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.

She's in Reception. Does she even know about the K on the end of duck yet?

Yeah gods.

Be pround of your girl!

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 17:35:00

Knowing that ck often go together isn't the same thing as knowing that it goes on the end of the word duck. There's a chance that she may know it if she's familiar with the pair.

Euphemia Thu 24-Jan-13 18:10:26

She's used her knowledge of phonics to attempt to spell the words - brava!

Tell your mother to shut her fucking critical gob she sounds just like my MIL perhaps attend an information session about teaching reading?

sittinginthesun Thu 24-Jan-13 18:14:40

Sounds pretty good to me. smile

PeppermintCreams Thu 24-Jan-13 21:49:53


PastSellByDate Fri 25-Jan-13 02:19:38

Hi Manchestermummy:

It is brilliant. I'm presuming your DD is 4 or just 5.

In most countries school doesn't start until the year pupils turn 6 or 7 - so your DD is doing great.

I think what's coming from your mother is a reflection of her own education - it's annoying that she reacted like that - but it rather sounds like every time she spelled something slightly wrong, rather than any praise for the attempt she was told she had done it all wrong and to start over. Years of being treated like that will make it seem perfectly natural.

We are all products of our time and much of our attitudes are formed in our youth. Times and attitudes change, but it can mean that us oldies are slightly behind the times.

What I will add, is focus on where your Mother is great (maybe baking with your DD, or playing with her, or taking her on outings, etc....) and ignore the bits that annoy.

Personally, over the years I've developed a 'code' with my perfectionist & hypercritical mother - 'Thank you Mother'. It says I hear you but also gently says that's enough now!

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 08:51:56

In such cases do the grandmothers ever actually say anything critical to the child in question? And if so, what does a mother do in response?

BlueberryHill Fri 25-Jan-13 11:42:14

No its great, the main thing is that she is writing and making sense, that is one of the first steps to writing 'properly'. Spelling etc come later.

harryhausen Fri 25-Jan-13 11:58:19

God yeah, that's great writing/sounding out for reception age. My ds is in Y1 and although he's improved a lot recently, up until now it's been really hard to work out most if what he's written.

Well done your dd!

Haberdashery Fri 25-Jan-13 12:04:56

I think that's excellent for a child who is only in Reception. The spelling is completely consistent and sensible. Tell your mum if she can't say anything nice she shouldn't say anything at all!

Okay, I am reassured! My mother's a loon - all the way through school every time I got any sort of result it was always "where did that put you in the class". I got 98 per cent in an end of year exam once and her only comment was "Why did you miss that two per cent?".

FWIW my mother isn't British and has always been full of disdain for the English education system. She still pretends not to be able to read my writing and bemoans my lack of knowledge of British monarchs. She also thinks it's dreadful that I can't do trigonometry because it wasn't on the GCSE maths syllabus. The fact I left school 15 years ago is irrelevant

MIL on the other hand thinks school isn't right for small children and had a cat's bum face when I told her that no, I hadn't kept her off due to the inch of snow we had.

There's no hope, is there?!

Your dd is doing brilliantly (tell your mum she is near the top of the class grin ). And tell your MIL that your dd just plays games at school so its alright, really.

Teach your dd to write "Grandma is a loon".

Mashabell Fri 25-Jan-13 15:13:46

The duc duc goos I luv the best.
I think it's fantastic. It shows that she has a very good grasp of basic phonics.
It also shows how easily all children would learn to write if it wasn't for the idiotic complications of English spelling: comic - du^ck^; bus - goo^se^.
Masha Bell, aged 68.

MavisGrind Fri 25-Jan-13 15:18:38

As a PT Reception teacher (I add PT to explain why I'm on here at this time on a Friday grin) I can not only understand your DDs writing but know which game she is refering to too!

I would be particularly impressed if she got the capital letter and the full stop too wink

Well done Mini-MM

that's lovely!
I love the things DS2 wrote in reception, the teacher used to photocopy his whiteboard so he could bring it home. He still has this amazing phonetic spelling that looks like gobbeldy gook until you say it out loud and it all makes sense. Encourage her & keep it. I have a sign which says "no going in hier the flaw is wet"

And duck duck goose is a fave here as well.

