DD upset about her spelling test result but I think they were too hard

(41 Posts)
BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 27-Jan-13 11:04:21

These were DDs spellings to learn this week. She is in Year 2 age 6.

Banana
Drama
Panorama
Partridge
Department store
Double trouble
Enormous
Dangerous
Through
Thoroughly

The sentence was

The department store had to close early because it was dangerous.

I think these are too hard. Any opinions welcome.

Thanks

redskyatnight Sun 27-Jan-13 11:11:13

I'm not sure general comment is useful. It really depends on your DD's spelling ability. My DD is in Y2 and she would cope with those spellings fine. My DS (Y4) would probably still struggle with them now.

If she's consistently getting spellings that are too hard for her and the teacher hasn't realised this and moved her onto easier ones, I'd suggest having a word with him/her.

Yes I think that these spellings would be hard for a year 2 child. These are my year 2 dd's spellings for this week.

school
chord
chef
machine
brochure
chalet
champagne
chemist
headache
chemical

For a start nearly all of the above words are going to be impossible for my dd as she is dyslexic. But even if she had no additional difficulties I'm not sure of the merit of some of these words. Obviously there is a pattern of all of the words having 'ch' in but I'm not quite on board with the methodology behind spellings these days. I don't feel equipped to help dd learn them and they seem to be very de-motivating for the class, most of whom get the majority wrong.

I used to teach so understand that the logistics of differentiation can be hard but it makes no sense to give each child the same set of spellings. Is this usual? There has only ever been one set of spellings for the whole class and putting dd's dyslexia aside, that just doesn't seem appropriate.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:16:58

I don't think they are particularly difficult spellings but they do seem an odd rather random combination of words

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 27-Jan-13 11:21:20

There are different sets of spellings for different children in the class and DD is in the group that gets the most difficult spellings. She is upset that she only got 4 right. Im also cross as the teacher does not tell them what the words mean. She had no idea what panorama meant so why is she learning to spell it?

I dont often get the chance to go in and chat to her teacher because of work but will try next week. Having said that the spellings this week are much easier.

Thanks for answering

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 11:35:02

I think all such spelling tests for young children are absolutely awful.
They are great for children like my grandaughter who gets all of them right every time without having to try. They just stick.

But they give many other children nightmares, and verge on child abuse.

It's easy to see why those words are tricky and have to be learned one by one, but it's quite enough to help children learn them with various excercises, without testing them.

Anyone who still claims that learning to spell English is not difficult, should consider these:
school - scoop - soup
chord - corner
chef - shell
machine - mash
brochure - brooch, bronchitis
chalet - shally, shilly
champagne
chemist - kept
headache - fed, bake
chemical - kettle

But u still get people claiming that poor spelling is merely the result of poor teaching.
Poor, poor kids.

Why do we keep spelling so many words so stupidly and leave learning to write as hard as it is?

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 11:37:18

There is plenty of evidence that regular testing of spelling does not help children to spell any better.

fuzzpig Sun 27-Jan-13 11:39:58

Is it still common to have spellings in infant school then? I know I did (1990s) but my DD (yr1) has never had any.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 11:41:33

No - but regular learning does.

Why do we keep spelling so many words so stupidly and leave learning to write as hard as it is?

We don't. But you seem to think there is a problem.

Masha- instead of trying to change things why don't you offer support and ideas to help people learn the language as it is- not how you would like it to be? Simple question- can you answer it please?

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 27-Jan-13 11:41:58

I agree about it not actually helping children to spell better. A friend of mine who taught english for 40 years has told me this too. It doesnt help that one of the smartest children in the class goes around asking everyone what mark they got and telling them she got full marks. I want DD to see that it isnt a big deal but without making her think spelling doesnt matter.

fuzzpig Sun 27-Jan-13 11:42:03

But I guess as she only got 4 then they are too hard for her - do you know if all children get the same words or are they in groups? I seem to remember that we had different spellings when I was young depending on what table we were on (the tables were set by ability, though we weren't particularly aware of that at the time)

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:42:46

I don't think it is as common to send home lists of words to learn but it is common to teach and "test" spellings in the classroom fuzzpig

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 27-Jan-13 11:48:39

Fuzzpig - yes they have different spellings and she is in the group which gets the hardest ones. However this week she has much easier words and will do well with them.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 12:02:42

it is a ridiculous list and all it proves is that the teacher has no idea about how to teach spelling.

