When logging back into my blog after my long blogging hiatus, one thing I noticed is that my various posts about Logic of English are still getting frequent visits. We’re still using and benefiting from Logic of English, and I feel like I have learned as an instructor how I can better use the Logic of English techniques and curricula with my students.
To read a little bit about our past journey with Logic of English, you can check out these posts:
- Initial Impressions of the Logic of English Essentials Curriculum
- Logic of English Essentials Update
- Organizing the Flash Cards/Game Cards
- Logic of English Essentials, One Year Later
I’ll pick up in this post where I left off in the last post, which I wrote at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. That year, I had finished up using Essentials with Miss M (a third grader at the time), and had completed most of the beta-test lessons of Logic of English Foundations (we primarily used what became levels B and C) with Mr. E (a Kindergartener at the time).
As I had planned, I used the Advanced Lists for Essentials with Miss M (4th grader at the time), and started working through Essentials with the basic lists for Mr. E (a 1st grader at the time).
One of the first things that went out the door was the idea of keeping both kids together on the same “week” of the curriculum with different lists. Mr. E wasn’t ready for a full Essentials lesson each week. Had Foundations D been available that year when Mr. E was a 1st grader, it would have been a perfect fit). He had a basic knowledge of the phonograms, but needed more practice at using them. He needed more reading practice with early readers and easy chapter books to gain fluency. But, alas, Foundations D wasn’t published until this school year due to various delays. As it was, I tried my best to make reviewing phonograms and learning the spelling rules fun for Mr. E while we worked through Essentials, and we varied in pace through the year, doing half lessons some weeks and full lessons other weeks. By the end of the school year, we had completed about 25 lessons. He made lots of reading progress through the year as he practiced reading daily, and was spelling more than adequately for a first grader!
Miss M had a mixed experience last year with the Advanced Lists for essentials. The advanced lists for Essentials weren’t necessarily designed as a “second year” of Essentials, though they certainly can be used that way. The LoE website describes them as an “alternate” to the basic lists provided in Essentials. Not having any other ideas of what to do with Miss M for spelling and knowing she needed continued instruction and practice, we gave the “Advanced Lists” a go.
Without a doubt, Miss M’s spelling continued to improve as she practiced analyzing and then learning a list of 25 words each week. However, some words on the advanced list were almost too easy or were repeats from the previous year, while other words were quite challenging. “Ice” was too easy, while “Cacophony” was not only a spelling and vocabulary challenge, it was a word that my 4th grader was unlikely to need to read, much less spell, any time soon.
I wish I would have realized before the end of the year that 25 words is too long of a list for Miss M in particular. We’ve used much shorter lists for spelling this year (more about that in an upcoming post), and she is much better at mastering new words, however difficult, when she is less overwhelmed by a long list.
Meanwhile, Mr. K (who turned 5 in February of 2014), started showing a growing interest in learning to read. Since, as a beta tester, I already had in hand the Foundations materials, I began working through Foundations A with him in January of 2014. He turned out to be a natural at many of the phonemic awareness activities! With very little practice or prompting, he was able to blend, segment and identify beginning, ending and middle sounds. Most of the spring of last school year for Mr. K was spent with me loosely going through Foundations A to teach him the sounds of the first 26 phonograms, then helping him with reading the I See Sam beginning readers. He wasn’t very interested in learning to write, so I decided to save that for Fall 2014, his Kindergarten year.
At the end of the 2013-2014 school year, I was definitely pleased with everyone’s progress. But I also knew I needed to take things a little bit of a different direction for Miss M and Mr. E, while at the same time really diving into Foundations B with Mr. K. More on that in my next post!