BeaWheesht Fri 25-Jan-13 15:43:41

Ds is 6 and insists on writing 'wiv' for 'with' . It reads like a mini chav is telling a story but never mind. He does it because its how he pronounces it - he's perfectly capable of reading 'with'.

Haberdashery Fri 25-Jan-13 15:50:01

Last year, DD made an art gallery and wrote 'No ftogrufee With out pumishin' beside it. It made me smile.

Euphemia Fri 25-Jan-13 16:54:33

Haberdashery That's lovely! smile

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 18:04:40

There's nothing wrong with that writing, manchestermummy

And she's not wrong. Duck, Duck, Goose is a great game!

TroublesomeEx Fri 25-Jan-13 18:05:40

Haberdashery don't you love how when you look at that writing your initial thought is "what on earth has she written?" and then when you sound it out it makes perfect sense!

That is one of my favourite things about teaching in reception grin

PoppyWearer Fri 25-Jan-13 18:08:02

That's excellent! And that's how they are taught to write in Reception.

achillea Fri 25-Jan-13 18:08:16

Tell your mother to fuc off and come back when she can say something nice about her granddaughter.

eminemmerdale Fri 25-Jan-13 18:09:47

dd7 wrote about 'early earth' the other day - my favourite word in all of it was 'consikwintlee' fab!

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 25-Jan-13 18:12:03

Thats lovely smile and very good for a reception class child.
Tell your mum to stop talking nonense!

I used to be a rainbow leader and some of my five year olds wouldn't lift a pencil without me spelling words out letter by letter. She's had a very good go, and frankly at 5 if you can read it it's a bonus. Well done your DD

desertgirl Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:51

I have an American friend who has shared some of her 5 year old's stories on (the dreaded) FB - I really enjoy them: latest was

"I wus in the snuw.I so sum thing undr the crismischree. I ran ovr to it. I so that it was A pesint. I lookt uliDl closr it HAD a tag I looct uliDl closr it had my name"

OK the spelling is not exactly text book but you know what she's saying (ok 'uliDl' took me a moment or two to work out....); if she were being made to spell everything perfectly what are the chances of producing that quantity of writing? they will get there, with the spellings - it is just putting a different step first (like riding those pedalless bikes and learning to balance first, then pedal, rather than learning to pedal with stabilisers, and then to balance)

RooneyMara Fri 25-Jan-13 18:27:17

very sweet and lovely! Well done your dd smile

ds2 has been writing a lot of this sort of thing in my diary lately. Mum i luv yoo bcos yoor byootfl seems to feature a lot. He is 5 and a half. I'm impressed, having a 9yo whose writing is still almost illegible!

So your poppet is doing very well indeed.

RooneyMara Fri 25-Jan-13 18:27:54

consikwintlee! Brill grin

piprabbit Fri 25-Jan-13 18:30:04

My reception age DS's approach to spelling is enthusiastic, brave and ambitious. It is rarely right, but it is comprehensible (especially when you know how he pronounces some words).
I think it is a wonderful stage, the excitement of realising that you can make marks on paper and have other people understand what you are thinking is mind-blowing.

Sticklebug Fri 25-Jan-13 18:37:44

That reminded me of when my DD wrote that her friend had her leg in a 'crst' - and then when I worked it our realised that to a 4 year old that was cast...her friend had a broken leg!

Tgger Fri 25-Jan-13 20:00:15

Fab! You have to treasure this stage because it passes..... DS in Y1 still comes up with some gems, but a lot less than in YR.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 25-Jan-13 20:09:35

Very good, OP! If the kids had been forced to write about their favourite game with correct spelling, they'd have probably all decided it was 'tig'.

I can't remember exactly what spelling mine came up with in something about trees ...yewkliptus maybe - I probably wouldn't have dared try it even.

