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In what year do you think that a pupil should be able to spell...

(39 Posts)
rocketjam Thu 08-May-14 19:28:56

combine, communicate, co-operate, coincidence, anti-clockwise, antibiotic, antidote, antifreeze, antiseptic, non-stick, non-stop, nonsense, non-fiction, non-violent, non-smoking, co-star, co-writer.

DS gets a list of more or less 20 words a week, to learn to spell. He's not very good at spelling and we spend a lot of time on these. There's usually a few easy words and a few more difficult ones, but this week we are struggling. If they get less than 15 words correctly on their test, for two weeks in a row, they get to miss playtime.


WaitingForMe Thu 08-May-14 19:31:14

I can never remember what year the kids are in but DSS1 just turned 9, gets lists like this, would be challenged but would get there after a bit of work.

I'm a copywriter and often staggered at the complexity of his words. DH needs the list to check against when testing him.

Fanon Thu 08-May-14 19:31:16

I'm really shocked that a child would be made to miss playtime for spelling. I'm dyslexic and would struggle to spell some of those words!

KatieKaye Thu 08-May-14 19:35:12

Missing playtime is horrid. And it could be very counter productive.
If DS is struggling, the teacher should be trying to address this in a positive way that rewards him for success, not punishing because he's not hitting the standard s/he expects. Every child learns at a different rate.
I'd speak to th teacher and explain how you are working with DS, but that he is still struggling.

TeenAndTween Thu 08-May-14 19:56:10

I'd say around y4 (or y3), most of them are phonetically straightforward.

No doubt though Mrz will be along in a minute to say they are y1 words at her school ! grin

However my y4 DD would currently not have a snowball's chance in hell of learning these and spelling them. Even with the spellings she does get she struggles to learn them, and at your school would be regularly missing playtime (which I would not be happy with).

DammitChloe Thu 08-May-14 20:07:52

That's mainly from the year 5 list of support for spelling. But most of those are quite phonically regular, particularly if you take the prefixes off so would be achievable by years 2-4. I think it's only year 5 as that's where the prefixes 'non' and 'anti' are taught.

Can't see how missing playtime is at all helpful or a particularly good teaching strategy.

poshme Thu 08-May-14 20:12:05

I would let the teacher know you are unhappy about the missing playtime.

Explain that you do work on the spellings. IMO children should never be punished for not getting spellings right (and i was quite a strict primary teacher!)
When kidding my class consistently got spellings wrong I might chat to parents about whether they are practised at home, and discuss strategies to help remember spellings.
My DS (yr 3 ) could probably spell these, but he is a v keen reader,equally there are plenty of children who would find those spellings difficult in y5/6.

rocketjam Thu 08-May-14 20:27:50

He's in year 3 and only just 8. We have spoken to the teacher three times about this, twice at parents' evenings and once as a separate discussion. We asked if she could differentiate some of the words for the more advanced kids, and other words for the children struggling, as they do in maths, where they have three sets of homework - easy, medium and hard. The thing is, ds is very good at reading, comprehension, and can write really good stories, and he's also good at punctuation but struggles to memorise some of the words - why is it antifreeze one word and anti-clockwise with a hyphen? I can't even explain why!

LizzieMint Thu 08-May-14 20:32:01

My daughter is yr 3 and 8 soon and her spelling is awful so there's no way she'd get through a list like that. She sounds very similar to your son, good at reading, writing, comprehension but spelling is a blank spot.
At her school though they do get spelling lists differentiated for ability. And any words they don't get right stay on their list for the next week.

TeenAndTween Thu 08-May-14 21:19:42

DD's class also has 3 groups for spelling, a big difference between groups 1 and 3!

MumTryingHerBest Thu 08-May-14 21:34:21

rocketjam “less than 15 words correctly on their test, for two weeks in a row, they get to miss playtime” – I am not a fan of negative reinforcement.

If this was happening to my DS I would raise this with the teacher and expect an explanation as to why they are against positive reinforcement (not to suggest that your DCs teacher is but it might make them rethink their approach).

MumTryingHerBest Thu 08-May-14 21:39:19

rocketjam "why is it antifreeze one word and anti-clockwise with a hyphen? I can't even explain why!" In this instance I would approach the teacher and give them that very specific example and ask them to explain to you so you can pass it onto your child.

If you DC highlights any other areas that they are not understanding, again ask the teacher to explain to you so you can make it clear to your child.

At the very least, this should highlight to the teacher that evidently some children require more specific instructions.

I don't think it is up to you to have to find the answers to this out. Surely, if this is what the teacher expects the children to know, then they should be the ones teaching them it.

SoFetch Thu 08-May-14 21:42:09

I'll never forget having to learn to spell 'destination' in Year 2. That would have been in about 1998, so not really that "old school".

