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Friday, October 23, 2015

TOS Review - IEW Phonetic Zoo Spelling

IEW Phonetic Zoo

Admit it, when you hear a catchy jingle from a commercial, there's no telling when that rhythm will pop into your head without warning. This is part of the idea behind IEW's Phonetic Zoo Spelling, and I was thrilled to get a chance to review the Phonetic Zoo Spelling Level C (Starter Set) from Institute for Excellence in Writing.




 IEW Phonetic Zoo


What is the Phonetic Zoo Spelling?

The Phonetic Zoo Spelling system is based on the half-century studies of Mrs. Anna Ingham called the Blended-Sight-Sound Program. She discovered that combining sound and vision were very effective in learning. With this in mind, IEW developed a spelling program that uses sight and sound along with the overall functioning of the brain for learning spelling words, of knowing that the information needs to first go in and then be stored before it can be fed back to spell. It uses mnemonics in a sequential fashion and gives enough, but not too much, information at one time.

The program begins with the parent/instructor watching the 1 hour 10-minute video about how the brain works when it comes to learning spelling words. The link to the video is provided within the teacher manual that comes as a pdf download with the CDs.

The 6-CD pack contains the lessons. Each lesson takes about 10 minutes to complete.
  • The lessons begin with showing the student the large phonics card. Read the rule out loud and then have the student spell each word, and discuss how the animals relate to each rule.
  • Next, you set up your student with headphones, a pen, and paper and have them listen to the lesson.
  • The student takes the test and then self-corrects by listening to the correct spellings on the CD. The student re-takes each test until he or she reaches 100% and then moves on to the next lesson.
  • Every 5th lesson has the student fill out a personal spelling words card.
  • There is a Final Exam at the end of each level.



*
I received a physical starter set. It contained:


6 discs that covered 47 lessons, the Final Exam in two parts, and grading information.





Phonetic Zoo Lesson Cards, and Spelling Zoo Cards.



How Did We Use It?

I was so excited to get to present this to my daughter. She is in 8th grade and a very avid reader. Her spelling has come a long way since she had hearing issues in Kindergarten and, unbeknownst to us, was not hearing the sounds of words so could not spell them phonetically.


I first downloaded the files online that came with a pdf teacher notes file, and then I handed my daughter the physical set of CDs for her to play on her laptop, along with the cards. I noticed that one of the first things included in the teacher notes was a video to watch about how the brain works when it comes to spelling. The video is just a little more than one hour and really gives a great background to how the Phonetic Zoo Spelling program works. I also downloaded the audio mp3 files from the IEW site so I could play them on my laptop which is a new PC that does not have a disc drive.


What Did We Think?

I think the idea behind this program is pure genius. It's based on solid research, and I think it works. I still remember little jingles of tidbits of information put to rhythm or a catchy tune from when I was younger, and with use of this product, I'm sure these memory jingles for each new spelling rule will pop into these students' heads every time they attempt to spell a word. I think it's a great method that makes learning to spell memorable and stick. When all is said and done, I wish I would have chosen my 4th grader for the review, as I think she would benefit from the program best as it seems to be more at her level than my 8th grader's level. With all of the visual effects bombarding our media, it took me awhile to get used to the CD as being audio and not another visual overload of images. Though, I appreciate why it was done this way, and I love that the picture cards are able to be held, looked at and touched while learning. It covers the bases for senses learning.

Find IEW on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Vimeo, and on the IEW blog.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

IEW Review


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1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a very creative way to teach spelling. Thanks for sharing your review. Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete

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