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spelling tests in Y1

(14 Posts)
JanePurdy Tue 18-Mar-14 20:27:39

I know I am biased as I don't really like lots of academic work at the younger end of the spectrum… so I wondered what MN thought about this.

My DD who is in Y1 - she will be 6 in the summer holidays - has weekly spelling tests. Words this week are boulder, trout, holiday, delayed, straight, eight, trail, can't remember the rest. Anyway, new system, if they get 9/10 they will get a sticker & if they get 5 stickers they will get a prize. Their scores are read out in class.

I feel really uncomfortable with all of this. The other week we got our weeks mixed up & DD learnt the wrong words, she scored 2/10 on that week (she had spelt the rest plausibly phonetically e.g. baicun for bacon, yorn for yawn). She came home really upset. It just seems so young! Am I just being wet?

waterlego Tue 18-Mar-14 20:30:30

Those spellings seem very hard for Y1 shock

My son is in Y1 and he does have regular spelling tests but the words are much easier than those. Off the top of my head, last week's list included fizz, buzz, jazz, quick, quack... Among others.

columngollum Tue 18-Mar-14 20:50:42

Sounds like schoolwork to me and an added incentive to get the weeks in the right order.

phonebox Tue 18-Mar-14 20:52:56

They do sound difficult for Y1, but good on the school for introducing routine and friendly competition.

I wish more schools would introduce spelling tests earlier. My nephew has had them in Reception from January onwards.

JanePurdy Tue 18-Mar-14 21:29:54

It just seems so young to introduce academic competition with peers! There are quite a few kids who don't do very well in the tests & it seems such a shame to set them up in Y1 with a sense that they aren't "good" at spelling/schoolwork.

(I totally recommend the Squeebles app though, DD has been getting 10/10 since we started using that for practice!)

phonebox Tue 18-Mar-14 21:50:38

Meh, I had spelling tests in Y1 over 20 years ago and I turned out okay...after the disastrous first attempt when I didn't understand the concept of a "test" and wrote nothing, assuming the teacher would automatically know that I knew how to spell them grin

They have to get used to testing sometime.

MrsKCastle Tue 18-Mar-14 21:54:04

I don't think the words are too hard for Y1- they're clearly based on the phonics that they're doing.

I do disagree with reading out scores in class though. I think they should be trying to beat their own previous scores, not those of classmates. And if they choose to do it that way, the spellings should be differentiated.

JanePurdy Tue 18-Mar-14 22:01:21

phonebox I had spelling tests too (I remember learning skeleton and hospital in Y2!) but we didn't have our scores read out in class.

simpson Tue 18-Mar-14 22:45:30

DD is in yr1 and has had spelling tests (8 words) since reception.

They get a certificate (given out in the end of the weeks assembly if they get them correct ).

Her spellings can be quite hard (tbh harder than her yr4 brothers some weeks) but we start practising from about Tuesday for a test on Friday.

If she gets the correct, then great and if she doesn't then she doesn't!!

CannyBagOfTudor Tue 18-Mar-14 22:49:41

My DD is yr 1 (also turns 6 this summer)

They have a spelling test every fortnight, 10 words a test. Examples of words are: desktop, shrinking, scarf, handstand, laughter.

They get to colour in if they get them all right. I don't know what happens if they don't get them all right.

WooWooOwl Tue 18-Mar-14 23:14:05

I wouldn't have a problem with the words, as long as they are appropriate for the child's ability, and I wouldn't have a problem with the testing or reward system either.

I'd object to the scores being read out in class though. That's unfair on children whose parents won't put in the effort to work with them at home.

In general I think more emphasis should be put on rewarding spelling in real written work though. I have a child who always get 10/10 in spelling tests, yet manages to forget spellings completely when writing the same words in a sentence.

legoplayingmumsunite Tue 18-Mar-14 23:40:46

DD2 is in reception and gets weekly spelling of CVC words as homework but they aren't tested in school. It's writing practice as much as spelling practice.

DD1 is in y1. The class are split into spelling groups based on the phonics groups they are learning and if you get 10/10 in the weekly spelling test you get a spelling certificate. So a kid in the top set might not get a certificate but one in the lowest could in the same week. Quite a clever system, and they all love getting their certificates.

For comparison DD1 has been doing the days of the week and the months of the year the last couple of weeks in her spelling tests.

Mashabell Wed 19-Mar-14 06:46:37

Phonebox: They have to get used to testing sometime.
Why? In Finland they don't start school till 7 and have no formal testing till 18, but do much better overall than the UK.

I think regular testing and humiliation at 6 is absolutely awful.
Fine for children for whom learning to spell is easy, terrible for the 1 in 2 who are not blessed with a good visual memory.

This merely reminds me again why i advocate mordernisation of English spelling. - There would be no need for weekly spelling tests if English spelling was more sensible, without inconsistencies like:

bolder - boulder, holly - holiday, laid - delayed, straight - eight - trail - tale.

Having to make children memorise such nonsense year after year is terrible.
Masha Bell

my2bundles Wed 19-Mar-14 09:41:20

Terrible to read them out in class, all it does is make those who struggle feel worthless. Spelling tests for such young children are counter productive in my opinion. In my childs year 1 class they have spelling tests, yes my son does memorise the words for the test but does not retain the spellings over time, Ive found the same applies to many of his friends.

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