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Spellings in school work...should teachers correct or not?

(34 Posts)
rabbit68 Wed 22-Oct-08 19:56:59

DS1 is in yr 4. His school work is pretty good and he is starting to use some ambitious words which is great and all to be encouraged, BUT why can't the teachers correct spelling errors in all school work?
Through just not taking enough care he is making smelling pistakes wink in his literacy, numeracy and science workbooks and there is no attempt to get this put straight.
When I asked him about this he even said " well if they don't tell me what's wrong, how can I learn to spell it properly!" From the mouths of
At parent's evening, we raised this for the second time and are fobbed off with excuses about the number of children in the class, the very mixed range of abilities and "it's OK because he can spell his target words" ...are they missing the point or are we slipping into pushy parenting (we've done well to put it off this long.)
One teacher even said, "if I had to correct everyone's spelings I'd never get to bed at night"
And if I have spelled anything wong on here, please's been a long day.

It would be useful to get some other opinions on this please...

BoffinMum Wed 22-Oct-08 19:59:18

I wish more teachers did correct spellings properly and make a fuss about them. So many of my (bright) undergraduates make a right dog's dinner of their essays because this aspect of their education has been entirely neglected. After a bad mark or two and a bit of a cry they buck up and start reading Lynne Truss, and things go better for them after that.

rabbit68 Wed 22-Oct-08 19:59:41

oh, the teacher did tell me that they encourage the children to use a dictionary and a "theosaurus".
Has anyone got one of those? We can only find a Thesaurus here!
tee hee.grin

Blandmum Wed 22-Oct-08 20:00:27

We are told (in secondary) to correct a maximum of 3 per bit of work marked.

As someone who has very poor spelling I can tell you that having everything corrected leaves you so dispirited that you just give up.

Btter to learn 3 corrections than none IMHO

rabbit68 Wed 22-Oct-08 20:00:54

thanks Boffin..that's our reasoning.
We are thinking ahead and wondering , if not now, when?

cazzybabs Wed 22-Oct-08 20:01:08

I always tried to correct 2-3 spellings because otherwize you end up with a whole page of corrections for some children which would be off putting

MrsWeasley Wed 22-Oct-08 20:01:45

on a peice of work on display a child had written about wrapping a present and it was written as "the boy raped the present" no corrections made.

MrsWeasley Wed 22-Oct-08 20:02:29

piece even blush

Blandmum Wed 22-Oct-08 20:03:14


3 times 'Look, say, cover, write, check!

S1ur Wed 22-Oct-08 20:04:27

heh lol cazzy




rabbit68 Wed 22-Oct-08 20:07:04

well, just now I'd settle for 2 or 3 would be a start. Let's see what happens from now - apparently our concerns have been noted.

Sorry to rant: it's been a bad week at school.
Two children in the nursery class were "forgotten" when the group went into school assembly. One was DS2; he and a friend had a whale of a time playing unsupervised for half an hour. No-one noticed they were missing...but that's another story. Fortunately no-one got hurt, but hardly the point. Practises are being reviewed....It's just not our week, is it?

Yorkiegirl Wed 22-Oct-08 20:12:05

Message withdrawn

VirginiaWoolf Wed 22-Oct-08 20:19:12

It's not good practice to never mark any spelling mistakes at all.

Similarly, it would not be good practice to mark all spelling mistakes in every piece of work.

rabbit68 Wed 22-Oct-08 20:31:24

Thanks for all advice on this.
We will be happy just to get a couple of words put right in a piece of work, especially where a mistake has been repeated and the error is being reinforced.

Tinkerbel6 Thu 23-Oct-08 10:52:07

DD is 7 and in YR3 and not only is their spellings corrected in work, their punctuation is also, and everything they write has to have a capital letter, comma (if needed) and a full stop.

apostrophe Thu 23-Oct-08 14:28:57

Message withdrawn

CountessDracula Thu 23-Oct-08 14:30:53

Well if they don't correct dd's at that age, I will!

That is crazy

DD is in Y1 and they say that they don't correct spellings if they are phoenetically viable (eg krayt for crate)

But by y4 I feel they should be correcting

Blu Thu 23-Oct-08 14:32:22

They have a carefully 'graded' approach to spellings at DS's school.

For e.g no corrections in 'emergent writing' - when they are first trying to write by themselves and apply thier knowledge of phonics. Every word would b corrected!

In Yr 2 and 3 they correct words which are on the 'spelling test' list and common and key words.

Not sure what happens after that, but it isn't random.

LostGirl Thu 23-Oct-08 14:38:39

I can understand not wanting to correct every other word on a 'bad speller's' piece of writing in order not to discourage them, however my nephew's English coursework was returned to him once it had been worked and it had no spelling corrections on whatsoever (spelling was appalling, and no punctuation at all) and his parents had been told by the teacher that the spelling and punctuation wasn't that important as it was the content that was marked, and only a couple of extra marks were awarded for good spelling etc!

childrenofthecornsilk Thu 23-Oct-08 14:42:56

We've always been told to mark work according to the objective of the lesson. That's not to say that we wouldn't correct spelling mistakes as well, but as MB says any more than 2 or 3 in addition is overload, for the child and the teacher.

castille Thu 23-Oct-08 14:47:28

If I was given back a piece of work with only 3 spellings corrected, I'd think that all the rest was accurately spelt. Surely an underline of each mis-spelt word is at least necessary?

If spelling was always corrected, there would be fewer spellings to correct, wouldn't there?

SqueakyPop Thu 23-Oct-08 14:48:34

I only correct technical vocabulary, as a rule.

childrenofthecornsilk Thu 23-Oct-08 14:48:45

Unless the child has a photographic memory I would think not.

cory Thu 23-Oct-08 14:51:58

As cornsilk says, it should (and I think does) depend on the goal of the homework. If they are writing about the wildlife of South America you don't want to spend so long on the spelling and punctuation that you fail to notice that they've included polar bears iyswim.

Ds's writing is so poor that he would never get marked for any of the history and geography he actually knows if the teacher spent all her time on the writing as such.

As far as the history lesson goes, there is still a difference between him (v keen and v knowledgeable about history, but SEN in literacy) and someone who may be better at writing but hasn't bothered to learn about the ancient Romans.

castille Thu 23-Oct-08 14:53:31

Not instantly, I agree, but having the same words consistently corrected would have an effect in the end, surely? And help consolidate spelling rules and exceptions in their minds.

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