My mother's horrifed, but I think it's brilliant!

(147 Posts)

Reception DD1 came home with a piece of work about her favourite game:

The duc duc goos I luv the best.

My mother is disgusted and thinks it's appalling she's not being taught to spell properly, but I think it's ridiculously cute and I am so proud of her.

Bit of a stealth boast, but there you go smile

Seriously, this is okay, isn't it? It's very neat.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:46:34

I was taught Marion Richardson handwriting at primary school and we teach our pupils a very similar style (actually the DH's own handwriting style).

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:50:49

mrz - I went to a very small primary school. Despite the small numbers, we had " boys and "girls" in my day and I am sorry to say it but the girls thought the boys were smelly and boys didnt play with the girls either.

Chase and klisswasateasing game designed ( how very un pc of us) to send the girls off and upset them. We were not pornised or sexual you see.

At one stage in fact we even had a line down the playground and boys played one side and girls the other. We lined upin boys and girls too and went in through different entrances ( that went on until I left school). What a difference a decade ( give or take a year or two) makes?

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:51:55

Sorry, computer keyboard playing up again. I need some new batteries here. <off to find batteries>

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:59:26

We had a hedge down the centre of the playground at grammar school but in primary we were very mixed which was fortunate for me as there was only one boy and myself in my year group (he is still my best friend)

I don't agree that English speaking children need to learn earlier.

I moved to Ireland from Germany at 7, all we'd done in Germany was some rudimentary letter formation. Within 6 months of moving I wad reading and writing English, within a year I was at a higher level than my peers where I remained my whole school carreer. Learning to read and write English was easy.... But this was back in the days of see and say so things weren't confused by phonics.

My kids don't do weird spellings, they always come and ask for the right spelling, they're a bit pedantic like their mother! As a consequence though at 6 and 8 the older two can write pages of work with no mistakes.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:06:25

What do they do if there is no one to ask, say in an exam SummerRain?

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 10:09:25

I was speaking of primary mrz although my secondary schooling was little different.

Even in class we had boys in rows one side and girls the other. It was a "punishment" if you were sent to sit by a member of the opposite sex ( this was mostly boys as girls were better behaved)

We also had segregated registers, segregated lessons and different lessons - girls did cookery and needlework boys did woodwork and technical drawing.

Even in primary school it was different. Girsl did embroidery and knitting and boys made toys from balsa wood and did weaving. Those were the days when boys were boys and men were men.

These days of the internet, men are men, women are men and little girls are really male FBI agents. At least we knew who we were.

And you wonder why I prefer to keep my DS out of all thatby HS and being very selective about his school now? ( or maybe you dont - doesnt matter really)

Nice talking to you this morning.smile

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 10:15:10

We also used see and say initially when teaching DS to read ( although that isnt precise as DS was well ahead in reading just as a result of being read to and looking at the book as words were read to him from an early age)

We use some phonics ( appropriate ones) to do spelling ....... because we speak properly and it can work that way (of course). The harder stuff has been taught by rule and learned by rote ( see it, learn it, spell it).

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:25:23

We were definitely segregated in grammar school, separate entrances, cloakrooms, seating and subjects. I wasn't able to study physics at O level because I was a girl shock and I wasn't specialising in science (when I could have studied chemistry, biology AND physics) and yes I spent the first two years sewing a cookery apron and the next two learning to cook but my primary was different. Perhaps because there was only one teacher and everyone played together outside of school separated by age not gender.

Mrz, the first exams I did in school were my secondary entrance exams and yes, spelling mistakes were marked down at that age.

Spellings are corrected from junior infants up here and I it doesn't discourage the children one bit. It does stop incorrect spellings becoming embedded and much harder to unlearn however.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:30:22

I was talking about your children SummerRain not you. Don't they have tests/exams??

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 10:30:28

One should speak correctly and write correctly. They are basic skills.

So why does this not apply when you're typing, Ronaldo?

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:31:28

Would they stick to words they can spell in their writing if there was no one to ask or would they "have a go"?

I would say that the piece of writing is phonetically plausible and indeed have pieces similar kept in the DCs memory boxes. IIRC they refer to apor (apple) ornj (orange), that kind of thing. Reception, so age 4.

oops, watching the tennis and this convo has moved on apace.

No LadyMarglotta - I see learning to spell & the development of speech sounds as progression of ability as well.

Now whilst ds1 can only gee gee he is quite capable of finding 'horse' on his talker so the baby talk hasn't affected his receptive language at all - but did - in pre talker days allow him to make himself understood.

If he can cope with baby talk & not be held back I'm sure a typically developing child can.

Wrt spelling exploring spellings doesn't get stuck in their head ime. TEACHING a different system ( such as ITA) might be problematic but allowing creative writing without worrying about spelling alongside teaching spelling more formally to slightly older children works well ime. My year 3 ds3 is quite capable of spelling words like throughout now, despite have no spelling tests until the end of year 1.

