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Lots of spellings in Y1!?

(36 Posts)
gabid Sat 23-Oct-10 15:35:04

Yesterday DS in Y1 came home with the second lot of about 40 words he has to learn to write, most of them are still easy but some are longer, e.g. 'children'.

The 'read, cover, write, check' method seems a boring way to learn to spell at that age. The first lot he did very quickly, but as words get more difficult I think he will get fed up with it. Besides, he is Y1 and just started reading (which he does well) and writing. It seems too much too soon.

What do other schools do? Any other ideas to learn to write his words, e.g. websites?

mrz Sat 23-Oct-10 15:40:19

For "children" I would ask him to write the sounds he can hear in the word.
I would imagine most of the words on the list will be straight forward perhaps a few will feature alternative ways of representing some sounds so he will need to see the word so he can remember which alternative to use.

Bronte Sat 23-Oct-10 18:15:17

Sounds utterly ridiculous to me.In my year 1 class we send home a list of 10 words, comprising easier cvc words, ccvc words and tricky words eg some and said.
We then test the children using dictation sentences so they are using them in a context.

Lydwatt Sat 23-Oct-10 18:17:07

my dd hasn't had any (thankfully!)

Scratchitt Sat 23-Oct-10 18:36:04

Yr 1 DS here. We have six new words a week for a test, also every week.

We do chalks on concrete/pavement, words with letters on fridge, bath crayons (make up silly/rude sentences to make it all a bit more fun. Had great reception teacher who said boys like not sitting down at a table, writing formally best when little, not helpful for Yr1 at school, but good tactic for home work/learning I reckon. I know Yr1 meant to be more academic (?!)but anway, so her advice was write it with sand, mud, paint, somewhere unusual, spell with things (bits of lego or whatever), food etc. There are websites, not using them though, but in our house nothing seems to beat just a word doc on the PC with a large, brightly coloured font on. We try and copy the words three times a week if poss, but don't push it as we get other homework of various sorts, plus lots and lots of reading books every week. Six a week currenlty - blimey! All a bit overwhelming and want to instill

ForMashGetSmash Sat 23-Oct-10 19:22:36

Are they not fr the whole year surely? My DD s in year 2and has been gven a similar length list...they are for her to know by the end of the year!

gabid Sat 23-Oct-10 20:14:13

The 40 words are for the 1/2 term. However, DS is somewhat reluctant when it comes to schoolwork - refused to read school reading books, now we read ORT at home and he gets a 'reading sweet' with each one he reads! He reads the books at school though. Pushing him does not work. So now I am a bit worried he might not do the writing - some good ideas, thanks!

ForMashGetSmash Sat 23-Oct-10 22:54:53

40 words for year 1 in 1 week!??? That is silly!

gabid Sun 24-Oct-10 08:22:04

No, not 40 words per week, per 1/2 term.

tikkapots Sun 24-Oct-10 08:28:26

Hia, we have 10 words per week with the look, cover and spell technique.

My DS found this really easy, and some of the words were hard. There were one or two I was unsure of the meanings of (eeeek!).

Despite DS finding them easy and some of thr words being a little odd, it seems to be working for him so i have no complaints.


gabid Sun 24-Oct-10 08:59:52

We have only had the one list so far, only inteded to do about 5 words a time, but DS was soo keen he did about 30 words on a Sunday evening and yes he found it easy, at the next sitting with the last 10 words he was a bit more hesitant but did it. I feel it will go downhill from here with enthusiasm.

Maybe we need a routine for doing his spellings and reading - have not managed to establish that.

DS can be very determined and I don't want him to hate reading and writing - in reception he had been to the Headteacher's office twice - he the told his teacher that he won't do as she says because he was in charge and not her! He was and still is behaving generally childish. But now does everything that is asked of him.

JellyBelly10 Sun 24-Oct-10 10:21:47

Well at least your children are getting spellings. My DS is in Y1 of a school who have just decided to abolish spellings! Up until this year they did the weekly spelling lists and tests from Y1 onwards but now....nothing!! They say that in the school's opinion children were learning the words for the tests but then when using them in writing were spelling them they just aren't bothering anymore!! I am really shocked at this as I cannot see how the children are going to learn to spell correctly if nothing is ever taught correctly! My son writes and spells everything how he hears it which is often totally wrong but no-one ever corrects it, eg he wrote the drink as jringc ina piece of work recently and presumably thinks it's correct as he was told it was a good piece of work that got read out to the class. So how will they ever lear to spell without spellings?? I think I'll probably do my own spelling tests at home at some point!

mrz Sun 24-Oct-10 11:21:01

JellyBelly10 I doubt they have abolished spellings, just not sending them home (not the same thing by any means). Children will be taught to spell in school instead of memorising lists of words they usually can't recall the day after the test.

TotorosOcarina Sun 24-Oct-10 11:25:57

We have 8 a week here,

at first they were normal 'sounding out' words.

But last week he had 'poison' and 'tonight'

i thought they were too hard.

mrz Sun 24-Oct-10 11:31:02

TotorosOcarina both "poison" and "tonight" are "sounding out" spellings

/p//oi//s//o//n// and /n//igh//t/ easy if the school teaches phonics correctly

ktee1 Sun 24-Oct-10 17:00:02

JellyBelly your school has totally the right attitude. sending spellings home for children to learn is one of the worse ways of children learning to spell, and as for them having a test at the end of the week...IMO schools should not send spellings home to learn, they should be taught in school and the teacher should be looking for evidence of these words being corrctly spelt in their writing.

gabid Sun 24-Oct-10 20:37:38

In Y1 they are just learning to read - I might be wrong here - but I thought the more you read the more you see the words spelled correctly and then spell them correctly. I wish they would wait with those formal spellings if they have to do it, after all they are just 5 years old!

