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.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 27-Jan-13 13:49:13

Not writing but reading, a colleauge told me about her DD (year 2) talking
about "py jimmies" and she couldn't work out what she meant at first. It turned out to be pygmies grin

Kaekae Sun 27-Jan-13 13:24:26

I think it is good. I've been told by my sons (5) teacher that as long as they are trying to sound out the words then that is great. I don't think they tend to correct at this stage? My son went from writing Luff to Luv to Love.

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 13:12:02

Duck, Duck, Goose is a variant on 'Drop the Handkerchief', a Victorian parlour game which probably had to be modified once fabric hankies became the exception rather than the norm!

CecilyP Sun 27-Jan-13 13:09:55

mrz - you know how old I am! I can genuinely say that I have played a few playground games in my time ( all real tradditional ones) but that is a new one on me. Whatever happened to "The Farmer wants a Wife" ( not PC these days?) amd "tag"? ( the Safetly Elf?). Looks from the video to be one of those games primary school teachers have made up to play in gym.

I am a similar age to you and it looks the same as a game we played called 'I sent a letter to my love.' And, yes, it was generally played in the gym because it needs some organisation and takes up a lot of space, so could not really be played in a busy playground in the midst of other children playing other things.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:16:52

My displays are pretty transient

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 12:07:37

Ah, OK. All my displays are children's work, but they do have titles and sometimes explanatory text 'Class X have been writing stories set in ....' as well as interactive questions for the children to respond to e.g. 'Can you find out from our writing......'. Also the Working Wall will have children's notes about vocabulary they like from their reading, group work on characters etc.

Teacherwith2kids - your approach seems to exactly what goes on in ds2 & ds3's school and as far as I can see has worked well with both of them.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:02:27

our not or

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:02:03

Writing takes place in the classroom but i imagine or displays are very different as they are all children's work (no display headings)

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 11:52:17

Mrz - in a practical sense - does that mean that you do independent writing somewhere special? Or that you take down displays? Even a cursory glance round my classroom would give a child access to a many words simply because of display headings, titles etc.

DD3 was told in Y4 to not worry about the spelling in her writing, but to underline words she was "having a go at". She was expected to use correct spellings for words she was supposed to have learned, and to look at the vocabulary on the walls eg "interesting connectives", topic specific words). Her teachers would rather a complex piece of writing with wayward spellings, than a nice safe boring piece.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:47:31

During independent writing children have access to phonic wall charts but not words

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 11:41:38

Mrz - just out of interest - do children have access to classroom displays during independent writing (ie have some level of access to some supportive material), or are all such helpful materials removed? I leave Working Wall material up, so e.g. technical vocabulary is generally available to those who need to find it.

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 27-Jan-13 11:39:51

it's great smile

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 11:35:58

SummerRain,

I think that there is a differentce between specific 'technical' subject vocabulary such as the sames of arctic animals (which in my class might well be displayed on a Working Wall for them to access freely, or as you say might be available in reference books) and general 'descriptive / grammatical' vocabulary, which children may know how to spell or may need to sound out (not guess - I would mark a non-phonetically reasonable version incorrect in all writing, but a phoncally reasonable attempt at an unknown ambitious word when the focus is elsewhere would be noted for future teaching but allowed to pass).

So in 'the wolverine lopes cautiously across the magnificent Arctic landscape', wolverine and Arctic would be technical words, magnificant and landscape would [depending on ability and age] be words I might expect children to have in theor vocabulary, but I would accept 'loaps' and [possibly] phonically reasonable attempts at 'cautiously' depending on how recently we had looked at 'tious' spelling patterns.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:29:37

But they have their books and can check spellings they're unsure of.

That is supported writing not independent writing.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 11:24:31

From independent writing, I can then pick up the spelling rules that children need to learn / revise ...

Absolutely. A misspelling is a teaching opportunity. If the child only ever writes words they know they can spell, you lose the opportunity to stretch them.

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 11:21:45

(To clarify, my earlier post could be seen to ignore the need for independent writing. The way it works in practice is 4 days of focused work on specific aspects of writing - be that genre, spelling, grammar, paragraphing, vocabulary, plot [some in separate timetabled lessons e.g. handwriting, spelling, some as part of the weekly literacy plan] - then a weekly independent writing session that would expect children to deploy what they have learned that week as well as skills that they have already mastered. From that and from overall long-term planning I analyse where we need to go next in terms of focused work, and the cycle repeats...)

My elder two are in a mixed room of three classes, a large percentage of their time is independent work as the teacher is focusing on another class. But they have their books and can check spellings they're unsure of.

Ds1 is 6 and wrote 4 pages about arctic animals last week for their project. He used reference books to check spellings he wasn't sure about. Personally I think learning research skills like that is very beneficial and preferable to being told 'guess the spelling'

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:13:36

I agree teacherwith2kids.
Children do need to know and see the correct spelling but I would much rather have a reception child like the OPs than one who needed me to tell them each word before they would even try.

teacherwith2kids Sun 27-Jan-13 11:07:33

Likewise, mrz.

And I would much rather have a pupil who sounded out an ambitious word that they wanted to spell and wrote it down phonetically than one who a) only used 'nice' and 'pretty' "because I can spell them" or wrote very little "because I don't know how to spell the words I want properly and so I won't write anything down"......

From independent writing, I can then pick up the spelling rules that children need to learn / revise ...

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:01:46

We expect children to write independently once a week (without any support from the teacher) to demonstrate ability.

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.

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.

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.

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