We’re continuing to answer the common questions our SWR users have about the Learnings Logs.
Build a Master Teacher’s Log
Q: Do I really need to build a Master Teacher’s Log?
A: You might be wondering what this is, how to do it, and why you should do it at all. First, let me say that unless you were taught with this method and built these logs as a student, YOU NEED TO BUILD ONE! (Yes, I’m speaking emphatically.)
This method is different than other reading/spelling programs out there. If you have not had a good, solid phonics background, this way of understanding the English language is different than what you’ve done in the past. You can read the manuals, you can watch someone do it, you can even watch a video, but unless you actually dig in and DO IT yourself, you will not master it. It is said that we learn best by doing. You cannot learn to play the piano by reading a music book; you have to touch the keys. Likewise, the absolute best way to learn to teach SWR is to build your own Master Teacher’s Log.
When I took my first seminar, Wanda encouraged us to build a Master Teacher’s Log, and much of the class was spent starting this. I went home, promptly put mine on the shelf, and bumbled my way through the program making tons of extra work for myself because I hadn’t done my homework.
At my second seminar, Wanda again recommended the idea of continuing to build the Master Teacher’s Log at home. This time I realized how valuable of a suggestion that was! It took me several evenings and some concentration, but when I had finished working my way through the spelling list, I had a solid grasp of the program. I was able to understand and explain things that had seemed strange at first but which now were very simple to me.
Q: How much should I do in my Master Log before I can start teaching?
A: The “Getting Started Tip #7” on our web site answers this question. Basically, you want to stay ahead of where your student is working. For example, if you’re dictating List G, you should have built through List I-1 or I-2 in your Master Teacher’s Log.
Ultimately, you’ll want to work through all the spelling lists in the Wise Guide. Ideally, this would include Lists A-L in your Primary Log and Lists M-Z in your Black Log. See Part 1 “How to Handle Running out of Room” for information about accommodating this many lists in your Black Log since you will run out of pages.
Q: If I have students in both the Primary and Black Logs, do I need to build both?
A: You need to build a Master Teacher’s Log for the levels you’ll be teaching. It’s highly recommended that you do this in a log that matches what your student is using so you know how to teach it, so you’re familiar with the layout of the page, and so you get a feel for how the information will be presented.
There are differences on some of the pages between the levels. For example, compare the samples of the Consonant/Vowel Page in each book (P1 p. 208 vs. B1 p. 212). Also, the words you add to those pages will be determined by where you’re starting in the Wise Lists and how experienced your student is with SWR.
The Primary Log Table of Contents for teacher is on SWR p. 45. Make a copy of this and use a glue stick to put it in your book over the John Hancock chart on the inside front cover of your book. The student doesn’t need the Table of Contents, but he WILL use the John Hancock chart.
The Table of Contents is already built into the book for the Black Log so both teacher and student have access to this.
Q: Am I supposed to do a Master Teacher’s Log for each student?
A: No, you’ll ideally create one for each level you’re teaching (beginning vs. advanced). Once you build one for each level, you won’t need to do it again.
Did you learn something new or has this helped answer some of your questions? Comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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