ItsIcyOutsideIThinkINeedThorin Fri 25-Jan-13 23:33:43

Well done to your DD, I think that's fabulous! My fave spelling from DS (also in reception) was a Google search for ^nyoosoopamareeobruvz'... can anyone get that?! smile

bruffin Sat 26-Jan-13 00:28:50

I can
New Super Mario Bothers
My Ds has dyslexic like problems so we still got some creative phonics for a few years. My favorite was Awfisherly for Officially

Clary Sat 26-Jan-13 00:34:38

I liked DS2's "oarsome" in his diary after a particularly good day grin

bootsycollins Sat 26-Jan-13 00:38:20

Clever and cute smile

I have a treasured hand written note from my dd when she was too scared to accompany me and her big brother to the funfair despite her hook a duck for a prize addiction.

"Please win me a good prize on the huk a duk"

Ahhh those were the days grin

ItsIcyOutsideIThinkINeedThorin Sat 26-Jan-13 07:27:00

got it, bruffin! smile

These are so sweet, kind of a continuation of the cute toddler mispronouciation phase. She also wrote a letter to Santa asking for a new doovai which has been my fave so far. And yesterday a story about "feeyalling sad".

Librarina Sat 26-Jan-13 07:52:47

I would like to know how to play duc duc goos.

Actually me too... Librarina are you a librarian?

Librarina Sat 26-Jan-13 08:11:32

Yes, and a Girl Guide leader so maybe I could play it there.

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 08:28:37

My Rainbows loved this game!

The girls sit in a circle and one of them is chosen to be It. She runs round the outside of the circle patting each girl on the head and saying "Duck" as she pats them. After a few "Ducks" she pats someone's head and says "Goose": that girl then has to jump up and chase It round the circle; whoever gets back to "Goose"'s space first wins. If it's It, she remains it; if it's "Goose", she becomes It. If Goose catches It before they get back to her space, she becomes It.

Wave at a fellow librarian librarina

Chopstheduck Sat 26-Jan-13 08:36:50

I've worked in a school, where they didn't teach spelling until year 3, so the children weren't restricted in their creativity. The only rule was that they had to be able to read back what they had written. It was brilliant!

THe primary my children went to used to do the same thing, until pressure was started on to teach spelling and they brought it in. I was very sad.

I think as long as they are learning phonetics, it's far better to let them gain confidence in writing rather than imposing spelling from such an early age.

And her writing is great!

changeforthebetter Sat 26-Jan-13 08:49:37

DD wrote a sentence about her trip tp cliforps. Reception teacher was delighted.

I love consikwentlee!

I teach secondaryFrench and the kids' spelling is atrocious but at least if they write pas ku they are saying it ok and not the dreaded parsuh kew =-O

TheSecondComing Sat 26-Jan-13 08:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyMargolotta Sat 26-Jan-13 09:03:40

That's very good for age 4.

The bristish system is unique in that children are taught to read and write at a fairly young age, and they make many spelling mistakes and have messy writing because of this (it's great that you say your dd's writing is neat!)

My children aren't taught to read and write until the year they become 6, and then they are expected to learn cursive writing immediately and spell correctly from the word go.

LtEveDallas Sat 26-Jan-13 09:08:41

I still have the story DD wrote about the tiger who came to tea, apparently he ate all the Samwjos


Samwjos! I love this.

solidfoundation Sat 26-Jan-13 09:38:08

Excuse my ignorance, but what's Duck, Duck, Goose?

DD1 wrote in her starting reception book that her favourite game was her peepul (playmobile figures and random McD toys who had very complicated lives) - imagine my delight when 15 years later we saw this at Kew Gardens grin.

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 09:54:45

Solid I described how to play the game on page 2.

badtemperedaldbitch Sat 26-Jan-13 10:02:10

In reception my dd drew a picture of herself and labelled all the body parts.

Tif made me laugh.

