Spelling lists and dyslexia(14 Posts)
DD (7, in Y3) continues to find spelling impossible. This is an ongoing saga - support for this is not forthcoming from school. I'm just looking for advice, again, on what to ask for from them next.
This week's spellings (10 of them) are a completely random list with no relation between any of the words. She will spend a lot of time trying to learn them (squeebles app with help)and failing to do so. She will get 1/10 if she is lucky.
I have asked for fewer spellings, easier spellings, or to be excluded from the test in order to spend time on filling the gaps in her learning. All of these suggestions have been rejected as 'these are Year 3 spellings. They have to know them'.
Looking at this week's list, if the words even shared a spelling pattern, or a particular phoneme, it might help. But they don't have anything in common.
She really is not making any progress at all with spelling (and I don't think she is with writing at all, although school disagree and say she is). I just don't know what to ask for next.
We will have to get a dyslexia tutor for her, but were hoping not to as she has such long days (DH and I work full time). She is so enthusiastic about school, the general curriculum and anything creative. I have found it very hard to work on this issue with her at home.
I could have written your post every year since year 4 it is soooo annoying. After moaning to class teacher and getting the 'we have to teach them' response I have then spoken to senco and on one occasion the English coordinator and another time the head of key stage 2. Some years I crack it and get appropriate spellings and other years have given up. This year I have found something called spelling zappers on the twinkl website. It gives some good strategies on how to learn spellings and ds1 enjoys it. However you really need to have achievable spellings so maybe try talking to other staff within school.
if she can't learn 10, get her to learn 5, and go for 5/10
Check out apples and pears by sounds foundations
I fee your pain eventually DD's school cottoned on but it was almost towards the end of primary.
Just ask for a meeting with the teacher or SENCO I am sure other kids will also be struggling as they go up through school think my DD had to learn 10 out 20 other children had 5 or 3 spellings to learn.
Has she been tested for SpLD yet? I went to an LEA (slightly cheaper than a specialist EP agency but equally valid and was lovely with DD) just outside
our area. She boosted DD's confidence which was lovely after constant criticism and belittling from teachers and other kids at school.
I had a tutor but only for 45 minutes a week she was great this was DD's limit of attention. Take care focus on her strength and building her confidence my DD is also extremely creative as well.
I meant to say she wasn't enjoying the school reading books as she got older she found them babyish. So we asked at our local library, bought some books from Barrington Stoke age appropriate but reading ability age appropriate. We listened to some audio books. We also read my sons diary of a Wimpy kid, Dork Diaries, David Williams and read anything we could about dogs. I would read a paragraph or two paragraphs then DD would read one paragraph eventually we got to a page. I told the class teacher and SENCO we weren't reading the school books anymore as DD just didn't enjoy them. Eventually her reading age improved.
Thanks. She's been tested and has a diagnosis of 'dyslexia' (weak phonological and spelling skills) alongside high scores in other areas such as verbal reasoning and comprehension.
User - she is not content with getting 5/10. She would be happy with 100% of 1, 2, 5 spellings, but if her classmates are scoring high percentages, can you not see the impact? If the teacher were to say 'your test is these 5 spellings', it is a very different situation - when you're 7 years old.
Mrz, I know (and use) the list of do's and don't you linked to. So far, suggestions I have made to school have not been welcomed. Do you think I should give them a copy of this checklist?
I was fortunate that my DD had a great class teacher the year she was diagnosed. She could see how hard my DD was working and how drained she was from the extra effort required etc.
We reduced the number of spellings she had to learn and supported my saying we were stopping the school reading books at home (she still had to read other books in school and eventually caught up). She also got the confidence thing and picked DD for a couple of things which she was over the moon about. Other teachers were less good.
I don't know the answer as my dd has been getting 1 or 2 out of 10 all primary school, the school were very slow to pick up on it and I also had things like 'well, that's the list' or 'she can't move down a spelling group as she's good at comprehension'. Now we are in SATS and she's still getting 1 out of 20, it's incredibly dispiriting. She's actually got good at spelling during that time, due to working on it at home, but the spelling lists are extremely difficult and would challenge most adults, so her ability to keep pace is not there. Will be seeking a dyslexia diagnosis in secondary. For you, you have one, so she needs differentiated spellings. I went with only doing 5 a week, and aiming for 2 out of 5 say! I also stopped doing spelling tests and told the school this at one point as it was causing extreme stress for no result. I don't have the solution, I just recognize the problem, not sure that helps!
I think you have to go back to school because your daughter's confidence and self esteem will be affected. Spellings should be differentiated and struggling spellers should be taught strategies help them. If you think she fits a dyslexic profile then you need to discuss this with school as well. You are not alone; as a teacher many children in my class struggled with spelling and also my nieces who were later diagnosed as dyslexic. Because of these difficulties I created the Spelling Zappers which have just been mentioned. They can help because they promote multi sensory learning. However your first priority is that contact with school. Good luck.
How is she practicing them? My DD hasn't been diagnosed yet but I find that practicing the words out loud rather than writing them helps her remember. I mix in the ones she's gotten right or knows with the harder to reduce frustration.
Just noticed your later post that she has had a diagnosis of dyslexia. Ask for a meeting with class teacher and Senco. (Headteacher later if necessary). Most teachers will be aware of the essential approaches needed with teaching spelling for dyslexic children but clearly not all. Go armed with information. There's some great stuff on the internet about the specific strategies needed that can make such difference and actually make spelling fun.
We had a similar situation with my son from Y1-3. He was scoring one or zero out of eight in weekly spellings. We got to the stage where we were working 20 minutes a day everyday on spellings - throwing bean bags and chanting, writing them with his index finger in neon on an iPad, singing, copying, you name it we did it and his scores stayed resolutely in the zero to one range. Can you imagine the hit on his self-confidence and esteem!
I finally said enough was enough and we wouldn't be working on spellings as it clearly wasn't productive. We made a big push towards getting him reading instead which was far more fun and rewarding. One teacher did finally agree to reducing his spellings from 8 a week to 3, but at the end of the year she admitted she wished she'd gone further and made it just one word a week. He has additional small group support for his spelling at school, but I am dubious about how effective it is.
From hindsight I would say don't waste time on unproductive activities with your child. There simply isn't time. Work on stuff that gets results and builds confidence. Speak to the head, senco, governors, whoever it takes, until you get some sense. x
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