to figure out the markings for WW4 or the Latin basewords.)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tiffany Rider May 2, 2016

Thank you for this, and for so much more on your site! I’ve spent days perusing all the wonderful resources you so graciously share!
Anyway, I was wondering if you have any suggestions for transitioning from Sound Beginnings to WRTR.
My oldest is finishing up 2nd grade right now, but I actually taught 5th grade for two years in a co-op that used MODG syllabus. So I was very familiar with the reading for spelling and reading for reading method, and never got too frustrated with the whole Rule 5 thing (although I could definitely see why others would). Then, when I started Sound Beginnings with my second grader this year, I was a little frustrated to find that some of the phonograms were different as well as some of the markings (line above vowels that say their name instead of underneath to name one). But I went with it, thinking that maybe it would be better to simplify the WRTR and “update” the marking system and phonograms to match SB, to make a smooth transition.
After reading your post, however, I don’t want to get to 7th grade and wish I’d done it the WRTR way the whole time!
Any suggestions on how to transition from SB to WRTR? Or just bite the bullet and completely reteach ‘y’ and ‘i’, et al? If you had it to do over again would you change SB to match WRTR so that there isn’t a difference?
Thanks for any insights!


2 admin May 2, 2016

When I teach it to my 4th kid, I will use the WRTR markings from the beginning of SB. Yup. Much less to rewrite in later years. Updating the WRTR system was fine early, but not cool later. However, for the transition from SB to WRTR, just ripping off the band-aid and dunking them in WRTR worked fine. It was weird for a few weeks, but settled down later.


3 Tiffany Rider May 2, 2016

Thank you, your experience with this will be very helpful to me, as my younger ones reach 2nd grade! I will go with WRTR markings and “sounds” as I use SB.
God Bless You.


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