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Year 1 - 6 yo - should I correct spelling?

(18 Posts)
Campaspe Sat 17-Nov-12 18:55:34

DD loves school and is enjoying and doing well with learning to read. She has gone from not wanting to write to wanting to make her own books and write little stories, which is great. However, her spelling is really bad. She doesn't yet have to learn any spellings at home and I don't want to dampen this new found enthusiasm. But her spelling is really poor eg wot (what), hav (have), nem (name), culee (curly), cyoot (cute), groo (grew), hra (hooray), etc. I always make a big fuss of her writing as I want to encourage her, but should I be correcting some of the more straightforward errors, or will this naturally right itself as she gets older?

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 19:17:12

Looks to me as if she's doing what my daughter does and she's using the sounds she has been taught to make words

my daughter spells
bottle - botl
orange - orinj
and so on. Her teacher says not to tell he that it's wrong. On the other hand she seems to have known how to spell the words Asia for years. It's the first word she will write when we tip wooden letters on the carpet. And she knows right, sight (lots of words containing igh.) So what's happening is she naturally seems to acquire some spellings (and retains them) and others will come with time. Young children also know nothing about why words are spelled the way that they are. So, unless they're motivated to remember some spellings (or they have excellent memories) simply telling them that a word is spelt like so runs the risk of going in one ear and out the other. I often hear it said that children get all their spellings correct in tests and still spell badly in their written work.

coldcupoftea Sat 17-Nov-12 19:39:01

I am a TA and the rule of thumb is generally leave them to it if they are making a good stab at phonetically plausible spellings- eg 'hav' for 'have' etc. Otherwise their books would be covered in red pen, which could do more harm than good! In class, if it is a word they should know because, for example we have covered it in phonics, or (quite often!) it is on the whiteboard, I will nudge them in the right direction.

My own DD is 4 and just starting to write- like your DD she loves writing 'notes' at home. If she asks how to spell something I tell her, otherwise I just leave her to it and tell her everything she writes is wonderful!

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 17-Nov-12 19:44:24

My dd is yr 2 ds is yr 1 both their teachers say no need to correct spelling as they teach them to spell phonics way. It annoys me and I still correct them but yes teachers say it's not a problem.

happymumof2kids Sat 17-Nov-12 19:57:32

My DS teacher also say no need to correct it but I (like inneedofbrandy) do correct my DS in the most gently way possible. It has not put him off and I do always tell him what a wonderful job he has done! But I think kids do need to know when they have spelt something wrong - I usually tell him the correct spelling and ask if he would like to correct it. I do not force him to make the correction but at least he realises it was not correct. To date my DS is an excellent speller or at least IMHO.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sat 17-Nov-12 20:09:37

mine is year one and has had spellings from school from about march last year. (4 a week) they are words like have, come, goes, what, who etc... at parents evening we were told that words they have had for spellings are expected to be spelled correctly and there is corrections in her work. other words not learned yet are not corrected so i am guessing if she hasn't had spellings the school would not expect them right.

i would just pick one word (maybe a high frequency one) from her writing each time and say "would you like me to show you how it is spelled" that way its up to her and there is no criticism of what she has achieved.

DeWe Sat 17-Nov-12 21:49:24

It's a difficult one, and perhaps should depend on the child.

Dd1 wouldn't write a word if she wasn't certain she could spell it. So the teachers "encouraging" her to spell it herself just lead to a very stilted writing, using only words she knew she could spell. Instead I encouraged her to use a dictionary. She's a pretty good speller now.

Dd2 can spell very well, and very naturally. She's quite happy to have a go. However when she's in the stream of writing, all spelling she knows go out of the window. I don't correct with her, except occasionally to say along the lines of "is that word right?". It discourages her from writing and interrupts her thought. I am encouraging her to go back and re-read it and make corrections, but she finds it not me.

I am a poor speller. However one thing I can do is write it out in different spellings and pick out the right one. So my work might have looked like. "The boy saw an elefant elleffant elephant ellephant."
I'd write all the spellings I could think of and then be able to pick the right one.

