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Phonetics Zoo


and today
we are at The Zoo

The Phonetics Zoo

and Andrew Pudewa

The Phonetics Zoo is a spelling curriculum that approaches spelling with sight and sound.  This multi-sensory approach permits my student to see the word and then allows him to hear it spelled aloud allowing his ear and brain to make the connection.  Spelling sequentially, with repetition and frequency, and my student learns at his own pace taking the stress and struggle out of learning to spell and in turn giving him more success as a reader. 

We received for our review:

1 DVD "Spelling and the Brain"
Included on the DVD are the Teacher's Note (e-book)
5 Audio CD's
Large flash cards
Small Zoo Cards

I began the program by watching the DVD on how the brain works to neurologically process the information it takes in.  I was fascinated by the facts given on how my child processes letters and the combination of letters which form words.  I was able to further understand what might be the 'connect' or 'disconnect' when my children are learning to spell and then read.

I then presenteder the lesson and rule for the (day, week, etc.) to my son from the corresponding teachers cards.  These rules are simplified using fun rhymes and/or sing-song poem style that allow my student to really understand the rule.  For example:

I then presented my student with the miniaturized version of the teachers flash cards call "Zoo Cards".  Each mini card has a corresponding animal to illustrate the rule.  We took IEW's suggestion and made the Zoo Cage board for my son to visually have access to each card making it possible for him to, at a glance, remind him of the rule. 

The more lessons they navigate through the more "animals" they have for their cage doors. 

Moving on to the audio CD's each spelling list is auditorily given.  The teacher information suggests using head phone to block out any interference from the student, "reaping the greatest benefits." 

This was flexible for us because we have supplemental speakers that project the sound loud enough for him to hear the lesson clearly. 

The Lesson, the Rule and the spelling words are spoken by an instructor.  The student writes the 15 spelling words.  Once he completes this the instructor calls out the correct spelling of each word allowing your student to check their work. 

The best part of this curriculum is that my student takes this test until he is able to complete the test 100% twice in a row to assure he has mastered the words.  I have to say I love this approach.  It eliminates the discouragement that a student feels when the 'fail' to accomplish their goal of knowing how to spell the words completely. 

We have enjoyed this curriculum and will continue using it.  It has opened a door for my 9 year-old son, who has struggled with spelling in the past, to see the words really open up to him.  You can read more about the curriculum and other curriculum instruction from the Institute for Excellence in Writing here.

You can also read a very interesting article "Convert...to Pens!" by Andrew Pudewa.  An interesting article to help take even more pressure off of our children as they learn.

From My Heart to Yours,

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing the photographs in your post! That is super helpful in a review.


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