I teach children who have dyslexia etc and I would spread those words over at least 6 lessons.

-The 3 words ending in -a could go together but you still have words with more than one syllable. She ought to learn all words ending in -a together as a list.

-Then there is the -dge list

-Then the -ous list

-then the -ough list

- then -ou sounding like "u" as in cup

I'd spend one or two weeks teaching each group with pupils.

To lump them all together is simply mad. I would go into school and make the point.

CecilyP Sun 27-Jan-13 12:20:07

The list sounds completely random, so it is not your DD's fault that she didn't do too well and it's a shame that she's got upset about it. It is one thing trying to emphasise a spelling pattern but it seems daft for children to go home and try to rote learn words that they are extremely unlikely to be using in their own writing. Unless they live in a world where they are eating partridge washed down by glasses of champagne, of course!

fuzzpig Sun 27-Jan-13 12:27:09

Thanks, I have no idea if they are doing tests in class, DD hasn't mentioned anything anyway. confused

Glad this week's words are easier - maybe the teacher was just testing the water for pushing them a bit harder last time?

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:29:19

I teach a new sound - we practise spelling words containing the sound as a class - I dictate sentences containing the words we have been learning.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sun 27-Jan-13 13:29:52

Can i just ask, if sending home lists of spellings doesn't help, what way do they learn to spell? my daughter normally has 4 spellings a week. and they are normally similar to each other e.g. silent w or k at start or words with ph in them. but i have noticed that even though she is quite good at getting them right when tested, when she is doing a piece of writing the spelling goes out the window.
How do you teach it so it sticks or is it just something that comes with time?

BrokenBananaTantrum Sun 27-Jan-13 13:57:12

Thanks Missbopeep. I think I will go in and have a chat.
Houseworkprocrastinator I agree that learning these by rote does not help them retain the words and when she is writing at home she spells things wrong which she previuosly got right in a test. Im not sure how to help the words stick in her brain.
Cecilyp ypu are right. Very little context and we definatly do not live a life of eating partridge grin
Fuzzypig - maybe it was just to stretch them. Maybe she jas been moved down into the next group this week.Will need to check

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:07:07

Housework she may well be learning them visually- not by sound/ symbol connection.

It is classic for children to be able to g et them right in a test then forget 2 weeks later- it means the words are not in their long term memory yet.

Do you have any plastic alphabet letter? Not upper case.

Get her to practise making her spellings with these- you tell her to look away and remove a letter from the pile- ask her what is missing etc. Do it with different letters.

OR- put the correct letters in a bag or purse- something like a little velvet /material drawstring bag is lovely. Paper bag, if need be!
Ask her to take the letters out one at a time and build the word up on the table.

Whe she write the words down, ask her to say the letters at the same time as she writes them- this is called SOS- Simultaneous Oral Spelling. She is using the senes of hearing, sight and movement- all of which help the word to stick.

Try dictating the words to her in very simple sentences- keep to words she knows and with one sylllable.

alanyoung Sun 27-Jan-13 14:07:09

Don't forget Houseworkprocrastinator that learning is not a straight line graph and sometimes children learn something this week and next week it's as though they had never heard of it - any teacher will tell you that. If you then complicate things by asking them to write a story using those words, the spellings become a lower priority and mistakes are made as they are concentrating more on the story line etc. The thing is not to worry; they normally learn them in the end!

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:08:03

excuse typos- in a hurry today!

alanyoung Sun 27-Jan-13 14:10:27

Good ideas from Missbopeep. Making learning fun often helps a lot. Research indicates that learning takes place more easily when the child is relaxed (adults too, come to that) and that's why I can never understand the stress we put our children through - and ourselves as well.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:18:30

Thank you smile

You can also use playdough, pastry, sand trays, anything really you have around to make the words up.

But iis is VITAL to say the sound and then the whole word when it's finished- not do all these things in silence!

Also- try to apply her learning to every day writing- eg if in the car look at road signs, same in the supermarket, cereal packets, menus, or on a walk- eg "Oh look- there is a word with a silent W- what does it say?"

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