I purchased the Level 1 Teacher's Manual and Student Packet and the Basic Interactive Kit. You can see it in this first photo. They suggest you use a 2ft x 3ft magnetic white board to get the full interactive benefit out of the program, but for display purposes I used a smaller one I had around the house.
You get a CD that has all the phonogram sounds. Phonogram is a letter or letter combination that represents a sound. It comes from two Greek words meaning sound and written. The CD will help you know how to pronounce them correctly do you can teach your children. I liked the layout of this program. It is very easy to read the directions, cut out the spelling tiles, put on the pre-cut sticky magnets on them and separate the flash cards. The lessons are scripted so that you don't have to prepare on a daily basis.
It uses a multi-sensory approach and has activities that include visual, auditory and kinesthetic modalities. Perfect for just about any type of learner. It is customizable and mastery oriented. Rather than working through a list a child works on learning to identify the phonograms and then works on applying this understanding to spelling. There are flash cards that they work on and when they have mastered a card, it goes into the mastered file. This way they are moving forward at their own pace and mastering the concepts and words as they go.
Here you can see the file box with the pre-made file dividers and I have put the cards behind the tabs. I had to purchase the little 3x5 file box myself. Everything else comes with the program. [Note:Sonlight now sells a larger box that works a lot better and it has foam spacers so you can organize your flash cards easier.
I have a friend who has used AAS and Sequential Spelling. I asked her if she could compare them. This was her response:With Sequential Spelling you write the words on a marker board with different segments in different colors, which helps with the visual aspect of it. All About Spelling has the added manipulatives of the magnet letter tiles and the word cards. My daughter did sometimes get tired of having to put the tiles back in alphabetical order after every session, so it is definitely more "fiddly" but for some kids that's just what they need. (My daughter being one.)
All About Spelling is far more scripted than Sequential Spelling. It tells you what to say and the response to expect, and provides dictation sentences and phrases for every list. In Sequential Spelling you have to make up your own most of the time.
It is not as... well, sequential! ...as Sequential Spelling, in that you don't start with "all" on Monday and are spelling "installment" by Friday. I think that system would have worked very well for me, but it got too hard too fast for my daughter. All About Spelling does seem more grade specific to me than Sequential Spelling.
You can see her review at her blog, here: http://ramblinroadstoeverywhere.blogspot.com/2009/12/all-about-spelling-review.html Thanks Karla for your help with this blog post.:)
I am excited about this program and think that it will work well for a variety of students. All About Spelling is built upon the extensive work of the Orton-Gillingham Program, which is a well respected method to teaching students to read. You can begin this program with students who are not yet reading and it will strengthen reading and spelling skills too. It is good for students who need remediation and for students that are good spellers. I think any student would benefit from this program.
It takes about 15-20 minutes, 5 days a week with virtually no prep time for the parent.
It is a win-win all the way around.