However this does leave me with a problem. If I see a word written wrongly and not corrected, I can get the wrong spelling in my head and the right spelling looks wrong iyswim. I had a poor speller for a teacher in year 4 and there's still a couple of words that are right, but look wrong to me because the teacher spelt them wrong a couple of times on the blackboard.
Letting me spell a word phonetically correctly, bur actually wrongly could leave me with the wrong spelling. If I was corrected then I would remember the right spelling (usually).

learnandsay Sat 17-Nov-12 22:14:44

I had a poor speller for a teacher...

How does this happen!!!!!


simpson Sat 17-Nov-12 22:57:02

DD gets 10 spellings a week to learn and I would expect that words that have been in spelling tests to be corrected but other words that are phonetically correct to be left...

DD spells love luuv and the word "attic" is in her spelling test and the first time she wrote it she spelt it atick grin

Tgger Sun 18-Nov-12 00:03:07

I would chill out. DS was writing just like your DC in YR. Now the heady heights of Y1 he still does some lovely creative spellings (concrajulayshons springs to mind recently smile) but generally he can spell a lot better.

He has never had spellings to learn. In YR I hardly corrected him at all as they have to start somewhere and it's not really a mistake if you are using the phonics you know. Now his reading is fluent and he has been taught all the phonics combinations I do show him the correct spellings more often and I notice his teacher always writes the correct spellings alongside any written work he does at school (think YR teacher did this too).

mrz Sun 18-Nov-12 08:53:24

I would correct words the child should know and praise good attempts at others.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sun 18-Nov-12 16:19:10

"I had a poor speller for a teacher...

How does this happen!!!!!"

maybe he/she was dyslexic. my daughter's teacher last year was.

Haberdashery Sun 18-Nov-12 22:03:01

I have a similar issue with my DD, also in Year 1. She's just six. What I do is praise her and point out specifically that it's really good that she's used all the right sounds and then ask her if she would like to know the grown up way of spelling whatever it is. If she says no thanks, then fine, at least she knows there is another way. If she says yes I show her and 9 times out of 10 she remembers it for the next time. I do always make a point of praising stuff that makes the right sounds even if the actual spelling is wrong. It doesn't seem to have put her off so far and her spelling seems to improve daily.

Haberdashery Sun 18-Nov-12 22:05:00

Sometimes, interestingly, when I've asked her if she wants to know the grown up spelling and she's said no, she will come up with the right one on her own later on. I guess it just makes her think if there is another way or not - things like hoap for hope etc.

gallicgirl Sun 18-Nov-12 22:12:12

A 5 year old relative recently wrote a note which her father put on facebook. It said "I can spal werds".

Says it all really. She's chuffed she can write at this age and I think that joy is just something that should be encouraged and gentle proddings towards correct spellings can come later.

learnandsay Mon 19-Nov-12 10:16:55

Got stuck in the T-Mobile shop at the weekend with the children and to stop them wrecking the joint I had my daughter reading the displays. One said get more value with Orange. I don't know why she can read the word orange. I'm fairly sure she's never seen it with me. She found it easier to read the word value when I covered the e with my finger.

pecans Mon 19-Nov-12 13:08:02

I am correcting my dd2's spelling - she is 5 and writes all the time. I gently tell her how to spell words that I notice she is getting wrong a lot - like friend or birthday - but don't tend to point out more than one or two at a time. She is always asking how words are spelled - and likes having spelling tests (like her older siblings). Her spelling is better than my 8-year-olds - she can spell breakfast, for example. I went along with the prevailing view not to correct with dd1, and really regret it now.

My dd's are both top of their classes as far as literacy goes but dd1 has got really lazy about spelling and handwriting - her Y2 work is much better than her Y4 work. I am now making a mental note of words she spells wrongly and randomly asking her how you spell them at a later date - she rolls her eyes and says 'that's so easy' even when she has no idea (edeot for idiot, and haveing for having).

I actually think there is a really lax attitude about spelling in school. Think it is down to me to help my girls become good spellers.

zingally Mon 19-Nov-12 13:25:51

I'm a teacher.

For Year 1, writing, for example, the word "have".

They'll probably write "hav" to start, and I'll say something like "you've used your phonics really well to sound that out! But have is a funny word that has an e on the end." I'll then write it out myself for them to look at. Often, they'll then correct it in their own books, but I don't make them. Then, over time, they will remember it. Particularly as they become more confident readers.
Good readers and good spellers tend to go hand in hand at that age.

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