Dictation is an excellent means of providing spelling practice and a great follow up activity after the student can phonetically decode and read the words listed in each lesson. Each lesson focuses on a specific spelling pattern.
1. Dictation requires a teaching assistant to help the student. This person selects a word listed in the lesson and dictates the word clearly, ex: (cat); then repeats the word, but this time says the word slowly while “sounding out” each letter. (Slide the sounds to some extent.)
2. Simultaneously, the student listens, discriminates, then writes the letters representing these specific sounds - (cat). Basically, the student writes the word to the best of his/her ability.
3. The teaching assistant checks the spelling immediately. If the student has spelled the word correctly, extend a word of praise. If there is an error, point out the word listed in the lesson, have him/her read it and “sound it out” then rewrite the word correctly. It may be necessary to let the student look at the word to enable him/her to write it correctly.
If the process of dictation is too difficult for the student, go back and review all the consonant and vowel sounds presented at the beginning (picture charts). Concentrate especially on developing a solid understanding of the consonants and short vowel sounds before moving onto the long and variant vowel sounds.
Lots of drill may be necessary in order to learn letter names and sounds. Work on blending letter sounds of simple words, ex: (cat), to help the student understand the process of decoding. It may be helpful to read the easy rhyming words (left column) in lessons 1 - 5 before attempting those listed in the right hand column. Rereading strengthens and develops reading fluency. Readiness (maturity) is a factor that affects the pace or rate of learning