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Y1 spellings - feeling a bit rubbish

(32 Posts)
JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Sun 15-Nov-20 17:01:04

Just looking for a bit of reassurance.

Y1 DD is (I think) fairly bright but very underconfident. She is very verbal for her age but doesn't read fluently yet. Her maths are reasonable. I think both will come in time.

But I am feeling a bit stressed about her spellings. They started at quite a reasonable level in Sept with words like tie and time - but before half term they ramped up and had words like value and pew . We worked hard on them and she has consistently got 9 or 10 out of 10.

But last week, her test included cylinder , circle and cycle as well as some others. She got really over-faced by them and got only 6 right on the test. We have been as positive and low key as possible but she was quite upset.

Do those words sound hard for Y1? And how can I help her revise better? We currently do flashcards, cloze exercises and a mock spelling test where she gets chocolate buttons for every word she gets right.

Just really don't want her to feel behind the others.

OP’s posts: |
upthewolves Sun 15-Nov-20 18:08:10

My DD is in year 1 and I'm really shocked by that. They don't test spellings in my DDs school but she definitely wouldn't be able to spell any of those. Even tie and time as the latter uses the split i_e digraph and they haven't done that yet. They are currently reviewing phase 3 sounds. My DD is August born but is really middle of the pack in terms of reading ability I would say and she is not reading fluently either - normal for year one!

Blossomhill4 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:12:46

My DS has spellings. Today we did We, He, She, be and into.

Things like cylinder seem a bit random for her age.

Mumdiva99 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:16:13

Please talk to the teacher. They might just be pushing her because she is doing so well. These are typical y1 and 2 spellings.

JuniLoolaPalooza Sun 15-Nov-20 18:16:42

Same as upthewolves we don't get spellings and those seem really hard! Also re securing phase 3 and moving phase 4 phonics.
Do they have say the spellings or write them? I found writing them out helped but trying to get my year 1 to write would be impossible! Maybe try not to worry about it too much x

Weepingwillows12 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:25:27

My school splits up the group into confident and normal spellers (my ds in the latter) and does different words for both. The confident group's spellings are much harder. I think that happened in year 2 but my ds barely tells me anything so could have been year 1. Maybe it's that? Those words are hard.

SprogletsMum Sun 15-Nov-20 18:27:47

My dd is in year 1 and in the top phonics/spelling group. Her spellings this week were some, come, who and what. They're easy for her but she'd really struggle with cylinder.

angstridden2 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:30:10

Year 1 teacher for many years.....most of my class would have really struggled with those!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 15-Nov-20 18:31:48

They look phonics based so I’d be going back to that rather than using flashcards or cloze procedure.

You could try one of these templates. For two syllable words you want to break the word into syllables. I’d probably highlight the target sound/spelling to or any unusual bits of the word. Then draw a line for each syllable, copy the word a syllable at a time, saying each syllable as you do. Then cover and write the word, saying each syllable.

You can then check it, focusing on the part of any word that isn’t quite right.

It sounds quite complicated and it might be to start with but it is a useful skill for picking up spellings in other words.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 15-Nov-20 18:35:36

Cylinder is probably less complicated than you think it is. The first syllable is likely to cause the issue. All the graphemes from the other 2 syllables are likely to be familiar from phase 2 and 3 in reception.

Indecisivelurcher Sun 15-Nov-20 18:37:59

Agree with above, my yr1 Dd has just bought spellings home this week for the very first time, they are things like I, to, said and love.

I hope your Dd isn't put off, may be about how you frame it to her.

ChristopherLillicrap Sun 15-Nov-20 18:44:53

We don't have spelling tests in our Yr1 class but I think most (if not all) of our children would struggle with those words.

Russell19 Sun 15-Nov-20 18:47:54


My DS has spellings. Today we did We, He, She, be and into.

Things like cylinder seem a bit random for her age.

Although the OPs spellings seem hard for year 1 the ones mentioned above are phase 2 spellings which I'm currently teaching in reception. Somewhere between the two is about right. (Probably phase 4 phonics)

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Sun 15-Nov-20 19:28:14

Thanks all. I agree cylinder needn't be complicated but the length of it just overfaced her. Like I said, she's underconfident.

