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DD just cannot pass her spelling test

(50 Posts)
Pantone363 Wed 08-Jul-15 14:12:44

She's had the same 6 spellings for 4 weeks. She came out of school yedterday so disheartened that again she hadn't passed and has to do them again for another week.

We've tried everything, flash cards, her repeatedly writing them out, chalking them on the board, cutting out the letters and getting her to put the words together. Personally I am sick of reading the same bloody words over and over hmm

Any hints or tips?! I'm tempted to just tell her it doesn't bloody matter or sharpie the words on her hand!

caravanista13 Wed 08-Jul-15 14:15:47

I think you need to talk to her teacher and explain how she's feeling
(though surely they should know!). It must surely be possible to try some new words and come back to these another time.

TheseSoles Wed 08-Jul-15 14:18:15

Poor DD!

It sounds like she's tried really hard, I would definitely discuss this with the teacher.

Pantone363 Wed 08-Jul-15 14:24:53

She's tried SO hard. Ironically she can get 4/5 of them at home consistently but she only got ONE right at school confused

sashh Wed 08-Jul-15 14:47:17

I'm dyslexic so sympathise, no amount of cutting out / writing would work.

I had at one stage a very old fashioned English teacher, she was strict, called us 'gels' and took no nonsense.

She was also a believer in dyslexia (only one in the school in the 1970s).

She had us learn certain spellings by rote - I don't mean writing them down but she would say, "address" and you were expected to say, "A double D R E double S", a bit like a spelling bee.

Strangely enough these spellings have stuck - I might still write letters in the wrong order but I can recite them, and once written down I can cover the paper and go through revealing one letter at a time.

How old is dd?

Would the teacher allow her to do the test orally?

I'm also a bit of a hippy and a teacher, I tell some of my students that when they are revising they should stimulate as many senses as possible, so eat mints, spray perfume / burn oils etc, then when they are doing the test try to have the same smells / taste / etc.

I'm assuming she is primary so not that easy but maybe a special small teddy (if teacher will agree) that she can recite spellings to at home and have on her desk doing the test at school - you could sneak a bit of perfume on it for her to sniff.

longdiling Wed 08-Jul-15 14:52:19

I'd go in and explain to the teacher that your DD CAN spell those words at home and that the problem is the test itself. It's clearly not serving it's purpose and must be so upsetting for her. Can't the teacher tell from any writing they do at school whether she knows how to spell the words?

I thought spelling tests were seen as outdated and ineffective these days. Mine have only ever once had to do a spelling test - and that was when my eldest had the crappest teacher in the school teaching them for a few weeks.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 08-Jul-15 14:55:49

I honestly do not think it matters that much in the greater scheme of her education, it is only a spelling test, and as longdiling said, are they not discredited as being ineffective these days anyway~?

I say, stop torturing your poor daughter and do something more educational with your spare time.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 08-Jul-15 14:56:49

yes use a sharpie and she can do the test like Dusty Springfield

StaircaseAtTheUniversity Wed 08-Jul-15 14:59:59

I was always the kid in primary school who looked like a twat at spelling test time. I'm now an English teacher with a masters in English literature.... Thus proving it is all a load of bollocks.

Talk to the teacher as your DD must be feeling pretty disheartened, but this too shall pass.

SkodaLabia Wed 08-Jul-15 15:08:11

Is she musical at all, OP? I'd definitely second the idea of rhythmically reciting the spelling so it get into her head. It's the only way I can spell 'accommodation' even now:
a double c
o double m
o d
a t
I O N! grin

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 08-Jul-15 15:10:37

my mum had clever ways of helping us remember tricky spellings, with mnemonics.
So the BEAU at the beginning of beautiful was 'Elephants Are Ugly' - I still find myself muttering it when I write!
Or she would remind us that any kind of 'there' 'their' 'they're' all begin with THE.
Dear old mum.

favouritewasteoftime Wed 08-Jul-15 15:11:47

What are the words? Have you tried mnemonics? E.g 'because' = Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants.

favouritewasteoftime Wed 08-Jul-15 15:12:37

Cross post!

TeenAndTween Wed 08-Jul-15 15:45:37

Why is she being given the same spellings week after week?
That seems to me to be soul destroying.

How old is she anyway?

SheHasAWildHeart Wed 08-Jul-15 15:52:00

DD has trouble with spellings. We downloaded some apps that have really helped. There's one where she or you can record your voice saying a word, then play it back and write the word. That was useful.

DD is a visual learner so we bought a massive roll of paper from ikea. On the weekend we take her spellings and just decorate the paper with those words in bright colours and decorate with all sorts of arty stuff, pages cut out of magazines etc. we then stick it up on her bedroom wall and as she sees it every day it kinda sticks in her mind better.

I have also found the Schofield & Sims books recommended on MN to be really, really useful. My sister used them for her dyslexic son and they really helped him too.

SheHasAWildHeart Wed 08-Jul-15 15:54:01

I would say as an ex-teacher that being given the same spellings each week is not a good idea. I know that when DD finds certain words or sounds difficult we try for a few days then move onto something else. Sometimes the new words 'click' better which then gives her motivation to return to the first set of words.

Pantone363 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:54:54

She's FIVE! In reception.

Spellings are : Called, Looked, Asked, What, When, Our

She never gets 'our' but is pretty ok on the others although 'called' is pretty shakey! I spoke to teacher at pick up, she has new reading words instead

favouritewasteoftime Wed 08-Jul-15 15:59:54

What about our = 'o (oh) u (you) r (are) so good at spellings'. That would only work if she knows the letter names, of course.

CaptainSubtext Wed 08-Jul-15 16:00:09

5?! Crikey that's very young for spelling tests sad

Thenapoleonofcrime Wed 08-Jul-15 16:08:06

What type of school is she in?! I would just go in and tell the teacher that your dd is getting upset about the spelling test and can't do them, and that after four weeks, you expect them to be encouraging her not causing distress and demotivation. I stopped doing spellings with my dd2 in Year 1 of primary as she always did very badly (1/2 out of 8) and it was upsetting her, all week would be spent doing the impossible so I just told the teacher we would no longer be doing the spelling homework and that I was happy to chat to the head teacher about why.

My dd2 is still a poor speller, but much improved.

I don't think many children could spell those words, my dd2 might get one or two wrong and she's 9!

Just call a halt to this, and go higher if you have to, a month of torture is enough!

SchoolTripNot Wed 08-Jul-15 16:21:49

My dd would not be able to read, let alone spell those words!

VirginiaTonic Wed 08-Jul-15 16:25:45

The teacher is an idiot!

Pantone363 Wed 08-Jul-15 16:28:51

confused its a normal state school!

OK I feel much better now, DD was getting so bored with the words and so was I!

Teacher has said to just learn some new reading words instead. First two on the list? Looked and Called hmm

SkodaLabia Wed 08-Jul-15 16:55:48

Gosh, that's dismal. DD is just five and doesn't do spelling tests at all. How dispiriting for you both.

proudmama2772 Wed 08-Jul-15 16:55:53

thenapoleanofcrime - agree with that post.

I have a dd who is dyslexic and an older dd who was never diagnosed but I think had a small degree of dyslexia. My hubby was diagnosed at Uni. Don't worry too much if 5 year old struggles to memorize spellings. Can she read them? Can she read and recognize phonics patterns? If not, monitor her and get her tested if the problem persists.

She is still so young.

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