Mathematics Tip - SAR

  In Eye Level Math, we do not focus on accuracy of the entire BTM booklet, but instead we focus on SAR. SAR stands for Study Achievement Rate, which is the number of perfect pages in the main section of the BTM booklets. The main section consists of pages 3-7 and 9-13. These pages are the practice pages of the booklet concept. Through Key & Manager, the SAR is automatically found. The SAR requirement can be found on the cover of each booklet, but a summary of the SAR requirements for the entire math program can be found on the ORL, under Math resources. There are two versions, one in color, as shown below, and one in black and white.

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Why is SAR important? The other pages of the math booklet are not practice pages of the concept itself, therefore we should not consider those mistakes when deciding if the booklet should be repeated or not. Page 2 is a review page of the previous booklet, Page 8 is a fun activity, Page 14 is word problems, Page 15 is usually a challenging puzzle, and Page 16 is an assessment. If there are five mistakes on five different main section pages, the SAR would be 50%. This shows that there is a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed. If there are five mistakes on one practice page, the SAR would be a 90%. This happens more often because the student did not read the directions or skipped a question. It is important to examine the mistakes when deciding if a booklet should be repeated. Now through Key & Manager, a Record Sheet is produced. This will help you see clearly where the student is making mistakes and decide if repetition is needed.

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English Instruction Article - Spelling Strategies

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     “To learn to read and spell using phonics, children have to learn the relationship between letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes), and then remember the exact letter patterns and sequences that represent various speech sounds.” [1] Teaching phonics allows students to understand the relationships between letters and sounds. These letters are sounds that represent patterns for spoken words. Spelling is important for both reading and writing.

Students beginning learning the concept of spelling words as early as Level C, when they begin to blend together consonant-vowel-consonant or CVCs. Through Levels D – F, they continue to blend longer words together, focusing on digraphs, diphthongs, blends and vowel teams. Students are not only developing their reading through spelling, but they are building their vocabulary to include in their writing abilities. Spelling isn’t just about memorizing the words, but more about why words are spelled the way they are. Students should think about the different patterns and sounds that each letter and word make. Below are some spelling strategies to help students within those levels between C and F, who may be struggling with piecing words together.

1. High Frequency Words/Sight Words. Sight words or high frequency words are words that students are unable to sound out. They are words like the and one. Students should be able to identify these words by sight without trying to decode the word by sounding out each letter. Many of these words are the basics that make up full sentences. If children continue to build their sight word usage, they are able to increase their fluency by relying less on sounding out.

2. Start with Phonetics. In the beginning, when students are at a younger age, allow the students to spell phonetically, which is spelling by what they hear. Allow them to sound out the word and write down the letters in which they hear as they say the word. If the spelling is correct that is a great start. If the student spells the word incorrectly, guide them to the correct spelling and explain why it may be spelt differently. Also, identify whether or not the student is sounding out the letter correctly. That could be a factor in why they may be spelling the word incorrectly.

3. Identify Spelling Patterns. A common theme is to identify words with the same spelling pattern which enables students to sound out words at a quicker pace as well as decode words if needed. Throughout the phonics lessons students will learn different spelling patterns. Besides the booklets themselves, it is important for students to use the learned words within their writing booklets. Have students use up to five phonics words within their writing for the week to give them more practice.

4. Learn Spelling Rules. There are certain situations where it is important to remember that there are rules when spelling. Some of these rules include doubling consonants, silent -e, y as a long I and I before E. When students are able to remember these rules, it can increase their ability to spell words correctly. It is important for them to remember that not all words are spelled how they sound.

References:

[1] Vaughn, S., & Thompson, S. (2004). Phonics and Word Study. In Research-based methods of reading instruction, grades K-3 (pp. 30-48). Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.