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Yr 2 spellings tests

(31 Posts)
DoingTheBestICan Sat 17-Nov-12 08:49:23

My ds is in yr 2,and when they moved up they started having spellings tests,they have to write down the words on a Friday afternoon and they have a week to learn them for a test the following Friday morning.
So far the words have been what you would expect,however recently they have gotten more tricky,for eg conspire,bonfire.
So he came home yesterday with his new list,words including congratulations,suspicious.
Is this the norm? I'm not bragging or showing off,ds is just a normal,average little boy.
What spellings do your dc get at this age?

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 17-Nov-12 09:15:32

It's not the length of the word.
conspire and bonfire are teaching the split digraph i-e
congratulations is the variety of 'shun' endings, tion is one of the more common alternatives, and you can segment congrat in order to spell it.
So challenging, but within the expectations for more able Y2.

mrz Sat 17-Nov-12 09:16:17

Not all schools send home words to learn for spellings but the words you mention are very normal, I would expect "bonfire" and "conspire" to have been taught in Y1.

noisytoys Sat 17-Nov-12 09:20:33

Dd is in reception an her spellings are very basic. She can write but her spelling attempts make me chuckle

Mountain - mowntin
Wheels - weealls etc

sparkle12mar08 Sat 17-Nov-12 11:01:06

Ds1 in Y2 doesn't get given words, he has to find them himself according to whatever spelling rule he is investigating that week. He's in the top group of four in a class of 35. The idea is that we remind them of the spelling rule for the week whenever we do reading or writing of any description at home and get them to think of or notice words meeting that rule, and then write them down in their spelling book. At the test on Friday they will then be tested on a completely random, previously selected, number of rule fitting words which may or may not include any of the ones they have found themselves. In other 'words' (hah!) they learn the rule not specific words, and are not 'taught to the test'. Sounds wonderful, but what it actually amounts to is the parents downloading a list of words they find on various educational sites and having the children copy them out.

Noisytoys - those are excellent attempts at phonic spellings of difficult words, expecially for a reception child. Well done to your dd!

sparkle12mar08 Sat 17-Nov-12 11:01:44

Especially - clearly I haven't been paying attention during ds's homeworks!

Mashabell Sun 18-Nov-12 08:05:14

In the early school years teachers generally try to teach the basic English spelling patterns first, i.e. words which use the main spelling patterns:
/a/ - |cat|,
/a-e/ - |plate, plain, play|,
/ar/ - |car|,
/air/ - |care|,
/au/ - |sauce, saw|,
/b/ - |bed|,
/ch/ - |chat, catch|,
/d/ - |dog|,
/e/ - |end|,
/ee/ - |eat, funny|,
/er/ -|herb|,
/f/ - |fish|,
/g/ - |garden|,
/h/ - |house|,
/i/ - |ink|,
/i -e/ -|bite, by|,
/j/ - |jug, bridge, oblige|,
/k/ - |cat/ot/ut, c/l/ram, comic, pick, kite/kept, seek, risk, quick, fix|,
/l/ - |lips|,
/m/ - |man|,
/n/ - |nose|,
/ng/ - |ring|,
/o/ - |on, want, quarrel|,
/o-e/ -|bone, old, so|,
/oi/ - |coin, toy|,
/oo/ -|food|,
/oo/ -|good|,
/or/ - |order, wart, quarter, more|,
/ou/ -|out, now|,
/p/ - |pin|,
/r/ - |rug|,
/s/ - |sun, face, lunacy|,
/sh/ -|shop, station, cautious, facial, musician|,
/t/ - |tap, delicate|,
/th/ - |this|,
/th/ - |thing|,
/u/ - |up|,
/u -e/ -|cube, cue|,
/v/ - |van, ^river, have^|, (cf. bitter, rat, rate)
/w/ -|wind|,
/y -/ - |yes|,
/z/ - |zip, wise|,
/zh/ - |vision, treasure|.

But hundreds of common English words don't use the main spelling patterns for all their sounds, especially not the vowel sounds (any, one, only, friend, said), and so children have to learn to spell many words individually, rather than by pattern or rule.

They are usually taught some of the most common ones first, because they are the ones that children need to use in their own story telling.

Among the 300 most high frequency words listed in Letters and Sounds, the following 135 are all tricky to spell for one or more reasons:

the, he, be, we, me, she,
of, to, was, want, all, call, one, said,
you, by, my, only, come, could, do, down, into, look, now, other, right, some, there, two, when, what, where, which, who, your,
are, have, before, more, were,
been, here, see, their,
another, any, many, saw, water, small, laughed,
bear, great, head, ready, ever, never, every, eyes,
find, friends, giant, I’ll, I’m, key, live, river,
pulled, put, thought, through, were, work, would,
coming, everyone, gone, most, mother,
oh, once, clothes, cold, old, told, grow, how, know, snow, town, window,
book, food, good, room, school, soon, too, took, door,
feet, green, keep, need, queen, sleep, three, tree, trees, each, eat, sea, tea, please, even, these,
I, I’ve, cried, night, right, by, fly, my,
after, asked, can’t, fast, last, plants, animals, dragon, magic.

