Apples and pears is a British spelling curriculum published by Sound Foundations. There are four different levels, A through to D. Before starting a level it is recommended to use the placement test on the website to determine the appropriate level needed. The program is a one stop programme for spelling, punctuation and grammar and is ideal for children of all abilities, including those with special needs.
How Apples and Pears Works
The programme includes Student workbooks and The Teacher’s Notes for each level and both are required for this programme. The Teacher’s Notes are written in such a way as it tells the teacher what to say to the child.
Apples and Pears – The Teacher’s Notes
At first glance the book that parents will use can seem slightly overwhelming but once you get used to ihe book it is actually very useful. Everything that you as a parent have to say is carefully scripted, making using the curriculum extremely easy to use.
The structure of each lesson or level as they are called in this programme follow a fairly standard pattern. Make sure that you have looked through the level before beginning with your child though as occasionally there are items to prepare beforehand.
Using Apples and Pears
The programme uses a fill in the missing letter, copy the word or sentence and then write from memory in most of the exercise. At the end of every level there is a dictation section which reviews everything that has previously been taught.
My son loves the fact that in every level there is a puzzle or game to break up the level. These include, word searches, crosswords and Bingo.
There are Mastery Tests at intervals throughout the book to ensure that the children have mastered the material and are ready to progress.
Apples and Pears Publications
The books are printed on demand in the following countries to ensure that the spelling being taught is correct for that country:
- New Zealand
Pros of Using Apples and Pears
- No lists of words to memorise
- All spelling patterns are constantly being reviewed in the workbook
- Everything is set out for the parent so is really easy to use
- Irregular words are introduced at a control rate.
Cons of Using Apples and Pears
- Parent intensive. You have to sit with your child and read from The Teacher’s Notes for every lesson.
- Some children may be put off by the amount of writing involved. (If this is the case, split each level into two or more lessons.)
Overall both my son and I love this spelling programme as we can both see a big improvement.