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How are spelling tests learning through play?

(11 Posts)
Brownowlahi Thu 09-May-13 14:01:06

So, everything I've read about reception is that it is based on learning through play, with play being the most important way children learn. This was how the curriculum was put to parents at dc school when we had our pre admission meeting this time last year. So, fast forward to now and dc is now being tested on 10 spellings a week. When I asked about this, the school are doing it in an effort to raise standards higher up the school. My child isn't 5 for another 3 months and is already being tested on spellings. Does anyone else gets noted about this kind of thing?

BlueChampagne Thu 09-May-13 15:31:27

DS1 didn't start spelling lists till Y1. You could try an app like squeebles though - that's quite fun.

Fuzzymum1 Thu 09-May-13 15:49:32

DS3 didn't have spelling tests as such, he had some simple regular words like fan, plop to practice listening to the sounds and learn early spelling skills.

trinity0097 Thu 09-May-13 16:47:31

Being tested on simple spellings will take 10min max, I hardly call that a big chunk out of a week of mainly play based learning!

50shadesofvomit Thu 09-May-13 17:09:18

You can practice spelling by writing in sand, using an Aquadraw mat, magnetic letters, shooting the writing using a water pistol, waving a wand as if writing...

Most schools will do some writing in Reception but its just a short burst of learning and will be good preparation for y1 where there will be more sitting down at tables etc.

AbbyR1973 Thu 09-May-13 17:18:02

We're not getting spellings yet although occasionally we do a bit of that sort of thing at home since he can read all the reception to year 2 word lists it's sort of his next step to spell them.
What we have been told though is that this term the plan to slowly make things more formal like year 1 to get them ready e.g. They are now lining up in the playground like the other children, they will be doing a bit more structured work eg handwriting, literacy, numeracy, group work. I guess if they don't then year 1 will be more of a shock to the system.smile

Hulababy Thu 09-May-13 18:06:29

Spelling tests don't really have any beneficial results to any year group, and definitely not EYFS.
They do not make children better at spelling.
They allow a children to memorise a spelling for a test - which they often then promptly forget again later. And it is usually the case that once doing independent writing they still get the spellings they have previously learnt incorrect.

Far better to concentrate on phonics teaching - for reading and writing - than spelling tests.

thegreylady Thu 09-May-13 18:56:23

My dgs started simple spelling tests/lists in term 3 of YR.He enjoyed doing the test and the words were very simple indeed-mainly cvc with the odd 4 letter using sounds like ch and th .

Brownowlahi Thu 09-May-13 20:44:20

Trinity, Being tested may only take 10mins of school time, but the practise at home takes far longer than that.
Hula, I agree completely. My eldest dc gets 20/20 (year2) on each spelling test and I am forever being told by her teacher that she is spelling words incorrectly in her work. I'm not sure of the best way to teach spellings, but I'm pretty much convinced that tests are not the way forward. Just so I know, what is the best way to teach spellings? Just practise and correcting them in work and rewriting the word correctly, combined with a good knowledge of phonics?

Hulababy Thu 09-May-13 20:51:34

I would say spelling is a combination of things:

- good phonics, inc phonics for writing
- reading a good range of books
- writing independently a lot
- correction of common spellings in school work

jamdonut Thu 09-May-13 22:06:06

Can I suggest that you check she (eldest dc) is pronouncing words correctly.

I saw the word "father" spelt as "thaver" today.

I've also recently seen 'theaver' for 'feather' and see 'fank' and 'fink' for 'thank' and 'think' very often. Spelling mistakes with th and v sounds in words are often due to mispronounciation.
We encourage phonics and sounding out as a strategy for spelling, but you need to be sounding out correctly! I often have to say "Watch me say the word" and be very dramatic about tongue between teeth or teeth on bottom lip.

I saw a child write the word 'cunt' in a sentence in his writing book,when he meant "couldn't"!!(I'm in Yorkshire,by the way,say it with a yorkshire accent.)

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