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Spelling in older children (KS2)

(20 Posts)
TumbleWeeds Thu 04-Apr-13 14:59:15

Any idea of techniques to help dd with her spelling?

When doing tests (ie words only), she is Ok on words to learnt for the week (All the ords are always right).
In test (SATs), she is coming out as average.

BUT when doing any written work, her spelling is soooo bad. Sometimes, not even phonetic so you struggle to guess what she wants to write.
She is a very good reader, is reading books herself at home but that doesn't seem to help.

Teachers have all told me that 'some children are just bad at spelling' and have never offered any way to help/support her other than 'reading books at home will help.'

mrz Thu 04-Apr-13 15:39:48

TumbleWeeds Thu 04-Apr-13 17:53:02

Thanks mrz.
Will it work too for a child that can tell you the spelling of a word if you ask her but who will spell it wrong in the middle of a written piece?

mrz Thu 04-Apr-13 17:54:46

I was thinking more of using the diagnostic check to see if there were underlying issues

BooksandaCuppa Fri 05-Apr-13 09:08:24

It sounds like a problem of proofreading and checking rather than editing, which was ds's problem in yr 5/6 (still can be). I would suggest doing some proofreading exercises with her to practise that skill.

And keep reading. But also: keep writing lots (and does she write joined-up - because that really helps with spelling?).

Ds is now in yr 7 and the sheer amount of writing he is doing (at least 6 x primary by my reckoning) means that his spelling is continuing to improve all the time (to clarify: he's a good speller; just never been quite as accurate as his punctuation and grammar).

BooksandaCuppa Fri 05-Apr-13 09:08:45

- rather than spelling - sorry.

mrz Fri 05-Apr-13 09:11:19

It's exceedingly common for most children who routinely achieve 10/10 in spelling tests to be unable to spell the words correctly in their day to day writing which is why spelling test lists aren't an effective way to learn to spell.

BooksandaCuppa Fri 05-Apr-13 09:13:55

And how helpful of your daughter's teacher's comment...

mrz Fri 05-Apr-13 09:26:19

I suspect the teacher doesn't know how to teach spelling other than send home lists of words to memorise

TumbleWeeds Fri 05-Apr-13 12:31:02

Yes list do not work with dd.... and actually her teacher this year agrees with that but still hasn't been able to give me advice on that (Not sure what they are dong in class instead either. Some sort of games etc...)

I have tried to ask her to read her work again but essentially she reads what she knows she should have written and if you leave it for a day, then she can't read it at all (yes it's that bad...) so has no idea of what it should be.
I had come across an article some time ago about using computer and Word to help teenagers spell properly. The idea is that Word will highlight (most) spelling mistakes so the writer has to look, find the right word and then correct. I suppose that is similar to proof reading... Perhaps that would be a good idea?

mrz Fri 05-Apr-13 12:44:36

I would ask her to look carefully at the words she gets wrong and highlight the part that she finds tricky. Then focus on this. Perhaps think of a word/words she can spell that contains the same tricky part.

SaltedChocolate Fri 05-Apr-13 13:11:35

Learning to spell in English is far harder than learning to read - and learning to read is hard.

There are lots of approaches to teaching spelling, and it depends on lots of things which one has the best chance of helping.

1. How old is she?

2. How bad is her spelling?

3. Can she read words by using phonics, or can she only read words someone has told her what they are (ie she's memorised how to read a huge number of words)

One spelling approach I like, for kids who aren't secure on phonics, is acceleread accelerate. Get a typing echo like natural reader, which says each word as you type it. Then if you type nonsense the computer will obviously echo nonsense. So it's a really strong lesson in how phonics works.

So it wont help if your spelling mistakes are 'pane' instead of 'pain' but will help if she writes 'pn', 'pan' or 'pne' for 'pain'

TumbleWeeds Fri 05-Apr-13 15:45:42

dd is nearly 10yo and in Y5.
Some of the words she is struggling with are very 'simple' ones, the ones you are learning in Y1/Y2 and it isn't consistent. She can write one word right in one sentence and then use it again and spell it wrong (in 2 different ways) in the following sentences confused.

Unfortunately, I don't think she has a strong base in phonics either. She had a bad not very good teacher in R, then was in a mixed class Y1/Y2 the year after and basically worked with the Y2 as she was doing very well in all other areas.
But being in Y5, I am not sure that going back to basic phonics will go down well. She 'knows' the rules. it's more that she doesn't automatically apply them or even think of them iyswim.

TumbleWeeds Fri 05-Apr-13 15:49:02

She is using phonics to read new words.
And tbh I actually don't know how bad her spelling is. No one has ever wanted to tell me (Spelling tests are ok! is the usual answer) but I can see it's nowhere OK when I read her written work. There is probably about 1~3 spelling mistakes per sentence.

SaltedChocolate Fri 05-Apr-13 21:59:31

1 to 3 words spelt wrong per sentence is bad but not horrendous.

Apples & Pears (which mrz linked to) is a very good scheme which uses lots of repetition, and no tests, to help her learn how to spell.

It's good but not quick, or targetted. If you're looking for a structured program which is easy for you to follow then it's a good choice.

Otherwise you have to work out yourself which words she gets wrong and how you want to teach them.....

Periwinkle007 Fri 05-Apr-13 22:25:24

does she get flustered about spelling when writing a story because it is hindering her thought process and she needs to get the words down quickly? does she wonder what the right spelling is or not notice it is wrong?

my daughter is younger but she sits and says things like 'I want to write blah blah blah but I can't work out which phonic spelling to use for blah 1 and by the time I have picked one I have forgotten blah 2 and blah 3'

I realise I am no help at all but I think you need to try and work out what her thought process is when she is writing as then you might have more chance of working out how to help her improve it.

TumbleWeeds Sat 06-Apr-13 08:26:53

No she doesn't even realize that her spelling are wrong. She writes, sometimes has a bit of hesitation but mainly just gets on putting down what she wants to write with little concern for the spelling (and her hand writing too).

Periwinkle007 Sat 06-Apr-13 09:59:26

If you talked to her about what she wanted to write and then wrote out the main words that would crop up in her work, would she then copy them when writing it? Is she just still following the emergent writing (is that what they call it) style where effectively they are encouraged to just write what they want to say and not worry about spellings. Obviously as most of them get older they then start automatically using the correct spelling but perhaps for some reason she hasn't made that connection between knowing how to spell something and actually using that. and also the connection that someone has to read what she has written.

if she went back to read something she had written say last week, would SHE be able to read it?

RosemaryandThyme Sat 06-Apr-13 14:58:25

Ruth miskin has a Get Spelling system (essentially two thick workbooks), seems to follow mrz thoughts on finding spelling patterns that are consistently incorrect.

Tiggles Sat 06-Apr-13 19:42:46

DS1 uses the apples and pears spelling programme. It is working. His spelling is fairly dire, and worse when he is writing compared with 'spelling test' words (which in fairness still aren't 100%). Part of the apples and pears attraction to me, is that as well as learning to spell individual words each session has a set of dictation sentences so words aren't written in isolation.

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