Because of the spilling, but also because everyone else stuck to the arms and legs

jamdonut Sat 26-Jan-13 20:38:24

ItsIcyOutsideIThinkINeedThorin* Was that "news about Mario Brothers" ?? or something like that. I'm pretty good at deciphering phonically spelled words (a skill needed by a TA !!) Sometimes you just get defeated though...

clarence1972 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:57:54

my favourite was my daughter asking for the wigh em see ay song for christmas...

BertieBotts Sat 26-Jan-13 21:02:50

I don't think children were ever corrected on spelling at age 4, were they?? Perhaps she's remembering wrong. I would have thought that in this stage the important thing is that they are attempting to form words independently, and forming the letters recognisably if not 100% correctly - form and spelling come later, surely?

Some great ones on here, but I think my favourite has to be Haberdashery's DD's "No ftogrufee With out pumishin". Although eminemmerdale's DD's "consikwintlee" is a close second.

Both DD and DS have done some good ones, although I can't think of anything on a par with these. I did like DD(6)'s 'Look and Lisin' a couple of weeks ago though. smile

DownyEmerald Sat 26-Jan-13 22:10:42

I absolutely love this stage. I wish dd still wrote like this. One of her friends sent her an email the other day about something that happened "ajis agow". I printed it off I liked it so much.

What someone up thread said about them having the confidence and desire to write something down and not have any hang ups about the "proper way" to do it - it makes me tear up with the lovely happiness and uncomplicatedness of it all. wine

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 22:19:36

I had a pupil write "cweschun" the other day. I love emergent writers' spelling. grin

It must be the wine but it took me forever to figure that one out! We had "A waiyn a naincher" which was most puzzling.

acebaby Sun 27-Jan-13 01:44:48

Sounds like she is doing brilliantly. I love their wonky spelling. Ds2 (reception) wrote about a 'scre wf' (scary wolf). Ds1 has only just learned to spell (fairly) well now that he is in year 3.

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 07:21:47

My children aren't taught to read and write until the year they become 6

Where do u live?
Could it be that they are learning to read and write in a language whose spelling system does not pose the reading spelling problems of English (so, go - to do - blue, shoe, flew...)?

English-speaking children have to start exceptionally early because learning to read and write English involves much more learning (especially word-by-word learning, rather than by rule) and so it takes nearly three times longer than the European average of just one year for mastering the basics of reading and writing.

weegiemum Sun 27-Jan-13 07:37:03

I'm not sure English needs to start earlier. My oldest 2 dc started school at 5.6 in Scotland, but didn't do a jot of English at school until they were almost 8, as they did everything in Gaelic until then (dc3 started a little younger but still didn't read or write english, or speak it in the classroom, till halfway through p3).
I think they should be allowed to be creative, but once they know a proper spelling, should continue to use it.

nooka Sun 27-Jan-13 07:37:04

ds's writing was incomprehensible for years. I was always most impressed by the deciphering skills of his KS1 teachers. He is dyslexic and has poor fine motor control plus a very large vocabulary so it was more like breaking code than reading. dd on the other hand wrote very well but also very correctly, so when she was writing she'd always wanted not only to check her spellings but also that she was doing the right thing. ds produced streams of consciousness if he was in the mood it was much more fun smile

nooka Sun 27-Jan-13 07:38:41

School starts much later here in Canada (my children has all their early schooling in the UK) and in the States too, so I don't think that all English speaking countries do start young.

Thewhingingdefective Sun 27-Jan-13 08:14:38

I think it's rather fabby. Well done to your DD.

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 08:20:57

Even thirty years ago in the UK, I didn't learn how to read and write until I was five. We had spelling tests every week.

Do they have spelling tests now at school?

My children here in Belgium have spelling tests every week, and dictation, from as soon as they start learning to read and write.

I don;t think that english is the hardest European language - certainly not hard enough to warrent it taking three times longer for an English speaking child to learn too read and write (although I am not sure that is fact anyway). I don't think as a language it is especially difficult eg. German grammar is far more complicated. Many Europeans speak English as a second language. My dh and his family say that english was fairly easy for them to learn.

