Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sing Spell Read & Write. An Updated Review.

We are nearing the end of using Sing Spell Read & Write (SSRW) for both Isabella (Kindergarten Level) and Marco (Level 1). This program has definitely been a huge hit around here! The songs, the colorful workbook, the readers, and the games have all been favorites with the kids.

As the teacher/parent, I did see some downfalls, however. I found that I am having better success with a constant review of Dolch words. These are included in the program, but not necessarily in list form. I recently have returned to using flashcards and our word wall to reinforce fluency with Dolch (sight) words.

If you have an advanced reader, you might also find that they can go through the program pretty quickly. Isabella will be finishing her Kindergarten level this week and we'll continue on to Level 1 next week. Marco is completing the lessons at the recommended pace, however. Luckily, it is easy to go from one level to the next.

I recently ordered a replacement Level 1 workbook. The newer version is not the same as the previous edition. The picutures seem more attractive, some of the pages in the workbook feature smaller print, and several of the songs don't exactly go with the CD. All small changes that don't cause big problems. I do, however, like the newer workbooks so much better as they seem to cover a little bit more. In either case, I feel like the teacher's instruction manual is completely necessary.

Overall, we really like this program!! My only advice is to have your children practice, practice, practice! Using their readers is not enough for us as my children tend to memorize them rather quickly and use the pictures for reading cues. Mixing in other readers is helping us with fluency and with using all the phonics rules learned. Be prepared to spend about an hour (maybe more!) going through the lessons. This might seem like a lot, but with the use of the games and songs, the time really flies! It's easy to split the daily lesson in half if you want to cover part of it in the morning and the other half later in the day.

We are planning on continuing SSRW for 2nd grade. I've heard great things about it and I'm planning on getting both the home kit and the readers (these aren't included in the home kit).

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