I think this is a ridiculous list of spellings.

(40 Posts)
Elisheva Sun 19-Jun-16 19:20:37

Before I go and talk to the teacher could you tell me if you agree?
DS is in Y1. He has struggled with his reading but is pootling along and making slow but steady progress.
He is not a strong speller and gets 2 or 3 out of 10 in his tests. The school do not differentiate spelling lists within ability sets.
This week the spellings are:
scared, beard, near, chair, bear, pear, care, share.
He can't read them all. I don't want to work on them as I think so many different spelling patterns presented together will confuse him and actually be detrimental.
These are not spellings he has had before so not revision.
Should I just choose some different spellings to work on or is it something worth bringing up with the school?

Tyrionsbitch Sun 19-Jun-16 19:27:32

They are clearly looking at the ear and air (and equivalent) phonemes in phonics and set spellings to match. Not too hard for year 1, just teach him what they say as he learns the spelling.

rainbowunicorn Sun 19-Jun-16 19:34:32

They look fine to me. I am unsure what you think is wrong with them. This is typical of what I would expect a child in the final few weeks of Y1 to be given.

mrz Sun 19-Jun-16 19:42:39

Not sure what "beard" is doing in the list but the rest are alternative /air/ spellings

Elisheva Sun 19-Jun-16 19:47:51

Beard and near.

mrz Sun 19-Jun-16 19:50:13

Same spelling but different sounds ...beard. doesn't belong on the list.

mrz Sun 19-Jun-16 19:51:24

And yes near shouldn't be there either

mrz Sun 19-Jun-16 19:52:23

Can he read the words?

SisterViktorine Sun 19-Jun-16 19:55:08

I don't think the lack of differentiation of the spelling lists is great TBH.

If he can't read these words he is not working on spellings that relate to his phonics phase is he?

I would go in and talk to the teacher OP. Ask what phonics phase he is on and ask why he doesn't get spelling lists based on that phase.

Ferguson Sun 19-Jun-16 19:55:48

There are various connections in sound and spelling between all those words:

Try writing them on small cards, using a thick felt tip pen.

Start with the ones he CAN read. TELL him the ones he can't work out for himself, then ask him to group them together, first by the LETTERS in words, then by the SOUNDS.

Hopefully that might get him used to thinking about the various combinations of letters and sounds.

I wonder to what extent his teacher explained what it was all about?

If his knowledge of Phonics and reading ability is reasonably secure, he should be able to cope with them.

As an extension, see if HE can suggest more similar looking words, and similar sounding words, and then use them in short sentences.

NoCapes Sun 19-Jun-16 19:56:50

I think beard and near are to go with pear - same letters, different sound

SisterViktorine Sun 19-Jun-16 20:04:15

I don't think the question is really whether the list is appropriate for Year 1. Clearly there are Year 1s who would cope with this. The question should be is it an appropriate list for the OP's DS.

OP's DS is clearly not up to this stage with his reading/ spelling and attempting to learn words above his reading level week after week and always getting 2/3 out of 10 is just wasting his weekends IMO.

OP, maybe suggest to the teacher that your DS does something like Apples and Pears with you at home if he/she won't differentiate.

Elisheva Sun 19-Jun-16 20:10:19

He can read bear, pear and chair. He sounded out 'scared' as scarred.

The problem is there are so many different things to remember within one list. That the sound 'air' can be spelled in three different ways - so he has to remember which variant goes in which word, and in top of that that the spelling 'ear' could be pronounced 'ear' or 'air'.

LadyLayLay Sun 19-Jun-16 20:10:47

I don't see anything wrong with those. At 5/6 he should be able to read them IMO.

SisterViktorine Sun 19-Jun-16 20:22:36

Teaching is not about what a child 'should' be able to do though LadyLayLay it's about setting appropriate targets and tasks for each child to move them on from what they can do.

If the OP's DS is not up to where he 'should' be he ought to be getting intervention to catch him up, not just being given the work he 'should' be able to do and allowed to continually fail at it.

Ferguson Sun 19-Jun-16 20:22:52

And, OP, did you explain why 'scared' and 'scarred' are different? It is difficult for young children, I agree, as there are so many 'rules' and also 'exceptions'.

You might find a book in the MN book Reviews helpful; the Oxford Phonics Spelling Dictionary. For more details, Search my name and Phonics.

EarthboundMisfit Sun 19-Jun-16 20:26:19

I think the issue is with the nondifferentiation of work really. No point him being demoralised. For example, in Y1 at my DCs' school children have 5-20 spellings and different lists.

Elisheva Sun 19-Jun-16 20:50:48

Thank you SisterViktorine. He is actually in the top set for English, although I can't understand why! His comprehension and vocabulary are very good. The response from the teacher in the past is that the spelling were appropriate for his ability group.

EarthboundMisfit Sun 19-Jun-16 20:54:25

So what's her explanation for his test scores then?

bangingmyheadoffabrickwall Sun 19-Jun-16 20:54:54

It could be the children have been learning about alternative pronunciations and spellings of the /air/, /ear/ and /are/ words. If the children receive just 10 spellings a week, it could be the teacher has selected a few from each group which may be common to the topic or learning intentions within other areas of the curriculum for the forthcoming week.

In terms of your child's ability, if your child can read these words then spelling these words is the next step. With spellings, children should always have a reason and a focus for learning them such as giving them sentence level work in which they are using the words, thus having to spell them correctly to communicate effectively.

With levels now abolished, all children are assessed against the learning objectives and targets for their particular year group regardless of ability. it is harsh (IMO) as it condemns children who work at a slower pace and children who have starting points which are lower than their peers to a lifetime of failure because unless these children do some catch-up which is accelerated, which is impossible for SEN children because most SEN children do work slower than their 'national average peers', they will never be able to 'achieve age-related expectations'.

I would focus on learning to read the words and spelling those that he can read. Don't focus on him getting 10/10 but aim to agree on which ones he should get right based upon his ability to read and spell and encourage him to work towards a 'personal best' rather than achieving the golden 10/10!

Personally, I think spelling tests are useless because it unless children are spelling them correctly in their work, what use does 10/10 achieve?

mymatemax Sun 19-Jun-16 21:00:00

Do they revisit the words he hasn't been able to spell? Surely they should be helping him to make progress by succeeding with the easier words rather than keep providing him with a different list of words that he is unable to spell every week.

junebirthdaygirl Sun 19-Jun-16 21:15:56

Does he have dyslexia? Usually those children are quite bright with good comprehension and vocabulary poor reading and very poor spelling. Aside from this week it sounds like his spellings other weeks weren't good presuming they were a more straightforward pattern.

PosiePootlePerkin Sun 19-Jun-16 21:21:05

The list is confusing.
I would either have a list of 'ear' words like near, beard
Or a list of 'air' sounds like chair, hair, pair
'bear' 'care' 'share' are alternative spellings and I haven't started teaching them to my year one top set phonics group yet. No point until we've got 'ear' as in 'near' and 'air' as in 'chair' sorted, its too confusing.

LadyLayLay Sun 19-Jun-16 21:28:04

Yes Sister but the OP said the list was ridiculous. It's not ridiculous at all - it's a reasonable list for children of that age. Just because the OP's child can't read the words it doesn't make them stupid.

Elisheva Sun 19-Jun-16 21:32:10

They don't revisit words he couldn't spell - his test is sent home with 'Please revise' written on it angry
I did wonder about dyslexia but he passed the screen they did at the end of Year R.
Last week's words were: author, August, crawl, draw, threw, grew, Tuesday, rescue.

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