I think it takes on average longer for a British child to learnt to read and write because they start so much earlier.

sunnyday123 Sun 27-Jan-13 08:26:14

My dd is in reception and I'd be made up with that! We are told not to correct spellings yet as its all about the phonics. I think it would confused my dd if I started correcting spellings as many words spell differently to they sound. Surely it would then make reading more difficult. In dds school they don't consider spellings until year one at all, once most of the class are above stage 4 reading.

sunnyday123 Sun 27-Jan-13 08:26:45

(Except for the 'tricky' words like go, no, are, you etc)

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 08:28:56

I am sorry but I am with the OP's mum. The spelling sounds as bad as the description of the game.

I have taught my own DS to spell correctly from the outset. This is because sooner or later he will have to learn to spell or take much stick from those who pride themselves in being the "spelling police" ( and these are people much in evidence on MN despite all the praise being given here to this approach).

There is no point in letting a DC learn something that they will later have to unlearn. The same aplies to "baby" language. One should speak correctly and write correctly. They are basic skills.

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 08:33:03

This is why there is criticism of the use of phonics to teach englsih - it just doesn't help for so many words.

Wrong spelling should be corrected because if a child continues to use the wrong spelling, this will become inprented in her brain and may be difficult to unlearn.

That is not to say that I would be horrified at the OP's child's spelling - I would be very encouraging if my four year old even attempted to write thatsmile. But I would gently correct the spelling.

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 08:37:53

Sorry inprented is the dutch word. It just means imprinted.

Do you make them take their first mouthfuls of solid food with a knife & fork as well?

I think most children can cope with learning to replace 'gee gee' with horse by the time they're old enough to be laughed at. Ds1 is a teenager who will still sometimes say gee gee but that's because he can't say horse.

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 08:42:30

saintlyjimjams - you are talking about progressing of ability, rather then learning something wrong, and then having to relearn it.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:55:51

I would praise the child for working out the sounds in the words and then show them how to spell those sounds correctly in those words.
(yes <c> is a way to write the sound "k" but in this word we spell it <ck> <s> is a way to spell the sound "s" but in this word we spell it <se> <u> is a way to write the sound "u" but in this word we spell it <o-e> ) that way the child gets the praise they rightly deserve but also get to see the correct spellings.
The child is very young and they are showing a good understanding of our language which is the first step to spelling.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:56:09

"This is why there is criticism of the use of phonics to teach englsih - it just doesn't help for so many words." such as?

GlaikitCheiftanOThePuddinRace Sun 27-Jan-13 08:56:55

So ronaldo what you are saying is a child should not speak until he or she can form proper sentences and pronounce everything correctly. How does one correct a 21 month old that says dada nor daddy or ganma instead of grandma? How do you teach them to form sentences?

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:58:19

The problem with jabed's method is that some children will stick to simple words they can spell in their independent writing rather than try more ambitious vocabulary.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 09:02:48

My description of Duck, Duck, Goose was perfectly clear!

<in the huff>

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 09:04:03

I think it takes on average longer for a British child to learnt to read and write because they start so much earlier.

No. A major cross-European study (Seymour et al, 2003) investigated this and found that English literacy acquisition takes longer because of its spelling, not because of the earlier starting age.

As a language, English is easy for foreigners because it has almost no grammar, in comparison to others.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:06:39

It is a traditional children's game and a variation on games such as In and out the Dusty Bluebells and I wrote a letter to my love

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 09:17:44

If that's so, Mashabell, why do they state in the conclusion "It was hypothesised that the complexity of English meant that low ability students found it difficult to function in a language with a high degree of orthographic complexity. This hypothesis has not really been supported by this investigation."?

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:19:09

So ronaldo what you are saying is a child should not speak until he or she can form proper sentences and pronounce everything correctly. How does one correct a 21 month old that says dada nor daddy or ganma instead of grandma? How do you teach them to form sentences?

I do not teach English and will only speak for my own approach with my own DS. We ( DW and self) always made/ make sure we correct our DS's language - so " ganma" , we would repeat the correct pronunciation of "grandma" for him to try again - put it was never pushed beyond that.