As for being made to miss playtime, that's just cruel. I blame Gove.

pointythings Thu 08-May-14 22:03:34

Using taking away playtime as a tactic is really bad practice.

That list would have been normal for my DD in Yr3, but the school differentiated and she was considered able. so either you have a class of very very bright kids, or the teacher isn't differentiating. We had 4 spelling groups and the difference between groups 1 and 4 was massive.

Purpleroxy Thu 08-May-14 22:04:31

Y3 or Y4

Nocomet Thu 08-May-14 22:26:57

I couldn't spell those.

DD2 could have at about 9, if they were a word list to learn

mrz Fri 09-May-14 06:34:45

prefix and suffix words are Y2 - rather than memorising whole words get him to break them into syllables and look at the parts he finds a problem - focusing in on the spelling bit by bit will help him

mrz Fri 09-May-14 06:36:31

anticlockwise doesn't have a hyphen if you look in the dictionary

mammadiggingdeep Fri 09-May-14 06:38:55

Anti used to be a year 5 spelling objective so I'd say year 4/5 but obviously a high year 3 group...

He shouldn't be missing play for getting spellings wrong! Somebody should send the teacher back to the 70s!!!

mrz Fri 09-May-14 06:48:42

anti is in the new Y3/4 spelling lists

Mashabell Fri 09-May-14 07:51:30

Children differ enormously in their ability to spell, depending on the quality of the visual memory they were born with. Roughly half will never become very proficient.

One of these days people will come to realise that making children learn so much illogical nonsense is insane, verging on child abuse, and decide to modernise English spelling. With 80 of the 91 main English spelling patterns having some or many exceptions, and at least 4,217 common English words containing unpredictable spelling quirks of some kind, there is no quick or easy way to learn them all.

I analysed the spellings of the 7,000 most used English words to establish exactly how regular / irregular English spelling is.

U can see the results below, with examples of the main patterns and all different spellings. - (The figures in brackets show how many of the 7,000 words which I analysed use each of the main patterns - and how many have different spellings. (0) means the spelling has no exceptions.)

1. a: cat – plait, meringue (466 a – 3 other)
2. a-e: plate – wait, weight, straight, great, table dahlia, fete (338 – 69)
-ain: rain – lane, vein, reign, champagne (39 – 19)
-ay: play – they, weigh,ballet, cafe, matinee (35 – 20)
3. air: care – hair, bear, aerial, their, there, questionnaire (31-are – 27 other)
4. ar: car – are + (Southern Engl. bath) (138 – 1)
5. au: sauce – caught, bought,always, tall, crawl (44 au – 76 other)
-aw: saw – (0)- but in UK 11-aw + 40 awe, or, four, sore, war
6. b: bed (0)
7. ca/o/u: cat, cot, cut – character, kangaroo, queue (1022 – 33)
cr/cl: crab/ clot – chrome, chlorine (192 – 10)
-c: lilac –stomach, anorak (89 – 9)
-ck: neck –cheque, rec (62 – 6)
k: kite/ kept – chemistry (124 – 7)
-k: seek –unique (36 – 5)
-sk: risk –disc, mosque (86 – 10)
qu: quick – acquire, choir (78 – 4)
x: fix – accept, except, exhibit (98 – 15)

8. ch: chest – cello (155 – 1)
-tch: clutch – much (24 – 7)
9 d: dad – add, blonde (1,010 – 3)

10. e: end– head, any, said, Wednesday, friend, leisure,
leopard, bury (301 – 67)
11. er: her – turn, bird, learn, word, journey (70er – 124 other)
12. ee: eat– eel, even, ceiling, field, police,people,
me, key,ski, debris, quay (152ea – 304 other)
--y: jolly– trolley, movie, corgi (475 – 39)

13. f: fish– photo, stuff, rough (580 - 44)
14. g: garden– ghastly, guard (171– 28)
15. h: house– who (237 – 4)

16. i: ink– mystery, pretty, sieve, women, busy, build (421 – 53)
17. i-e: bite – might, style, mild, kind, eider, height, climb
island indict sign (278 – 76)
-y: my – high,pie, rye, buy, I, eye (17 – 14)

18. j: jam/ jog/ jug (0)
jelly, jig – gentle, ginger (18 – 20)
-ge: gorge (0)
-dg: fidget– digit (29 – 11)

19. l: last– llama (1,945 – 1)
20: m: mum– dumb, autumn (1,128 – 19)
21. n: nose– knot, gone, gnome, mnemonic (2,312 – 34)
22. -ng: ring (0)
23. o: on– cough, sausage, gone(357 – 5)
want – wont (19 – 1)
24. o-e: mole – bowl, roll, soul; old – mould
boast, most, goes, mauve (171 – 100)
-o: no –toe, dough, sew, cocoa, pharaoh, oh, depot (106 – 59)
25. oi: oil– oyster (29 –1)
-oy: toy –buoy (12 – 1)
26. oo (long): food– rude, shrewd, move, group, fruit, truth, tomb,
blue, do, shoe, through, manoeuvre (94 – 108)