The only tests they have at their ages are spellings and tables... So obviously yes the need to be spelling correctly!

No exams until they're older and, like I already answered, spelling mistakes are marked down at every age.

The only exception to that would be for dyslexic children, they are allowed dispensations for spelling but for official exams those need to be applied for.

Mrz, they'd have a go if there was no other option. But due to the fact that they're corrected from a young age and normally ask they generally get pretty close.

Dd would likely try and find the word in a book to copy it, wheras ds1 would come looking for someone to ask rather than guess. But once they've checked a word once they generally remember.

Spellings are corrected here as well though. Ds2 & ds3 had dictation from mid year 2 with individual spellings following from their mistakes in those.

Creative writing a little different. I expect all spellings are corrected for ds2 & da3 now (11 and 8) but that doesn't mean you should plaster a reception aged child's book in red ink.

Creative writing and spelling taught rather separately in the early years ime - co-including more as they progress through primary school

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:47:44

Dd would likely try and find the word in a book to copy it, wheras ds1 would come looking for someone to ask rather than guess
Obviously that wouldn't be an option in a classroom during independent writing and is it guessing to use existing knowledge to make an informed attempt?

Certainly ds2's spelling was marked on his recent 11 plus and will be tested in SATS. I would have been pretty annoyed if his early attempts at creative writing aged 4 had been heavily criticised for spelling mistakes, especially as he's never been great at the physical act if writing itself. (incidentally he apparently scores top in the school for spelling - it's one area he does pick up marks - so the approach hasn't held him back).

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 10:52:50

So why does this not apply when you're typing, Ronaldo

My generation learned exclusively to read and hand write. Most of us ( and I will be a bit sexist again because it was the way it was) never saw a keyboard even on a typewriter. Girls did typing and commerce. Boys did science. I am not familiar with a keyboard. I use it to write here, with some practice and that is as far as it goes. Punctuation is limited to those things I can find on the keyboard. I am old. I am set in my ways. My DS is learning to use a keyboard correctly and he uses punctuation (just as I do when I write the old fashioned way).

I do not use text speak either.

Why do I get the feeling you are playing nit pick?

As far as I can tell, it would be an option in class. Certainly when I was in school we were expected to ask the teacher if we needed a spelling and from what I can tell its the same for them.

Their books aren't plastered in red ink, that's the point. Because they're expected to check before they write there are very few mistakes, even at 4/5 years old.

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 10:56:17

I might add too, that my DS is being well versed in those things I was not taught at school. The things I should have been taught but which were not considered fashionable enough in the modern child centred forward thinking (aka rubbish) 1960's classroom. It’s had a lasting effect on me and I will make sure he does not suffer the same way.

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 10:58:54

The way I see it - and I have one child who spells the 'outlying' words in a very wide vocabulary phonetically and one who spells absolutely correctly but thereby chooses to restrict their vocabulary slightly when writing - is that children as they learn to write have to master and deploy a wide range of skills, e.g. physical handwriting, spelling, word choice, sentence construction, grammar, paragraphing, composition of an entire piece of writing in terms of plot / organisation, knowledge of genre.

It seems to me that it is appropriate to, in the early stages of writing, focus on these fairly individually, and then require children to orchestrate more and more of them at the same time as they become more skilled.

So, for example, in a lesson focusing on writing an exciting story, using ambitious vocabulary and choosing punctuation for effect, I would not necessarily pick up on every spelling mistake, unless it was in 'core' words that I would expect a child at that age or stage to spell. So I would nitpick on the spelling of 'your', but not if a child wrote 'sintillating' as a real stretch to their vocabulary.

On the other hand, in an exercise focusing on spelling, every spelling would be checked.

Once an older child - middle to later primary - has reached the stage of reasonable mastery of the whole range of writing skills, then I would expect more of them to be routinely correct.

It's not a case of 'learning it wrong then having to re-learn it' - it's a metter of focusing on one or a few skills at a time to explicitly teach them to a high standard before then teaching the skills of synthesis which bring all those acquired skills together.

If I learn a new skill - let us say table tennis - at the early stages, and today's new element of the game is imparting backspin. I will progress much better if, just today, I am allowed to focus on backspin, which may mean that e.g. my ball placement or my serve may be less effective than it was in a previous lesson on that aspect of the game. By working solely on my backspin today, I actually hasten the day when I can bring all the skills together at a high level in the game. If today you not only make me do backspin but ALSO pick me up every time my ball placement isn't perfect, I will in fact progress uch less fast, not only on my backspin but also on the rest of my game. I believe that the same principle applies to writing - that explicit focus on one or a few skills, while temporarily, for that lesson, allowing reduced focus on the others, will hasten progress more than requiring all skills to be perfect all of the time.

That is NOT to say that I do not expect words in a child's core spelling vocabulary to be spelt correctly all of the time. But I would not expect words in their 'outlying' vocabulary to be so spelt IF the focus were to be esewhere today.

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