If you continue with correct pronunciation it is a way of ensuring that a DC will reflect and repeat and so become skilled. Same with everything.

As it happens I do not really recall my DS having too much trouble with speaking properly even when very young.
However we speak correctly in our house. We always speak in sentences and we have always used received pronunciation ( ducking here as this is an argument I have had on education in general before). We also use that old fashioned thing "elaborated code"

I do believe firmly that it is important that one speaks to ones DC in correct English from the start as well.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 09:21:50

You're not so fussed about punctuation, though, Ronaldo?

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:25:46

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.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:28:14

The Farmer Wants a Wife, Tag, What Time is it Mr Wolf are all playground favourites jabed but obviously not the OP's childs choice.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:28:59

Did you never play "In and Out the Dusty Bluebells" as a child jabed?

GlaikitCheiftanOThePuddinRace Sun 27-Jan-13 09:30:35

Ah well, there's the thing, I find it important to preserve my local dialect, RP is outdated and "correct english" well I'm not even sure what that is.
My ds can call my mother whatever he likes, I'm not going to drill him on pronunciation not at this age. I have no idea if ds might have a speech impediment. My sister did and her frustrations at constantly being corrected were clear for all to see. She eventually stopped talking altogether. I wouldn't do that to a child. It wasn't my parents correcting her it was "outsiders". She then started seeing a SALT at school when she was six and hasn't shut up since grin

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:30:42

You're not so fussed about punctuation, though, Ronaldo?

Quite the opposite. Pronunciation ( giving way to age appropriateness) should be accutate too. If you speak correctly, you will ( mostly) spell correctly. Many of the mistakes young ( and older) children make with spelling are a result of regional accents and poor pronunciation in my experience.

If you say "wiv" rather than "with" - of course you wont spell it properly. Stands to common sense ( which unfortunately is not so very common in education these days).

LadyMargolotta Sun 27-Jan-13 09:34:30

Learning to speak is a natural progression of ability, and from watching parents, they do actually correct their child's pronunciation and encourage them to say the word correctly. I doubt that many parents would encourage incorrect pronunciation, apart from the odd word.

With my own ds, aged 4, he has two serious speech disorders, and following his speech therapist's advice, we do gently encourage correct pronunciation.

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:35:56

*Did you never play "In and Out the Dusty Bluebells" as a child jabed?"

No, sorry mrz, never heard of it. I played tag. I played " The Farmer......" I played Wolf and " Aunts and Uncles" and " Film Stars" ( now there is a good one for learning to spell!). "There's a Fire on the Hill" was a "picking " game
- all playground games not ones interfered with by teachers. Mostly I remember just running around a lot and playing things like cowboys and indians and soldiers.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:37:46

You're not so fussed about punctuation, though, Ronaldo?

Quite the opposite. Pronunciation

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:38:10

sorry several typos above. Accurate is one I saw a moment ago. Old, fat, slightly cold fingers do not type well

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:39:09

Oh punctuation. I dont personally bother here. If I am handwriting its different.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:40:02

You also know my age and I played In and Out the Dusty Bluebells as a child as did my aunt who was born in 1909 so it's very much a traditional playground game very similar to Duck, Duck, Goose

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:41:26

And should we get into handwriting too? I taught my DS "Marion Richardson"

Ronaldo Sun 27-Jan-13 09:42:32

I dont want to be sexist but might it be more a girls game mrz? You know how we were in the 1960's!

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:43:32

In a school with only 30 pupils there were no boys or girls games just games jabed

bruffin Sun 27-Jan-13 09:43:33

Duck duck goose is a real traditional game. There are references back to 1700s.
We played it in the playground and I am 50 along with kiss chase, What's the time Mr Wolf, games that involved the letters of our names and plenty of others none where anything to do with teachers interfering.

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

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.

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 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 11:13:36

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.

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'

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...)

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.

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.

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


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.

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

it's great smile

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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)

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

our not or

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.

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.

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

My displays are pretty transient

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.

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!

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.

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

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