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Does your child bring home spellings to learn ? (primary schooll)

(92 Posts)
Ladyemem Tue 30-Apr-13 14:39:35

wondered what other schools do.

Our school dont and i think they should be.

everlong Wed 15-May-13 07:34:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz Wed 15-May-13 06:50:57

No the results from weekly spelling tests aren't used for SAT results.

simpson Tue 14-May-13 21:38:35

had blush

simpson Tue 14-May-13 21:38:10

DD came home with a sheet of writing that she hand done in sound time with words like: window, snow, grow, show etc etc...

So I can deduce they have been covering ow as o iyswim!

freetrait Tue 14-May-13 21:26:56

I correct DS's spelling all the time now when he writes at home. I think he's ready for it (Y1). He often asks anyway if he's unsure. He's pretty good, and I think it would be a disservice to him not to correct it now. His spelling is very good for his age, so I think they are teaching encoding as mrz says as well as decoding. Today as an example he wrote vegtables, which isn't hard to correct to vegetables.

I then told him how spelling wasn't standardized for ages and that people used to use all sorts of spellings, which he found very amusing and then wrote "vejterbuls", found that even more amusing, already forgetting that that was his normal sort of spelling in YR grin.

everlong Tue 14-May-13 21:14:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

learnandsay Tue 14-May-13 21:13:46

I wonder about mine. Recently she's started asking things like is y-o-u how you spell you? And then saying it's one of the tricky sounds that you can't sound out, like he and she. I added one and once and she replied we don't have those. But when I asked her have they been spelling words at school she said no. I've never gotten a single meaningful sentence out of her about what they do at school. So on this subject, like all the others, I've simply given up.

simpson Tue 14-May-13 20:59:57

DD used to bring spellings home to learn weekly and have a test on Friday (reception) but she hasn't had any for weeks then told me last night that they are learning them at school instead grin (result for me as I hate doing spellings).

DS (yr3) has had maybe 5 lots of spellings since Sept.

learnandsay Tue 14-May-13 20:40:53

I'm still waiting for ours. There's not a lot of Reception left.

mrz Tue 14-May-13 19:47:55

far better the school actually teaches them to spell

mrz Tue 14-May-13 19:47:22

why must they kimmills ... when all the evidence is those children who score 10/10 week after week in spelling tests are unable to spell the same words in their independent writing

kimmills222 Tue 14-May-13 19:35:36

I agree, kids must be given spellings to learn from their schools and daycare centers though my kid has not had any till now. I think he will be getting it in the next year. It helps the kid but problematic for the moms.

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 23:31:22

P.S. I think what you really mean is that English words do not contain consistent letter/sound correspondences. The key word being 'consistent'. Neither, for that matter, does French, though it is less opaque than English.

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 23:28:09

If they weren't phonetic you wouldn't be able to read them. They all contain discrete sounds; the sounds are represented by a letter or group of letters. Agreed that with our very complex alphabetic code you might not always know quite which 'sound' is indicated by a letter (or group of letters), as in your read/read example, but the discrete sounds in both words are encoded.

'Phonics' should tell you that there are alternative pronunciations and to try them, using context where necessary to confirm the intended meaning.

Portofino Sun 05-May-13 22:26:22

I mean - I read a book. Present. I read a book. Simple past. Phonics cannot explain or decipher this.

Portofino Sun 05-May-13 22:22:51

Many English words/spellings are NOT phonetic though. My dd was taught to read in French, through learning individual letter sounds and whole word recognition. French is much more phonetic than English and the rules are more rigid. She transferred her knowledge extremely well to reading in English. So I have to correct her according to context, read, read for example. That is not phonics.

maizieD Sun 05-May-13 20:26:23

LightAFire, I am very well aware of the 'debate' about the use of phonics for the initial teaching of reading and if someone were to present me with a research evidence based piece which challenged the research evidence I rely on I would be very pleased. But over the years nobody who I have suggested this to has ever done so.

The point about spelling is that whatever 'Jennifer Jackson' based her statements on it certainly wasn't empirical evidence as, as far as I am aware, there has been no longitudinal national testing of spelling for years; if ever. So any judgement on the decline or, otherwise, of spelling nationally is purely subjective. I have worked with struggling readers/spellers for tha last 13 years and my subjective impression is that, since there has been slightly more emphasis on phonics teaching in the past few years, their spelling errors have become more a question of wrong grapheme choices than of incorrect letter strings.

I am glad that you like phonics teaching so much, but, as msz has noted, your insistence that some words are 'non-phonetic' is a bit worrying.

mrz Sun 05-May-13 17:13:25

your children will need to memorise some non-phonetic common words like: the, said, there, their, were,

you do know all those words are phonetic don't you hmm

mrz Sun 05-May-13 17:12:19

I wouldn't call it an example of debate LightAFire more an example of very shoddy journalism of the worst kind no wonder Jennifer Jackson used a pseudonym

LightAFire Sun 05-May-13 16:43:04

maizied amd mrz no, that article was just an example of the existing debate of which maizied appeared to be unaware.

What you need to be looking at is the research, not opinion pieces.

Maizied Yes, funnily enough with my educational background I am well aware of how to research - are you trying to have an intelligent discussion here, or to play a rather patronising game of one-upmanship?

I will say it again, since you seem to have misunderstood me: I did not personally dispute the use of phonics. And I fail to see why you are trying so hard to convince me it is effective. I already know that. I believe you! Since I am a primary teacher, obviously I have taught phonics myself and had numerous staff meetings, INSET etc on the subject, plus an intensive and excellent external course, and - again - I taught my own DD to read phonetically. My personal view of phonics is that it has some major advantages, particularly in the teaching of common letter strings and sounds, but - due to the awkward nature of the English language - to be most effective it must inevitably be taught in conjunction with some memorising. I think it is particularly beneficial to children with SN relating to spelling as it provides alternative strategies and allows them to communicate ideas in written form, which is wonderful.

