- Child chooses a short paragraph in a piece of writing s/he can read easily from a text s/he enjoys.
- Child looks at the few sentences and tries to learn the spellings.
- An adult gives the text as a dictation to the child – she reads the whole through, then reads each phrase twice slowly, and then reads the whole paragraph again.
- The child corrects the work.
- The child takes a red pen, pretends to be a teacher and checks her work again.
- The child takes a different coloured pen and corrects the work against the original text.
- The adult looks at the work and gives considerable praise if possible. If three mistakes or fewer, the child copies out those words correctly; if more than three mistakes, the child copies out the whole paragraph.
This exercise should be done four or five times a week, for six to eight weeks for maximum effect. Ideally the paragraphs are written sequentially in a notebook so that progress can be observed. The exercise should not take more than 20 minutes.