They tend to get sent home for learning in various small groups.
Masha Bell

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 08:12:29

Masha where do you get your misinformation from?

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 18-Nov-12 08:18:05

DD1's spelling for next week is:


mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 08:26:30

I can sort of work out the suddenly, stopped and appeared link (Y2 learn suffixes) but how different and through fit I'm not sure.

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 18-Nov-12 09:33:25

better than last week which was:


mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 09:37:15

now I can understand there, their and they're as they all sound the same (pretty pointless learning the spelling out of context IMHO) and then it looks as if the teacher decided to go with the contraction for are and add we're and added there's to make up the numbers.

CMOTDibbler Sun 18-Nov-12 09:43:47

We have sentences for spelling, which do actually seem to be a better technique than single words for ensuring contextual correctness

teacherwith2kids Sun 18-Nov-12 09:51:51

We send home spellings - solely because parents like it, not because we believe it does any good.

The words chosen will usually be patterns which we have looked at in class or where I have picked up an insecurity about a previously-taught pattern from independent writing. Sometimes I test words alone, but where it only makes sense in context (as in their / there / they're), I test in sentences (I nearly got attacked by a parent in the playground after one of those - apprently it's 'unfair').

I do also have 'mop-up' weks which must appear completely random, because they will be words which are consistently being spelt wrong in independent writing but where there is no underlying 'rule' that I can group them under. I do usually say that at the top of the sheet, though!

I entirely agree that length is not an indication of complexity in spelling terms. Many children in my class spell words like 'magnificent' correctly, because they are regular, but may then slip up when spelling 'one' or 'two'.

strictlovingmum Sun 18-Nov-12 10:00:33

Yes, dd had sphere, cylinder among other gems and despite getting mostly 9/10 in her spellings consistently, if you asked her to incorporate those spellings in her writing some weeks after she had seemingly learnt them, well she just can't get them right,
What is the purpose of weekly spellings?confused

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 10:06:31

"What is the purpose of weekly spellings? confused"

the usual answer is parents like them ...I know they ask why we don't send them home but you're right most children can get 10/10 week after week and then spell the same words incorrectly in their work

strictlovingmum Sun 18-Nov-12 10:19:29

I don't like themgrin
IMO learning them for x number of days takes time away from more enjoyable and useful exercises that we could do in that time.
I feel if the weekly spellings were set from given school reading book it would be more appropriate, at least DC's would have the opportunity to see those words in context and discuss/understand their meaning too.

pennyrichardson Sun 18-Nov-12 11:24:58

Masha, could you please explain where there is a long E sound (ee) in the word funny?

/ee/ - |eat, funny|,

Hamishbear Sun 18-Nov-12 11:31:25

I know some schools which revisit spelling lists that they use for tests etc. Eventually they seem to go into the children's long term memory and are retained by most. If you do a one off spelling test of course children will generally spell the words incorrectly later in work - these spellings need to be revisited.

I know spelling tests don't work for all children but don't they work for most? Certainly schools which put a huge priority on spelling (whether it's right or wrong is debatable) tend to have children who spell very well IME. Where I am grammar and spelling is seen as being very important, marks are deducted for incorrect spelling & spellings are corrected even in maths for very young children. Incorrect spellings have to be corrected in the old fashioned way - written out 6 times & then entered in a spelling journal for review later. It seems to work for the majority. If it doesn't work for your child then they are given extra support and any potential problems are so flagged reasonably early. Everyone is happy.

Everyone I've ever known who went to a good prep has very good spelling and grammar because it was taught very well and generally given high status and a measure of priority. I was utterly failed by my school in this regard.

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 11:39:17

at the end of the word



mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 11:40:46

Hamishbear if you revisit the words in class on a regular basis it is more effective than sending word lists home.

ilovemydogandMrObama Sun 18-Nov-12 11:45:12

we do sentences, both written and verbal with the words sent home.

I have no idea if this helps or not, but at the very least shows DD1 that I'm interested in her literacy and learning.

teacherwith2kids Sun 18-Nov-12 14:16:23

Hamishbear if you revisit the words in class on a regular basis it is more effective than sending word lists home.

Absolutely agree (but them mrz and I have rather similar parent demographics and that might be informing our viewpoints - definitely not a 'prep school' type demographic!)

teacherwith2kids Sun 18-Nov-12 14:18:42

My DC's school has, until this year, never sent spellings home. Both children spell very well, because phonics / spelling patterns were an explicit part of daily classroom life rather than being 'sent home'.

Change this year - now send spellings home. Covering letter basically says 'parents are asking for it, we don't believe it will add anything to the children's learning but we listen to parents and do our best to respond to their views'....

learnandsay Sun 18-Nov-12 14:27:44

If parents want their children to learn lists of words then why can't they give their own children lists of words to learn to spell? I don't get it.

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