However there is some debate over it (which I dared to briefly acknowledge in one sentence and thus evoked your wrath, apparently) and to pretend that it doesn't even exist is both naive and closed-minded. I suspect I am wasting my time here as you seem to be determined to misinterpret whatever I say, but still it seems a shame that you are not willing to even consider the other side of the debate. Surely education should be about weighing up all the evidence in an open-minded manner and deciding on a rationale accordingly? Selectively ignoring some evidence in favour of that which supports your argument only serves to weaken your case. (And Mr Gove’s proposed curriculum would have been so much better if he had done this himself.)

I would like to point out too that in the personal example you gave, you did not say that your Y7s can spell perfectly thanks to phonics. You said - essentially - that they make a better stab at the words. My concern here would be that sadly in the world of employment a lot of people will still not care whether it is closer to right than before if it is still wrong, and are employees (especially graduates) of the future likely to be told by their bosses “well done that’s nearly right” regarding spellings? I very much hope that as people become more aware of dyslexia and similar that employers will indeed become more supportive, but what if they don't? (Maybe we could just throw out all the undeniably illogical spellings in our language and go completely phonetic - it would be nice!!!)

I still 100% believe that phonics gives children more chance of being able to spell words than pure memorising. I’m very glad that you are finding phonics successful too. But as I said before, pretty much any theory in education will eventually be contested, especially over time – e.g. here is a brief history of the child centred vs teacher centred debate (NOT a research piece...):

So in ten-twenty years, when we’re all back to rote learning or whatever new system they've found, and then when phonics is back again ten-twenty years later, perhaps you will eventually see what I mean. I was not criticising phonics personally, I merely commented - after two paragraphs explaining why pure memorising is not as effective - that criticism existed. I really don't understand quite why that seems to have riled you so much, since it's true.

Anyway I feel as though all we are achieving here is to hijack this thread and turn it into a pointless circular argument over phonics, which wasn’t my intention (as I like phonics!), so I shall bow out now.

And to all the mums reading this, I do hope I haven't inadvertently worried/angered you either: phonics is a good system of learning how to spell the vast majority of words. Many primary schools now do talks on how they teach phonics and if you get the chance to go along, do - it will reassure you I think. Please don't worry that you are not being given lists of spellings to memorise (if that's what your school are doing). But yes, your children will need to memorise some non-phonetic common words like: the, said, there, their, were, etc. In the majority of cases they will pick this up from reading (I particularly recommend Ruth Miskins' synthetic phonics series as she highlights non-phonetic/"tricky" words) but in some cases they won't. In which case, their teachers will do some extra work with them, which may involve some memorising activities. Good luck one and all!

mrz Sun 05-May-13 12:19:09

iloverainbows Sun 05-May-13 11:50:17

My DS, year 2, does not bring any spellings home and it does worry me how he is going to learn to spell. He started his education in the UK and learnt phonics for 1 term, he picked it up really well and I have continued to encourage him to use this knowledge in his reading ever since.

However we are no longer in the UK and they do not do formal phonics at his school. The teacher has told me that if she notices a child is weak on a sound she will cover it with them. This is in a class of 28 children with no TA or additional support so essentially there is no teaching of sounds. I would appreciate some advice from teachers especially as to how I can help him with spelling because I don't understand how he will learn to spell if he doesn't have formal phonic sessions or spellings home to learn. Can a child really learn to spell from reading alone?

ReadytoOrderSir Sun 05-May-13 10:30:11

My class (yr4) get a mixture of spellings. Part of their list will be related to a particular spelling 'rule' or grapheme (eg /ea/ words) and some will be related to our currect work. Last week they had decimal, tenth and hundredth, while this week they've got measure, thermometer and Celcius!

mrz Sat 04-May-13 19:04:40

I think part of the problem is that many teachers don't teach decoding for reading and encoding for spelling as reversible skills and many still teach whole words.

RodEverson Sat 04-May-13 17:56:04

There seem to be two conflicting interpretations of "phonetic spelling" here. One is that a child spells phonetically, without regard to whether the result is actually correct, e.g., cote for coat, or wen for when, etc., and writes without corrections that would hinder creativity.

The other is that, when spelling any word, the child should use the phonetic content of the word as a guide to spelling it. That is, since "coat" is composed of the sounds /k/+/oe/+/t/, you are best served picking spellings that represent those sounds, and in that order.

Perhaps it would be clearer if people who hold the latter position, like me, would instead advocate "corrected phonetic spelling." Practicing a mistake, like "cote," or "wen," over an over has no chance of improving one's spelling, but practicing a corrected phonetic spelling most certainly does.

And I'd wager that most of those kids who learn their spelling words one week and forget them thereafter are not practicing a corrected phonetic spelling, but are attempting rote learning instead, a virtually impossible task when it comes to spelling English words. There are just too many to memorize by rote. Their phonetic content has to serve as a guide, and wrong attempts must be corrected before too many further attempts are made.

To my mind, one of the best reading methods ever devised is The Spalding Method, and in it a child's first formal encounter with words is learning their correct spelling, with consistent correction of errors thereafter. They then progress to reading those words and using them in their writing. After introduction to the code, the rest of the program consists of a progressive spelling course integrated with the reading of fine literature and composition writing. According to researchers, Spalding-educated children read and write at levels well above their peers taught by other methods.

I do agree, by the way, with those who claim that spelling is best learned in conjunction with reading, although I would add writing as well.

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