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AskDee
Spelling Zone

Have you ever had a student have problems getting through the Spelling Zone?  Do you have suggestions for helping students complete the Speling Zone? 

I met with a couple READ 180 teachers today, and one commented that her students were having trouble in the Spelling Zone.  I learned that she was having students write the correct spelling of words they missed and giving them copies of the passage so they could copy the correct spelling of words.  The problem with that is that the students were not truly studying their spelling words.  The software was assuming that the students knew some words they did not really know.  Those words were appearing again in later segments as mastered words and causing the students problems.  I told her that what she was doing to "help" the students was hurting them.  The students were not learning spelling words and were stalling in later segments.

What ideas do you have to help students in the Spelling Zone?

By AskDee
Posted on: November 18 2009
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  • Thank you, Dee.  Before V. 1.9, the Student Segment Status Report would tell me how many spelling words students have left to master, just like it does for the Words Zone and Reading Zone for Quick Check Questions.  It does not give that information any longer.  One student I looked at, the report said he had 27 spelling words in the last box of the Spelling Zone Chart for his current segment, and the previous segment showed over 100 spelling words.  This was not just in my district's SSSR, but in another school district's SSSR as well.  I will try to call tech support next week.  Is anyone else having this problem, too?  Debbie

    I also have students this year who are struggling to complete the Spelling Zone. Most are just horrible spellers, which is part of their LD, but some are due to inattention issues as mentioned earlier. The Spelling Zone used to limit student's spelling words to 6, 12, 18, and 24 depending on their level; however this has changed and sometimes the word list is so ling, students are working for weeks on one segment. This doesn't seem right. I can delete their current segment which moves them to the next, but that's not right either as they never hit a Success Zone. I've thought about moving the student down a level, but then they aren't getting the reading comphrehension skills at their instructional level. Help! Any suggestions? One student in particular is so focused and works very hard, but his dislexia is making it almost impossible to move on. Debbie

    AskDee

    I am going to check into this.  I've heard from other teachers who have students struggling in the Spelling Zone.

    Thank you, Dee!  I called Tech Support last week before we left school for Christmas Break and although they tried to help, I was not satisfied with the response I received.  I am still very confused as to how the Spelling Zone works with V1.9.  Their only suggestion to helping a student struggling in the Spelling Zone was to force them into the Success Zone by changing the setting in My Computer, and then changing them back.  This isn't an option in my district as our Techs have My Computer access locked down.  I would have to ask them to unlock, then lock access each time which is not an option.  They said something about a certain percentage of success needed in the Spelling Zone (?), but did not tell me what that meant. 

    I teach Read 180 to special education students in a resource room setting.  I have one student who is struggling to finish the spelling zone due to inattentive behavior - looking around inbetween of spelling the words.  Finding out from my Read 180 coach that a student  is given 30 seconds to spell the word before it counts as wrong has greatly helped.  I told this student that the computer does not know he is looking around but rather thinks he does not know the word.  It has helped him keep focus for longer periods of time.  

    1) You could look at the spelling skills grouping report and reteach the words that show up in that report. I will sometimes work in very small groups with the students while my coteacher is leading small group instruction. I'll teach the word parts, word root, and so on. The Topic Software Guide also has helpful word lists. 2) I sometimes send home the lists of words. These can be found in the SAM reports as well. This, of course, assumes that there is parental involvement. 3) If there are words that several students seem to be struggling with then make them part of a classwide weekly spelling list. For example, our next classwide spelling list will include the word "rehearsals" because so many of them are struggling with that particular word. HTH - Rebecha :)

    My students also have to master 20 words for level 1, and 40 words for level 2; I even set up a fake student account for me to go through and see all the tasks students have to do as well as hear all of the directions so I know what Ty tells the students to do and what resources/practice is available.  I was in as a level 1 and I had 20 words.  I will see my scholastic read 180 PD instructor in January and will ask her for any tips/suggestions - or if there are controls that can be changed in the extreme case where some students struggle horribly with spelling or word zone - ashley

    AskDee

    Thank you to Rebecha for the helpful hints.  I wil share them with the teacher.  Does anyone else do anything special when students are struggling in the Spelling Zone?

    AskDee

    The Spelling Zone requirements for moving on to the Success Zone have not changed from 6, 12, 18, and 24.  You might need to give Tech Support a call at 1-800-283-5974 if you are experiencing this kind of problem. Also, if you call Tech Support, they can help you move these students on to the Success Zone by altering some of the settings on your local computer.  I don't have those directions any more, but I know you can change something in the local computer settings to move the student to the Success Zone, but you have to be careful to change in those settings back to the original settings as soon as the student finishes the Success Zone. Dee

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    I have a few students with the same problem. I will print the list for them, but I also sit with them in small group and have them pound out the words in syllables and then have them spell out the syllables without looking at the words. I also use the scholastic vocabulary builder website and plug in their target words into a vocabulary quiz format so that they learn the spelling and meaning at the same time.

    AskDee

    I talked with Tech Support today about a problem that one of my schools was having with the Spelling Zone.  The technician told me that the 1.9.3 patch released on 02.04.10 may fix the Spelling Zone problems we were finding.  If you've een experiencing problems with the Spelling Zone, you may want to ask your tech department to download this patch to see if it fixes the problems you were having.

    I had kids with the same problem and when we checked the Comparative Time on Task Report it supported that they were spending almost half their time in this Zone.  It was an issue district wide and our Scholastic Reps came up with the problem.  In order for the computer to record/count a session the student has to reach a "SAVE POINT," usually when the kids see the graph of words mastered.  After explaining this to the kids they have progressed at a faster, less frustrating rate.  Students must get to a "SAVE POINT" in the Word Zone too.

    Pam, What is the scholastic vocabulary website you mentioned? Where can I find it? Thanks!

    AskDee

    This problem should be resolved now wih the latest versions of the software.  Some students will have trouble with the Spelling Zone just because this is a zone that is difficult for them.  Some suggestions would be 1.  Give the students their study words from the READ 180 Student Spelling Zone Report.  They will have only a couple at a time. 2.  Have the students practice reading their passages apart from the computer.  You can find the passages in SAM or in the Software Resources book.  All the spelling words are in the passages.  Seeing the words in context more may help them in the Speling Zone. 3.  Make certain that the students go to the Spelling Zone every day.  They should go first to the Reading Zone and answer two  questions until they have answered all ten Quick Check questions.  Then they should divide their time between the Spelling Zone and the Word Zone.  This will keep the Speling Zone from becoming an onerous task if they stop avoiding it until the very end. Dee

    Yes some kids have more trouble in the spelling zone than I anticipate.

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