Excited about words

I have always wondered how you are meant to find a word in a dictionary if you are not sure how to spell it. My daughter has never been keen on dictionaries. I also remember hours of dictionary homework; searching for long words, writing out their meaning and then having to draw an accompanying picture. When the sun was shining it seemed like torture.

When you have been taught to read using phonics the dictionary seems even more difficult. My husband suggested a small dictionary to carry around might help. As I looked at the various editions I found something new, an aurally coded dictionary. If you can say the word you can find it, was the message.

It is great. My daughter within five minutes had grasped the main principles. Firstly, you say the word out loud so that you can identify the first vowel sound. You find this on a grid that has an accompanying picture to help you. Then you work your finger along the grid to the first letter of the word. This tells you the exact page where you will find the word. When you get there you count how many syllables the word has, and then look in the corresponding column until you find it. My daughter was so excited at how easy it was to use.

So now for the first time she is excited by words that she cannot spell. Enthusiastic about looking for them and so pleased with herself when she finds them quicker than me!

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