and pushy or is teacher failing dd?

(152 Posts)
Mingnion Wed 20-Nov-13 22:22:54

Dd is six. Without sounding braggy, she's bright and could write and do sums and read basic books before beginning school. I like her school and she enjoys it but I don't feel they do enough to encourage the children to learn. For example, dds reading book is about five times easier than the books she reads at home and is rarely swapped more than once per week, though it was stated at the beginning of term it'd be swapped three times per week minimum or more if book was read sooner. We were told they'd have a spelling test every Monday and dd always knows them for the Monday but sometimes the teacher doesn't do the test until Thursday/Friday. I appreciate that if the child knows the spellings it shouldn't matter when the test is but the delay between tests means they're actually only getting six spellings every two weeks or so which I don't think is enough, plus dd feels unmotivated when the test isn't when the teacher said it'll be. After the test there is no record sent home of any mistakes so I cannot praise dd/revise any mistakes. Dd is, at the moment, really enthusiastic about learning. Every night she wants to do half hour of a maths workbook, read to me, research history/geography info on the internet etc. But she comes home from school not really having learned anything. Aibu to think dds teacher should be a bit more on the ball when it comes to reading books/spellings and encourage dds enthusiasm rather than ignore it?

mathanxiety Sun 24-Nov-13 05:09:20

I think the problem is the spelling tests use words that the kids do not use frequently in their writing, it's almost like the spelling test is being used to both extend vocab and improve spelling accuracy but as a consequence does neither job very well.

If they were using Dolch frequently found word lists then learning spellings for tests would contribute both to reading fluency and spelling accuracy. Dolch was an advocate of whole word recognition but mastering his lists can be combined with a phonics approach. The idea behind his lists is to expose children to 75% of the words they will find on every page of literature aimed at children under about age 8 (where, what, only, the, and, know, came, said, many, you, etc.) Once the frequently found words are mastered (or at the same time) children can progress through phonics patterns in their spelling lists.

I agree with Volestair. The fact that this teacher didn't produce what she said she would produce makes me suspect she is disorganised, not on top of some brilliant new method.

mathanxiety Sun 24-Nov-13 05:16:51

Learning words for tests involves more than just memorising them and producing them on a Friday morning, or at least it involved more in my DCs' elementary school. All week they had exercises to work on using the spelling words, from sentence making, to thinking of words that rhymed with the words on the list, writing paragraphs using several of the words, completing the words when they are presented with some letters missing, making crosswords...

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