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incorrect spellings - how do I approach this?

(29 Posts)
SansaClegane Sun 06-Dec-15 13:35:06

DS1 is in Year 2 and has weekly spelling tests.
Last week, it was all about words ending in -ful e.g. beautiful, cheerful. So I looked in his spellings book and there was a sentence: "Don't speak with your mouth full, it's not very graceful". Now this is how DS wrote it; but 'mouth full' had been marked as a mistake. Now I get that his word to learn was 'mouthful', but surely in this context, the way he wrote it is correct?
Then I looked at his new words to learn for next week, and they are all numbers written in full. However, they are written in his spellings book like this: 'Ninety four', 'forty five', and so on. Unless there is a new rule that has passed me by, shouldn't all numbers between 21-99 be hyphenated when written out?
I'd loathe to teach him to write it the wrong way, but also don't want him to come home with a test full of 'mistakes' because of this.
So, how do I approach the teacher about this without appearing rude? I'm also not sure if I can do this at the door at pick-up time with all the other parents around? Has anyone been in a similar situation? Any advice appreciated!

Snossidge Sun 06-Dec-15 13:39:12

The mouth full one looks like an oversight when someone is quickly marking spellings and looking for a particular thing.

Personally I haven't come across that particular convention for writing numbers.

I wouldn't do anything.

Snossidge Sun 06-Dec-15 13:39:54

If your child is confused about the mouth full one, get him to ask his teacher.

mrz Sun 06-Dec-15 13:54:17

The way he wrote it is correct

WowOoo Sun 06-Dec-15 14:25:41

I'd leave the hyphens. It's spelling that's the focus here.
He was right to write mouth full.

Perhaps get him to write two example sentences with mouthful and mouth full and show her these.

mrz Sun 06-Dec-15 14:31:57

The hyphens are part of the spelling in numbers.

SirChenjin Sun 06-Dec-15 14:37:47

Could you query it in his book - write something along the lines of "just checking, was mouth full marked as incorrect because it was not used in the correct context of mouthful"? Either that or get him check with the teacher.

As for the number thing - I'm not sure I understand?

Ferguson Sun 06-Dec-15 15:28:05

Yes, there should be hyphens:

fredfredgeorgejnrsnr Sun 06-Dec-15 20:12:40

It was right spelling in the sentence, but it wasn't the word he was asked to use, so it was wrong - just as if he'd written "he gave a cheer full of spirit". It's wrong.

Most style guides do hyphenate numbers to avoid confusion, when written stand alone, not in a sentence, I'm not sure there's any confusion, so the nicer looking version seems better.

clareash99 Sun 06-Dec-15 20:18:57

The sentence was wrong, he spelt the word wrongly, the fact that it then resembles another word correctly spelt is irrelevant. Numbers can be hyphenated or not hyphenated, neither is wrong, but it is more common these days not to hyphenate.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 06-Dec-15 20:32:29

Seems like the teacher wanted him to write a sentence with the word "mouthful" in. He didn't do this which was why she marked it wrong. He didn't do what was asked of him. But she should have written a little note saying "your spelling is correct in the sentence you invented, but I really wanted to use the word mouthful, not the 2 separate words mouth and full."

SansaClegane Sun 06-Dec-15 20:37:48

That's it though - the teacher dictates the sentences! He didn't invent it. And, in this instance, he wrote it correctly albeit not using one of the words they were meant to learn (using which would have made no sense).
So numbers can be written non-hyphenated? Is there a consensus on this?

maizieD Sun 06-Dec-15 21:03:35

I would take mrz and Ferguson's word for it that hyphens are needed. They work (or have worked) at KS1/2 so should know what is required.

I'm a bit worried about your DS's teacher's grasp of English usage. 'Mouth full' as two words was absolutely correct in the sentence.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 06-Dec-15 21:46:10

Ah. She dictated it. Well, in that case, of course she is definitely wrong. I would explain it the correct way to your DS and tell him that teachers can get tired when they're marking late at night and just made a little mistake. There is always the possibility that he will tell the teacher what you said though! But at least she might realise her mistake.

Believeitornot Mon 07-Dec-15 16:33:10

I thought numbers could be written without hyphens. And in fact in my professional world I've not seen them with hyphens

LaurieLemons Mon 07-Dec-15 16:55:33

I've never heard of numbers with hyphens, certainly wouldn't think it was an issue but ask if you're unsure. You're right, in that context you could have used either so wasn't the best to use.

maizieD Mon 07-Dec-15 16:57:25

Don't forget that children are now marked on spelling, punctuation and grammar at the end of KS2. If the spelling of numbers is included in the National Curriculum and the National Curriculum 'says' that a hyphen is required the child will be marked down for not using it. So, although it may be perfectly acceptable in all walks of life to not use a hyphen it would be sensible to use one at least to the end of KS2 if it is required.

The child would be free to abandon it in KS3 where, in my experience, few people really worry too much about the finer points of spelling.

mrz Mon 07-Dec-15 17:40:31

It's now a requirement in KS1 to spell numbers to 100 maizeD also with new tests

mrz Mon 07-Dec-15 17:44:05 you can see from the old Numeracy strategy that the requirement for a hyphen is there

mrz Mon 07-Dec-15 17:49:22

mrz Mon 07-Dec-15 17:56:31

SansaClegane Tue 08-Dec-15 21:09:34

mrz, could you confirm for me that it is definitely the only grammatically correct and NC required way to spell numbers, with hyphens? Some of the replies here have left me doubting myself. I learnt that 21-99 must be hyphenated, but was wondering if guidelines changed since I went to school.
I guess my main worry is that DS's teacher hasn't got as good a grip on spelling and grammar as I'd like, there are little mistakes in letters to parents as well (like using an apostrophe for plurals of weekdays).

mrz Wed 09-Dec-15 06:40:12

With a new curriculum it's impossible to definitely say what will be expected but question 8 suggests the hyphen is required in KS1 tests.

PurpleThermalsNowItsWinter Wed 09-Dec-15 07:35:29

This system was recently scrapped in ds's school. In addition, everything was picked up on, spellings that were not on the list, punctuation etc. In one Ds wrote everything correct but forget to start with a capital letter at the beginning of one sentence. He got the list back again for that one mistake. We just stopped doing them in the end and concentrated on enjoying reading. At least if he reads he can subconsciously pick up spellings and (hopefully) punctuation. They've since introduced dictionaries into classes - much more useful in learning how to look a word up.

mrz Wed 09-Dec-15 07:42:53

In order to look up a word you need to have an idea of how its spelt ... That's the limitation of dictionaries and spell checkers I'm afraid.

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