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Spellings homework: The teacher says they should always be in the same order. I'm wondering why.

(16 Posts)
TspookyChasm Thu 29-Oct-09 15:55:46

Dd (yr3) gets a list of ten spellings a week and 5 columns; so roughly a column to test her a night.

She's pretty good at spelling and so after the first couple of columns I have been mixing up the order and testing her in a randomly.

I thought that would prevent her from just learning the list as a whole and encourage her to learn the individual words. It hasn't been confusing her and she's been doing ok.

Note on the spelling book from the teacher is reminding her to keep to the order they are in. I was wondering why.

Will ask her when I see her again but any thoughts? I thought my mix-them-up method would be a 'good thing'.

RustyBat Thu 29-Oct-09 15:59:59

It may be because the teacher needs to be able to look across the columns to check that she's getting them all right, or if not whether she's getting closer each time - it's easy for you to check up on your DD's columns, but if you've got 30 to look through, anything that saves time is good!

TspookyChasm Thu 29-Oct-09 16:55:42

Thanks Rusty, maybe it's that. Even so I still think that randomly is going to be a more effective and makes you really learn it.

mrz Thu 29-Oct-09 17:57:09

As a teacher I would encourage parents to mix up the spellings as quite often I find children can only write the words in the order they are in the list and if I alter the order they still write the words as they were originally set out.

bramblebooks Thu 29-Oct-09 18:06:03

It may be because she wants your daughter to learn using the 'look', say, cover, write, check method - these are often presented in the five column format. Worth checking up with the teacher.

TspookyChasm Thu 29-Oct-09 18:23:50

Ah reassuring reply there mrz. I agree! It makes much more sense to me.

Actually Bramble I think the look, cover check method is possibly what they do suggest thinking back to a curriculum talk I went to, now I think about it.

But I still think my random way beats it for results. I've watched dc doing the look, cover, check thingy method and all it does is test your short term memory.

mimsum Thu 29-Oct-09 20:18:03

at my dcs' primary they do the look/cover/wotsit method but no columns, just a list of words which they then have to put in sentences - ds2 in particular gives himself the challenge of trying to get as many of the words as possible into one sentence. This makes for some very entertaining sentences, but also means he's sure of the meaning and can spell the words in context. I saw a child do the columns spelling for homework the other day and thought how pointless it looked ...

zanzibarmum Thu 29-Oct-09 23:15:45

All theese speling exhercises by the kidz - what's' the point?

Shirley the teechers have got beter things two do

seeker Fri 30-Oct-09 07:26:55

I think learning spellings is a complete waste of time and only implemented by schools because parents like it - but that's not very helpful, is it?!

TspookyChasm Fri 30-Oct-09 08:01:19

I feel that way about homework altogether really Seeker.

Apart from reading. But even that becomes a chore rather than a joy the minute someone tells you to do it x times a week.

mrz Fri 30-Oct-09 08:14:59

I agree with seeker about giving spelling tests is a waste of time because even those children who consistently get 10/10 fail to spell the words correctly when it comes to writing stories or reports etc in class.

bramblebooks Fri 30-Oct-09 09:53:00

Practising spellings is really important. It is just as important that the right spellings are set - not too easy or difficult, and not too many. It is even better if the child is practising words with similar letter patterns, or words which they will use regularly in classwork - and a good teacher should have a way of reinforcing those spellings in the classroom, ie word lists, or word books where the children can check if they're not sure or when redrafting.

Short bursts of practise over 2-3 days will really boost understanding of the letter patterns involved.

Children learn in different ways, so if you have a method that works best for your child then that's great.

seeker Fri 30-Oct-09 10:24:22

I'll hunt for the research later but many schools don't set spellings any more as it has proved an ineffective way of learning to spell.

mrz Fri 30-Oct-09 10:24:37

Have you seen the DCSF Support for Spelling programme

bellissima Fri 30-Oct-09 11:18:16

Hmmm - probably helps them get them right for the weekly test - kind of drilling - but imo they should be able to juggle them about. There again I'm cynical about spelling tests - my two usually manage to do quite well but I'm sure if you asked them to spell the words a few weeks later....

dilemma456 Sun 01-Nov-09 22:04:04

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