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yr 2 Phonics and terrible spelling...your views please

(16 Posts)
Heartofgold25 Tue 26-May-15 12:12:15

My dd has not from the word go enjoyed phonics, she naturally prefers to sight read and her reading has progressed no end for the last six months, as she has built a sight vocabulary. She found it laborious sounding out each letter when she was younger, and it would spoil the flow of the story and then she would become increasingly frustrated and/or bored. Thankfully we past that stage now, but we have another problem...

However, I am really worried about her spelling. The children do not appear to have been taught 'sight' words very well at all, as a consequence my dd simply randomly sounds out every word phonically with little real accuracy. I am very concerned that she is never going to be able to spell properly like this and her written work is compromised severely...does anyone else have this problem? Should I be worried? And how can I help? I printed the sight word sheet, but she gets bored so quickly...maybe there are more interesting ways to learn, part of me thinks the school should be doing this anyway!!

How well are they expected to spell in yr 2...?? Would love to know the average ability. DD is okay with the obvious, she he, with, the, and, etc but the minute we move on to where, what, there and longer words etc it all tends to fall apart.

Any advice would be gladly received.

maizieD Tue 26-May-15 12:43:06

Why are you obsessing about focussing on 'sight words'? How is her spelling of all the other many thousands of words which are in the English language?

What do you mean when you say your dd simply randomly sounds out every word phonically with little real accuracy.? Is this for spelling? If it is, she has at least an inkling of how spelling works; i.e that words are made up of sounds and that when spelling a word you spell each sound in the order in which it comes in the word. The difficult bit comes in remembering which sound spelling belongs in any particular word as many sounds can be spelled in more than one way.

But if you could clarify it might be easier to advise.

mrz Tue 26-May-15 12:45:27

Our pupils are taught exclusively using phonics and all have spelling ages above their chronological age

mrz Tue 26-May-15 12:59:56

My first question would be why did she need to sound out the words and in what way was it laborious?

Secondly when she "randomly" sounds out every word for spelling does she correctly identify the sounds in the word (not random in that case) or does she indeed just say random sounds that are incorrect?

Thirdly are get spellings phonetically plausible? (she has the correct sounds but has chosen an incorrect representation for them)

Heartofgold25 Tue 26-May-15 13:00:19

Maizie D I am not sure you realise how completely rude you sound but using the word obsessing and then crossing it out! What a juvenile and quite unnecessary contribution. I am simply enquiring about ways to improve spelling sight words and to see if anyone else had noticed the spelling phonetically has its limits. I am not sure you are the right person to speak to.

maizieD Tue 26-May-15 13:17:59

No, probably not. I'll leave it to mrz.

mrz Tue 26-May-15 14:07:57

kesstrel Tue 26-May-15 18:48:57

Heartofgold, There are far too many words in the English language to learn to spell them all by sight only. The same applies to reading, which is why the research evidence shows that direct teaching of phonics is best. Except for people with photographic memories, good spellers nearly always use their underlying phonics knowledge to build and maintain that "instant" retrieval of a correct spelling, even if they are not consciously aware of this.

That's one reason it's important to encourage children to decode words and then put them back together again for spelling (encode), until the ability to read and spell that particular word becomes automatic. As the blog Mrz links to acknowledges, the phonics variations for some sounds are complex, and ultimately have to be internalised in memory for each word, but that is still better than having to memorise a far larger number of individual words by sight.

CrispyFern Tue 26-May-15 18:57:09

I don't worry about learning spellings at all. I imagine you become a good speller by being a good reader.

What do you think mrz?

ppolly Tue 26-May-15 19:11:31

Maybe putting spellings into 'families' of similar sounds and spellings would help her to remember (there and where). Learning a little of the history of those hard to spell words might help too.
It is possible to be a very fluent reader and a very bad speller.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 26-May-15 20:39:10

The link between reading lots and spelling well is not as strong as people often make it out to be. There are some good rraders that are good spellers and plenty that aren't and some children that barely ever pick up a book unless made to who spell well. Obviously seeing a word spelt correctly lots of times does give good readers with good visual memories an advantage, but for most children, there's a lot more to learning to spell than just seeing the word.

Sorting words by spelling pattern for a particular sound will help, linking to her phonics for reading. And I would do some of that by writing into columns or lists so you can utilise muscle memory as well, sounding out and rereading the words as she writes them.

mrz Tue 26-May-15 20:44:31

Good readers are often poor spellers I'm afraid.

CrispyFern Tue 26-May-15 21:10:09

Ah well that's me told.

mrz Tue 26-May-15 21:17:11

Reading and spelling are two sides of the same coin and should be taught together.
I would teach spellings by sound and always correct incorrect spellings to reinforce the correct spelling saying each sound as they are written

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 26-May-15 21:19:48

I need to check my own spelling. Rraders = readers

RB68 Tue 26-May-15 21:26:59

If they are sounding out the spelling OK I wouldn't worry too much just yet ie if they are giving you the phonic breakdown of the word. My daughter struggled with this till yr3/4 when it started to fall into place better. They had done more work on how english works for words, where phonic sounds can be spelt differently and how the rules of spelling in english work, I think if she can break down the word into sounds then she will get there - just keep practicing, keep reading and so on. If she has been working one way at home and another in school it may have caused some confusion.

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