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Spelling tests

(13 Posts)
Itscurtainsforyou Fri 03-Feb-17 04:51:23

My little boy (y1) was in tears last night as he only got 3/10 in his weekly spelling test.

I'm finding spelling tests to be a hopeless way of learning for him, the words are completely out of context and he simply doesn't learn by copying them out at home.

He's actually quite keen on (& good at) reading and writing creatively but is getting demoralised and demotivated by feeling that he's "rubbish" at spelling.

Any advice?

Middleoftheroad Fri 03-Feb-17 05:42:58

Sorry to hear he's upset. If he's good at reafing that's a great start.

All I can say is that we have always just practiced practiced and practiced and used them in sentences to bring them to life. Each practice they'd get one more word right.

We often did (and still do - yr 6 now) them in the back of the car on trips out etc.

Appreciate that worked for us, but I found tgere was no magic formula other than repetition.

Hope you find a way

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Feb-17 06:09:40

Have you tried learning words by break it down to syllables instead of trying to learn as a whole word? That seems the way my ds learns.

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 06:41:45

The evidence is that spelling tests are a hopeless way to learn spellings for everyone.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 03-Feb-17 06:50:13

As it's year 1 l presume they are tiny words that can't be broken into syllables. And l presume there is some pattern. Has he noticed the pattern? There are apps he could use to practice each day. He does need to write them out while practicing.

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Feb-17 06:51:33

Mrz, I know that. And a lot people might agree. But if the school does spelling list/test, there is no way for each parents/children to get out of this way of learning to spell.(Unless have a huge fight with school)

SpaghettiMeatballs Fri 03-Feb-17 06:55:48

We have a good app called *cursive writing wizard' that allows you to record the spellings each week, print worksheets and practice writing them out on the screen.

We put them on a Post-It on the bathroom mirror so we can have a very brief look at them when brushing teeth. I think Little and often is a good way to practice.

kesstrel Fri 03-Feb-17 07:06:41

Learning how to spell words should involve phonics; it's the reverse of using phonics to read/sound out words. Copying out the words is good because it builds a "muscle memory" of the spelling, but he needs to be saying each sound as he writes it as well. Then there are ways of focussing attention on any sounds that could also be spelled in different ways, to help remember which variant to use. For example, underlining or highlighting that section of the word. Another trick is to use a silly exaggerated "spelling voice" to say the word (e.g. saying 'February' as Feb-roo-ary). There are various blogs with suggestions and advice: Spelfabet is quite a good one.

irvineoneohone Fri 03-Feb-17 07:14:07

Yep! What kesstrel says is exactly what my ds did/does.
I clearly remember him saying "wed" "nes " "day" , or "fri" "ends" while writing down words.

ItsYouNotMe Fri 03-Feb-17 07:18:31

Try an app called squeebles. You can set up your own spelling list and even record your voice saying the word. There are some bonus games afterwards so it's quite fun. My dad (yr4) really likes it. They also do maths versions.

SaltyMyDear Fri 03-Feb-17 07:18:54

Or you could teach him to be resilient.

If you think he's genuinely spent enough time learning them, and still only got 3/10 perhaps you need to teach him to shrug and say so what.

It doesn't matter what he gets in this weeks spelling test. You could teach him that.

germainegrainne Fri 03-Feb-17 07:32:21

Another vote for Squeebles. My son used to get stressed writing out his spellings and it was a battle each week but loved squeebles when we discovered it and would play on it happily (and learn his spellings!)

Itscurtainsforyou Sun 05-Feb-17 21:45:04

Thanks all.
I've arranged to discuss with his teacher as I also think it's a rubbish way of learning, but I'm not expecting that to work miracles...

The words are 2-3 syllables, no context except they all have the same sound within them (think "ou" and "ow" etc) - but with a range of spellings so it's easy to get them mixed up.

I've downloaded a couple of those apps and we've been practicing them, so we'll see if that makes the difference.

Thanks for all the suggestions

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