So what we do at present is, they get given words on the Weds.
- Thurs I make flashcards with little pics and decorations on to help her remember - but don't do anything with her as such
- Fri she reads the words off the flashcards and then has a game where she gets 5 secs to look at the card, then we hide it, then she spells it aloud phonetically
- Sat we do cards briefly, then play a game I made up called Cross Crocodile where I write all her words in bright marker colours with letters or digraphs left out where the "crocodile has eaten them" and she has to fill them in
- Sun we talk about her words a bit and do a mock spelling test with buttons for right answers
- Mon and Tues we do other homework but review spellings if nec
- Weds is her test. Proper formal test with silence and writing words out. Have to write any they get wrong out 3 x and their names go up on the Gold Board if they get all 10 right.

OP’s posts: |
kursaalflyer Sun 15-Nov-20 19:29:51

I think your school consolidates spellings based on current phonics learning (eg soft 'c') where as other schools on here are concentrating on high frequency words at the moment. All you can do is give them go but don't let her fret if she gets them wrong. And as others have said these could be differentiated spellings, in which case she is doing really well.

LD22020 Sun 15-Nov-20 20:00:46

My year 1 doesn't receive spellings yet. Those seem really advance

JuniLoolaPalooza Sun 15-Nov-20 20:06:10

Well, you certainly couldn't be trying any harder, what a great mum! She will get there

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 15-Nov-20 20:06:32

This is a 6 year old, right? Having to do that amount of homework so that she learns 10 words is really disproportionate. My DS is a lot older now but in p2 it would have been very simple common words for spelling. They would have been working on trickier spellings/blends in class so may well have spent part of the week looking at cy words, but they wouldn't have had a 'test' on them.

Our school at that stage expected reading and 10 mins homework on a week night, for context.

kalidasa Sun 15-Nov-20 20:18:08

My DS2 in year 1 also has a spelling test every Friday, we get them on Monday and practice Tuesday-Friday morning for 5 mins but that's all. Last week they were boy, toy, joy, girl, bird, Mr and Mrs. Yours sound really hard.

JohnnyMcGrathSaysFuckOff Sun 15-Nov-20 20:26:30

Lonny she's not yet 6 but will be in a couple of months.

I am relieved that it seems that these are really hard and it's not just that DD is struggling.

For context, in addition to the spelling test she gets given every week a little booklet of 4-5 maths worksheets and 1-2 reading books which she is expected to read 3x each. They also have reflection pieces to think about with questions to discuss in assembly.

OP’s posts: |
Indecisivelurcher Sun 15-Nov-20 20:33:27

My mum friends group has ended up with our kids spread across 5 local primary schools. The amount of homework they bring home really varies. However what you have listed is way above any of them. Personally I would be telling the teacher my Dd was not doing it. She gets anxious, this would not bring out the best in her. Plus she gets tired, especially as some days she's in wrap around care at school. I do not think this homework would be in her best interests at all and would say so very matter of factly.

Xmasbaby11 Sun 15-Nov-20 20:36:04

Dd is y2 and her words this week were good, foot, room, etc

Those spellings do sound hard!

upthewolves Sun 15-Nov-20 20:41:16

@russell19 I think a lot of schools are still revising reception concepts in year 1 because of the varying amount of learning lost during lockdown. Our school is on a catch up/ recovery curriculum this term and will move on next term.

OP it sounds like you couldn't be doing anything more, well done. You are doing loads with her. We have a no homework policy at my DDs school (apart from reading) so I just read with her and we do Mathletics with her some evenings. Nothing near that amount though. I really wouldn't worry.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 15-Nov-20 20:42:54

YY I do agree it’s long and complicated for this point in year 1 if they haven’t yet been taught strategies for tackling words with more than one syllable.

Tbh I’d just introduce a couple of new ones at a time. Probably going with whichever you think are easiest for her.

bathorshower Sun 15-Nov-20 20:44:15

Just to reiterate what others have said about differing levels, in Y1 DD's class was split into 3 or 4 groups for English. The top group did have spellings like the ones your DD has, so it's possible that she's being given more challenging words because she can already do the easy ones.

DD is now in Y3, and at the moment they get one homework task a week. That's it. And it's a high achieving school serving a privileged catchment, so clearly her current teacher doesn't think homework is very beneficial, even for those whose parents can offer plenty of support (basically, don't worry if the homework is too much).

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