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Spelling tests in Y1

(13 Posts)
vladthedisorganised Wed 20-Jan-16 12:58:17

I'm feeling clueless.

DD has (to my mind) a LOT of homework - it's a standard state school but has been told it needs to demonstrate it isn't 'coasting', which I suspect is why.
Part of the weekly homework is to learn 7 - 10 spelling words a week; write them down and incorporate them into a sentence that also covers the grammar topic (e.g. time connectives) they've done in class.
There is a spelling test at the end of the week and marks are written in the homework book; but the parents don't know which words they got right (or not).
DD does not do well in these tests. Each week she will get 10 new words to 'look, cover, write' each day; but it really doesn't seem to be going in. Most of these are 'sight' words so it isn't testing phonics ability; nor are they taught any techniques for memorising the words (e.g. 'remember that the princiPAL is your PAL' or 'your friend is a friEND to the END' which I remember from my own school days).

I really, really can't see the benefit of this as there appears to be no follow-up: if they don't pass the test they just get a whole new set of words and no review of the old ones - perhaps the other 5 year olds were born knowing how to spell 'Tuesday' and 'belief', or DD is rather slow for her age, I don't know.

Is there any point to testing if a perceived 'weakness' isn't going to be followed up, and are these tests common in primary schools? I do my best at home, but I want DD to have some relaxation time too..

irvine101 Wed 20-Jan-16 14:52:51

I think my ds had same amount of spelling homework in YR1, but words were only changed if he got it correct.
I agree, testing and move on to new words, no matter what the result was, and without any feed back, seems pointless to me. I would speak to the teacher.

DesertOrDessert Wed 20-Jan-16 15:08:38

Days of the week were early year 2 for middle spelling group.
We got the marked list back, and discounted b and d confusion (he STILL can't tell the difference), and looked again at any others.
We got new spellings each week, but there was an A, B, C list, so differentiated.
I like the system in this school, 20 words, but 10 new ones, and 10 practice, ie ones they should be able to do. They do the sentences at school now, but we got those in previous school to do at home.

I'd ask for the spelling test back in the homework book, then the mark wouldn't need to be transfered??

Gobbolino6 Wed 20-Jan-16 18:04:51

My children get ten spellings per week. They learn them however we choose and then there is a test. We get the book back and if they get up to 2 wrong, they learn the next set plus those two. More than two and they repeat the set. Then every six weeks they have two weeks of revision and then a test of a random 15 words from the six sets. Then they get a week off and then the whole process starts again.

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 20-Jan-16 18:07:48

Spelling test are a bit pointless - and it demoralise those that can't - they can read the words but use phonics to spell they are different skills!!

Jesabel Wed 20-Jan-16 18:12:41

I also have a Year 1 child.

He gets reading books to do every night, a set of 10 or so "blending words" to practise sounding out, and has some sight words to learn - but says he doesn't get tested on them. They are words like there, was, we, the.

kyz1981 Wed 20-Jan-16 18:25:57

My DD is in year 2 now, however in year 1 the class either got 10-15 words weekly ( dependant on ability to learn). Reading every day and some maths homework over the weekend.

Now in year 2 she gets 20 spellings a week but others get between(12-20). Reading daily and maths at the weekend.

They have a spelling test every Monday. We are told the result and any word/s that they have got wrong on a Tuesday, my DD informs me if you get too many wrong you have to go to a spelling club to help you learn them. In year 1 they were things like days of the week, months, common words. In year 2 she has had some random ones and some really tricky ones.

It's a lot of work and takes up a lot of our time but I do think it has helped her grammar and comprehension.

Ferguson Wed 20-Jan-16 19:56:46

A Phonics dictionary might help, and it should clarify a lot of confusions surrounding spelling:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

mrz Thu 21-Jan-16 06:55:19

The evidence is that sending home lists of spellings to learn is pointless even for those children who get them all correct in the test.
In your child's case it does sound like a tick box exercise when there is no follow up .

Fraggled Thu 21-Jan-16 07:00:38

Yr1 child here too. We just get one reading book per week. No spellings or anything else.

JennyOnAPlate Thu 21-Jan-16 07:08:57

Y1 child here as well. She gets 6 spellings a week. They get marked and then the children don't get told which words they got wrong confused

vladthedisorganised Thu 21-Jan-16 10:23:53

Thanks all. I'll look into the phonics dictionary - at the moment I'm trying everything!

I do find that the required '10 minutes a night' on spellings and sentences is wildly optimistic for DD to complete it all - we get maths on top of this which she can do in five minutes flat. Again I have no idea if she's unusually slow for her age or if it is slightly mad for 5 year olds.. I have my own ideas but am probably wrong.

I find we can concentrate on DD memorising the spellings, which means she writes them any old how and struggles to do the sentences; the sentences, which are beautifully grammatical and include the word in the correct context but mean that the spelling goes in one ear and out the other; or the handwriting, which means it all looks nice but she can't be bothered with the complex sentences or learns much in the way of spelling.

Just hoping she gets there in the end. We concentrated a lot on how to memorise the spellings this week, though her sentences were half-hearted to say the least... we'll see what (if anything) her teacher says.

irvine101 Thu 21-Jan-16 11:10:22

We separated task completely. First, he looks up the dictionary if he wasn't sure of meaning. Than think about sentence using those words. We talked about it, and If he was happy with it, he wrote down on notebook.

Memorizing word was a easy part for him, but I normally tested him at random time, and if he didn't get it right, he had to write it three times, and tested again another day. Test was once a week, so I thought we had plenty of time to get 10 out of 10. We didn't spend 10 minutes a night.

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