Fairybelle Sun 24-Oct-10 21:02:28

This made me think about my dd, she has just started in Reception, and has been given 11 books to read for the holidays! Ok so they may only be one sentance a page, but still, 11??!!

Lydwatt Tue 26-Oct-10 09:50:46

I really don't get why they need spellings at home at this stage...they are only five! DD just doesn't seem ready at all and I can't imagine anything more soul destroying.

I don't remember getting lists when I was a kid until middle school (KS2). So why are we pushing them so young hmm

I'd better go before I start banging on about how they do things much better in scandinavian countries....

emy72 Tue 26-Oct-10 10:03:46

Gosh I am gobsmacked at the level of homework on here.

DD1 in Y1 and only gets 2 books a week and had no homework for half term at all. She doesn't get spellings or any homework and the teacher told the class that he believes "school is for working, home is relaxing".

I am all in favour of this, however I have heard that the Y2 teacher gives them stacks of homework every night, so I get the impression that this philosophy is by all means not carried out after Y1.

Shame really.

In view of that I would prefer my DD1 to be given a couple of items of homework every week as most parents say that Y2 then becomes a huge shock....massive lists of spellings included....

helencw77 Tue 26-Oct-10 20:10:42

My ds gets 10 spellings a week but he loves them (not sure he is normal !!) We stick them up round the room/do them on the computer/practise writing them etc etc, he gets a jellybean each time he gets one right (after we've practised them a bit). Some are a bit hard though, we had could/people/shake/their on the list last time.

I think it's good for them to have to learn something and do it in a little test at school. If ds does some writing at home then although I praise him and if it's very good, stick it on the fridge (!), I do also correct his spellings (or turn his "b" and "d"s around......)


mitochondria Tue 26-Oct-10 22:57:16

I wish we didn't have the spellings. As others have said, they haven't been proved to work. It got to the point a couple of weeks ago where Boy didn't want to go to school on a Monday morning, because of the spelling test.

He gets 11 per week, and they don't seem to follow any pattern.
We've got people next week too. And cent. Very useful!

I don't think small children should get homework, apart from a bit of reading. They're at school for long enough. My view isn't in the majority at our school though.

gabid Wed 27-Oct-10 21:19:41

Some of you said research has shown that these spellings don't work - so does anyone know what works or can any primary teachers let me know how you teach spelling?

DS Y1 is getting a bit resistant with his second list of about 40 words. We have done some with magnetic letters on the fridge, some of you said typing on the computer etc.

I feel DS is not mature enough for such formal work. I would have loved to start him in reception one year late, however the school said that he would have have had to start in Y1. No other European country is starting formal education at age 4 - they just want to play at that age.

estland Wed 27-Oct-10 22:24:43

I just thought I would post a reply in this thread... since somebody mentioned school age. I am from Estonia (small country just south from Finland)& I've been living in Britain for the past 12 years (my husband is English) and we have two children (5 & 1 year old). In Estonia we start formal education at the age of 7. Child has to turn 7 by October on the year he/she starts school. Our summer born 5 year old son had to start Reception class last year in Britain and it didn't go too well, so we took him out of primary school and he is now educated (going to kindergarten) abroad (in Estonia). The difference is amazing. He is now calm happy little boy. We felt that he was pushed too far in British school and this totally turned his back on even trying to sit down in class. He was turning into ADHD monster back in Britain just because he was made to do everything way too early for his age. Oh, and I forgot to mention that, he is bi-lingual (he speaks two languages fluently). Here in Estonia at kindergartens children of his age (5-6) are still playing but at the same time there are a lot of educational activities including Arts (they teach them all different painting techniques, clay/plasticine modelling, paper modelling, etc), Singing classes (with real musical accompaniment like piano), a lot of physical activities indoors or outdoors(including two outdoor walks a day). Plus there are a lot of extra acttivities like learning to play chess, learning to dance. Some kindergartens have swimming lessons. All kindergartens are municipally sponsored so you're talking of paying about £60-80 a month. There are obviously private kindergartens as well but they're no better than state municipal ones. Our son has really blossomed here and he is so willing to learn now. With regards to reading they still teach it here (at schools) using traditional classical methods. For example, children start from learning CAPITAL letters first and then they're introduced with small case letters. No memorising whole words but old fashioned phonetic tecnique. Writing with script letters comes much later (age 7). Everything has to sink in first.
I see my son's behaviour improving here day by day. He's not having these "attitude" issues like he had back in Britain, his behaviour has improved tremendously mainly because of calm and pressure-free atmosphere. I was reading this thread just to remind myself that I've done a right thing (pulling him out of British primary school). He already knows most of English alphabet (he's 5.4 now) and I am going to start teaching him reading soon. We also do a lot of play/work with magnetic letters on our fridge. He's writing a lot of letters on his own accord every day on paper with coloured pens just playing with different letters combinations. It would had been ideal if he could start Reception a year later (being a summer born child) but unfortunately this is not possible in England. I agree with a lot of mums posted here.

Lydwatt Thu 28-Oct-10 08:28:32


How much more sensible is this compared to spelling lists!!!

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