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    #165801 - 08/28/13 03:26 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: ultramarina]
    polarbear Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/29/11
    Posts: 3363
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    Quote:
    I also, honestly, feel that spell-check and word-prediction have helped my non-2e child improve her spelling tremendously.


    Do you think so? I'm not trying to be snarky. It just seems like the skill of spelling is in perpetual decline, which I suppose I would partly attribute to spell-check and word prediction.


    I really do think it's helped my dd improve her spelling tremendously. Really do. There are (I think) different ways that people learn, including learning spelling. I love to read and spelling comes easily to me, so I think I picked up my spelling skills from reading and I'm good at spelling. My dd, otoh, loves to write - she's really *really* good at composing stories and her writing is full of beautiful imagery and creative thinking. She also loves loves LOVES to read. Yet she is not by nature a good speller - it takes her work. As she's spent time writing using the keyboard and spell check and word prediction her ability to spell well (even when she's using handwriting) has improved dramatically. It's not due to studying for spelling tests either - her spelling has improved across the board, on words she's never had for spelling tests. I proof-read her papers for her when she's finished to check her spelling and grammar (at her request), and so I've watched it evolve. It's really kind of cool.

    I've talked to both my dd and my dysgraphic ds about this, and they both feel that spell-check and word prediction have helped them become better at spelling.

    Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

    Quote:
    Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?


    One reason to learn to spell is that if you can't spell *close* enough to the word you want to write, the machine will not recognize it. That's a problem for some dysgraphic kids. Another reason to learn to spell is to be able to spell correctly when you handwrite a personal note or leave a handwritten sticky note for someone else to read. Another reason to learn to spell is to increase reading fluency and comprehension. I'm guessing there are quite a few more reasons too.

    I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile

    polarbear

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    #165817 - 08/28/13 07:18 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Irena]
    RobotMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/25/09
    Posts: 604
    Loc: in a happier place
    Originally Posted By: Irena

    As a mother of a very bright boy with physical and neurological limitations to his ability to physically write it saddens me and downright frightens me, to hear a teacher say she absolutely refuses to consider ipads for the classroom frown


    I realized after I posted that I should have explained my position more. I am NOT opposed to the use of technology in my classroom - I teach STEM classes and use it a lot. I allow students to use technology of any kind in my room if it helps them learn. BUT the idea of a school buying ipads for kids instead of textbooks and believing that it is going to increase test scores and make teachers better teachers is what I oppose. In my experience, when a school is pushing for ipads over textbooks or any technology over training teachers to be better teachers it is a bad idea and only results in more bad teaching going on.
    I am sorry I wasn't clear in my original post. A big problem in education is the idea that technology alone will "cure" schools' woes and administrators, as well as companies push stuff onto teachers who have too much on their plates already and who could really benefit more from teacher training than from another gadget to figure out how to handle.

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    #165819 - 08/28/13 07:59 PM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    DeeDee Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    I don't know if spelling skills are in decline in general - I am a good speller surrounded in my household by people (adults and kids) who can't spell - but I can't blame that on computers, it's genetics as far as I can tell with my kids and dh smile


    LOL, Polar. I am a natural speller, DH is not. I have one child who is a very good speller but loses a little ground when handwriting is involved; and one who's more extreme, really losing a lot of ground if he has to produce it by hand on paper.

    If I have handwritten a grocery list, I can remember it very well afterward without the list. Typing, much less recall. DH is the reverse.

    What I learn from living with the folks I live with is that different brains really are *different* in how they process best. I will not insist that my kids draft their papers longhand (even though I still find it helpful to draft that way sometimes). It's useful to keep in mind that statements like "all people learn better X way" or "with X technology" are generally not true...

    DeeDee

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    #165835 - 08/29/13 04:02 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    geofizz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    In our house, the cognitive load of moving the pencil is sufficient to make spelling practically impossible. Both my kids are reasonably decent spelling orally (that is, near grade level). Writing the word down makes it worse, and writing a word as part of a sentence -even a dictated sentence - makes it nearly impossible.

    This was clear with my eldest. Misspelled words would have a vague resemblance to the correct spelling, but would almost certainly miss the central syllables of longer words. Giving her Orton Gillingham services were sufficient to lower the barrier on the spelling side sufficiently so that she could spell despite the cognitive load of handwriting.

    For my younger, it looks like we're going to have to reduce the handwriting barrier primarily, and work on OG techniques secondarily. His spelling rarely looks anything like the correct spelling. We're working on handwriting automaticity, but even with that, I suspect he'll need a keyboard ultimately. In his case, his teacher and I just figured out how much of a load it is- multiplication is done at a rate of 1 problem per 2 seconds on the ipad with 100% accuracy, but 1 per 6 on paper with 80% accuracy


    Edited by geofizz (08/29/13 04:03 AM)

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    #165837 - 08/29/13 04:46 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Since most writing is done with spell-check available, knowing exactly how to spell tricky words such as "Mississippi" is no longer important (the program will tell you), but you need to be able to distinguish between, for example, "lose" and "loose", "affect" and "effect", "its" and "it's". I see the wrong word used in these pairs very often.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #165838 - 08/29/13 04:53 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3428
    Quote:
    sgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test


    Interesting. Thanks for the insight on all of this! As a natural speller whose oldest child is a natural speller and a prolific and talented writer, I have no insight into any of this. I may need it (not sure), because my younger child doesn't seem to be quite the same. His oral spelling is amazing--really--for 5, but when he writes he makes a lot of mistakes. Of course, he's FIVE--but it's a bit concerning to see the gap between what he "knows" orally and what happens when pencil meets paper. We'll see. DD never had this gap, even at 5. What was in her head was what came out on the paper. But she has always had incredible fine motor skills.

