Dictation is a great way to get children to link reading and spelling in a controlled activity. This activity enables the pupil to practice encoding words they have learned to decode. Writing is a very complex and demanding activity, so it is important to make the dictation activity as stress free as possible.
Ask the learner to listen to the sentence and repeat it before he/she write it down. Some children may need to hear it more than once or to have the sentence broken up into smaller chunks, e.g. ‘The cat sat … in the pan’ as they may not be able to hold the whole sentence in their short-term memory. Repeat the sentence and ask the learner to check what they have written.
The words with dots and dashes are high-frequency words the learner may need help with. Always show the learner how the sound and letters correspond within these words. You may have them written on a small white board for the learner to copy.
If the learner omits or adds sounds/letters – write lines on which he/she can place the sounds/letters, e.g., P a m s a t o n i t. Use these lines as scaffolding that can be removed when no longer needed.