27. oo (short): good– would, put, woman, courier (15 -21)
28. or: order– board, court; wart, quart – [worn, quorn] (188 – 16)
-ore:more – soar, door, four, war, swore, abhor (23– 17)
+ (14 –aw/awe in UK)
29. ou: out– town (74 – 24);
-ow: now – plough (11 – 4)

30. p: pin (0)
31. r: rug– rhubarb, write (1,670 – 27)
32. s: sun – centre, scene (138 – 49)
-ce: face – case; fancy– fantasy (153 – 65)

33. sh: shop – chute, sure, moustache, liquorice (166 – 30)
-tion: ignition– mission, pension, suspicion, fashion (216 – 81)

34. t: tap, pet – pterodactyl, two, debt (1,398 – 4)
--te: delicate – democrat (52 – 3)

35. th (sharp): this (0)
36. th (soft): thing (0)

37. u: up– front, some, couple, blood (308 – 68)
38. u-e: cute – you, newt, neutral, suit, beauty, Tuesday, nuclear (137 – 21)
-ue: cue –few, view, menu (20– 22)

39. v: van (0)
-ve: have –spiv (116– 3) [80 with surplus –e]
-v-: river– chivvy (73 – 7) – v/vv after short vowel

40. w: window– which (216 – 31)
41. y: yak– use (31 – 11)
42. z: zip– xylophone (16 – 1)
-se: rose –froze (85– 33)
wise– size (UK 31 – 3, US 11 – 22)
43. zh: -si-/-su-: vision, measure – azure (20 – 3)

44. Unstressed, unclear vowel sound (or schwa),
occurring mainly in 8 endings and 2 prefixes:
-able: loveable– credible(33 – 17)
-ccle: bundle (2 consonants + -le for -l) (0)
-al: vertical– novel, anvil, petrol (200+ – 32)
-ary: ordinary– machinery, inventory, century, carpentry(37 – 55)
-en: fasten– abandon, truncheon, orphan, goblin, certain (73 – 132)
-ence: absence– balance (33 – 26)
-ent: absent – pleasant (176 – 58)
-er: father –author, armour, nectar, centre, injure,quota (UK 340, US 346 – 135/129)
butcher – picture (42 –ure)
de-: decide – divide (57 – 29)
in-: indulge – endure (73 – 30)

Consonant doubling rule for showing short, stressed vowels:
merry (regular) – very(missing) – serrated(surplus)
(423 - 554 - 195)
The use of doubled consonants for distinguishing between long and short a, i, o and u (e.g. mate - matted, diner - dinner) is further undermined by 200 surplus -e (gave - have, surprise - promise).

Masha Bell

redskyatnight Fri 09-May-14 08:39:49

DS (Year 5) would struggle with those. He finds spelling difficult.

When he was in Y3 we had exactly the same problems it sounds like you are having - we went over and over the spellings but he just couldn't retain them. Thankfully his teacher moved him down to the lower spelling group (he was in the higher group on the basis of being a good reader and writer!) where he could at least spell some of the words. TBH if your DS is consistenly struggling it sounds like the words are not appropriate for him and he should also be given easier spellings!

I'll also say that towards the end of Y4 something clicked and DS went from not being able to spell anything but the simplest words to at least being able to have a good go. He's still not the world's greatest speller but doesn't seem to have the same mental block. Hopefully something may click for your DC soon smile

iseenodust Fri 09-May-14 08:49:39

I can see how some are saying they are phonetically sound. I'm all for stretching vocabulary but I struggle with the idea of teaching a spelling when the child is unlikely to be able to use it appropriately say a month later. How many year 3/4 would use antidote in a big write?

rocketjam Fri 09-May-14 09:06:07

Just checked this morning and on their list anti-clockwise is written with a hyphen... hmmm.

Very interesting responses, I am meeting with the teacher after school today. DS practiced his list this morning and we found lots of tricks to help him remember. Nonsense is the only word in the non- list not to have a hyphen - it's a nonsense word! And communicate is between two people so it has two MMs. Not strictly true but anything that could help him remember...

I just want the teacher to look at the list every week, try to group words in patterns, explain the meaning of the words, and if she chooses to have many difficult words then give them 15 words to learn, not 20. I think she is just taking this list from a guideline book and not really thinking about the ability of the children.

freetrait Fri 09-May-14 20:49:00

Hmmm, spelling is an emotive thing eh. There are plenty of Y7 at my school who can't spell, and that starts to look a bit poor. Not sure how it is best tackled though.... I guess some of them didn't get all the phonics teaching that aims to help...

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