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    #165848 - 08/29/13 06:38 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness. And the more often she writes a word badly, the more deeply the bad spelling is etched into her brain. At some point, it can be assumed, they're going to hold her accountable for spelling, after they've spent years setting her up for failure in this regard.

    I would be very much in favor of her using technology that checks but does not correct spelling, because she would get the chance to write words correctly, over and over again, and reverse the damage.

    Quote:
    Why learn to spell if the machine will do it for you?


    The machine I'm typing on is very little help at all for spelling, because work communications consist of too much jargon, command syntax, etc. that are unrecognizable to any dictionary. When you're overloaded with false negatives, it quickly becomes habit to ignore them all.

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    #165851 - 08/29/13 07:09 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: Dude]
    geofizz Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/06/10
    Posts: 658
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    My DD8 aces her spelling tests with very little effort, but then misspells easy words when she sits down to write. This is, I am sure, because her school encouraged "inventive spelling" at the very beginning, and she's still falling back on that habit, due to laziness.


    In defense of your daughter, I wouldn't place this as laziness. One thing I've learned in my parenting & spelling adventure in the last few years, is that the brain needs for composing a message and the brain needs for constructing the spelling come from different parts of the brain. If one part of the brain is taxed or if it's too hard for her to switch gears repeatedly, then she can choose to compose the message or spell it right. Slow switching was described to me as my daugther's issue. I see "too taxed to do anything else" as my son's related issues.

    We've noticed around here that starting in 2nd grade, and more intensely in 3rd, the kids are taught to go back and identify which words are wrong, and see if they can fix them then. This then lets the kid focus on spelling as a distinct step.

    I am not a natural speller. I think it's important to spell accurately without spell check. My lecture hall's chalk board is decidedly lacking in that regard, but also because it increases the number of errors I need to find in my writing. Either autocorrect introduces errors (the typo 'i t' almost always gets autocorrected to "I") that I then have to find, or I have more opportunities to miss an error in my writing.

    I've learned to spell, however, though the old-style MS Word spell check. The spell checker flags it, then I need to find it off a list of suggestions. When I started doing that, I'd often also need a dictionary, since my initial spelling was too far off. I can now almost exclusively just fix the spelling for everything underlined in red. My spelling continues to improve, however, decades after leaving school.

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    #165855 - 08/29/13 07:42 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: polarbear]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    Originally Posted By: polarbear

    Dysgraphic kids like my ds can sometimes memorize spelling words for spelling tests and do really well - my ds routinely aced all of his spelling tests, but he didn't retain memory of what he studied for spelling tests once the week was past (note - this is not the same for all dysgraphic people). Dysgraphia is basically a challenge with developing automaticity - dysgraphic people need to repeat repeat repeat and repeat again to learn skills that take neurotypical kids very little repetition to become automatic. This shows up most often in handwriting, but that challenge with needing to repeat repeat repeat because of lack of automaticity can show up in other areas like spelling. And that's what spell check and word prediction gives my ds - he sees the words spelled correctly more often and over a much longer extended period of time than with a spelling test - and as he's worked with the tools over the years, I've seen that his ability to spell is improving.

    So true. Polarbear, I loved your whole post.

    When my dysgraphic DD sees those angry red lines under something misspelled, she pulls up a list of options and has to think about which one looks right. From her comments, in part, she is looking at the shape of the word to figure out if it looks right. I think that this is an example of how her brain pulls from one of her strength areas to compensate for that lack of automaticity. She has about 95% accuracy picking out the correct option when she sees the list of suggestions. Sometimes she isn't close enough so none of the suggested options are correct and she knows that the right one isn't there. Spellcheck does not solve the problem of homophones -- and DD finds ones that I never dreamed of.

    Used to be totally snarky about poor spelling too before I had DD. I used to think that it displayed a lack of intelligence and/or laziness. I can assure that nothing could be further from the truth with my DD (and my husband for that matter, yep it's genetic). I think that it is hard for someone who hasn't seen one of these kids to grasp how burdensome the lack of automaticity can be. For example, last year DD hand wrote a bunch of journal entries by a Mayflower passenger. She wrote her draft and I helped her correct spelling errors before she wrote her final. In her final draft, she corrected the misspelled words successfully because she was hyperfocused on them. Unfortunately, she then misspelled a whole bunch of words that she had spelled correctly in the first version even though she was working from her own draft where she herself had spelled them correctly. She is not being lazy. She is working super hard and is very hard on herself when she realizes these types of mistakes. When she types, she doesn't have this problem. If she gets it right, she can leave it alone.

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    #165874 - 08/29/13 09:03 AM Re: iPads in school: I don't get it. [Re: master of none]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    Originally Posted By: master of none
    He has a circuitous method of spelling by memorizing the number of letters and some of the key letters and their position relative to the other letters.


    Oh my. You just described my DD. Maybe not for spelling - we haven't talked about that - but for her whole life: where things in her room belong, where we are in multi-day schedules, directions to get somewhere. Pretty much any statement involving 'know' and 'where'.

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