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Should my yr 2 ds be writing understandable english by now!

36 replies

nuttyworkingmum · 10/05/2009 19:47

Hello, My ds is 6 he is in yr 2 and the youngest in his year. He is quite good at reading but his writing is still abstract and even doesnt make phonetic sense!. He seems stuck and his spellings dont make sense either really. his teacher has told me he has lazyboygitis!
It seems she hasnt really done much to help him with this. Does anybody know what level of writing a yr 2 pupil should be at? Im worried as he goes up to yr 3 in September.

OP posts:
BeehiveBaby · 10/05/2009 19:50

No idea but I read your title as ' 2 yr DS..' and was like 'bloody hell'...

kid · 10/05/2009 19:54

I'd say check he knows all the sounds of the letters and if he does, its just a case of encouraging him to listen for the sounds in words.

Maybe you can do some spellings with him, just very simple words like 'cat' or 'dog' to let him hear the sounds.

My DS is also Year 2 and spells phonetically with lots of correctly spelt high frequency words.

ilovepeppapig · 10/05/2009 20:16

hi i am a year 2 teacher (and a mum)

i would expect all basic key words to be spelt correctly by the end of year 2.

we use the look, cover, write, check method to learn how to spell them.

all other words should be readable so should have 1st and maybe last intial sounds. However saying that it is much more important that a child uses a good vocabulary so shouldn't get to hung up on spelling.

if you are working on sounds you need to practice orally before you start writing down. Also a small wipeable board is great for learning spelling as the child can have a go.

start with cvc words like fox, bag etc then move onto ccvc words like trap, snap
build up slowly - remembering 5 sounds takes time and practice.

letter combinations come last sh, ch etc

hope this helps.

also your teacher can probably read his writing (i can all of my children) so it is not the end of the world.

spelling always is a big thing to parents (i know i still stress about my ds spelling in year 4) but we teachers are also interested in "creativity", sentence structure, punctuation, and hand writing as well as spelling.

does your teacher have anything constructive to suggest?

Takver · 10/05/2009 20:32

My dd is also year 2 and has trouble with writing. She is in Welsh medium education, so all spelling is phonetic, but she still has real trouble just getting words down on paper.

Partly this is because she really hates getting things wrong, so if she thinks she can't do something exactly right, she will refuse point blank to do it at all. So although as ilovepeppapig says they don't make a big thing about spelling being wrong, dd just won't write at all if she isn't certain of the spelling.

Her target for this term (which I think it is unlikely that she will achieve) is to write a short paragraph using a variety of forms of language over several sentences.

Her teacher has been using a programme called POPAT with her which has helped quite a bit - she's now confidently spelling 1 syllable words, and is beginning to break down multi-syllable words and come up with suggestions.

Like your DS, she doesn't have any problems with reading at all - she's a very keen and fluent reader in English & Welsh, its only writing.

1dilemma · 10/05/2009 21:18

ha ha I too read this as my 2 yr old ds!!

nuttyworkingmum · 11/05/2009 08:49

Thanks everyone. I will buy a wipeable board and go through the cvc words to help him. I wonder if he gets confused, as so many words in English arent spelt how you say them. I will do some spellings at home with him that are phonetic. Ill also ask the teacher if it`s possible to have any worksheets that will help. Does anybody know of a free net site that would help? as my ds loves the pc.

OP posts:
thecloudhopper · 11/05/2009 17:23

Takver is English the home language and do you speek Welsh? I am a Welsh speaker and went through the medium of Welsh but my parents were English I struggled through primary school with language becuase I simple did not understand the phonetic rules (that and being slightly dyslexic).

mrz · 11/05/2009 17:39

I've just been screening my reception children for problems and it might be a starting point for you to check where your son is having problems.

I ask the child to write the first sound in a word such as "cat" then the end sound in "man" the middle sound in "hot"
then to write a ccvcc word such as "crisp" a nonsense word such as "troal" and another real word "skirt"
Then some "tricky words" 'said' and 'was'
lastly dictate a sentence

"My grandfather thinks I shout too much."

It should give a picture of his difficulties and whether he is able to use phonics to spell words and knowledge of tricky words so you have a starting point to work from.

Takver · 11/05/2009 19:03

We speak English at home, I speak Welsh but not fluently, and I'm sure that doesn't help. I'm wondering if she'll find things easier in year 3 when they also do writing in English.

I don't think that's the whole problem though as very few (if any) of the children in dd's class speak Welsh at home, so the baseline assumes that IYSWIM.

Also, randomly, spoken (welsh) language and reading are two of dd's particular strengths - its just the writing it down that she struggles with. I have wondered if the fact that reading clicked very easily and early for her meant that she missed out on some of the phonic rules.

smee · 11/05/2009 20:03

mrz, really?! A class of reception children can write that whole sentence? [Falls off chair in amazement moticon..]

Clary · 11/05/2009 21:15

There is quite a range IME.

Some of the yr 2s at our schoolare writing sentences with things like quotation marks etc; one or two are writing barely readable words.

A bit at teacher's comment. I would hope to have him writing phonetically and spelling key words correctly. MY ds2 is in yr 1 (6yo) and that's what he does eg "it, was, day, play" but "nisly, mesy, scord, bort" etc.

mrz · 12/05/2009 07:54

smee my children are all capable of writing a sentence and my more able children can write a story (side of lined A4)

smee · 12/05/2009 11:41

MrsZ, am genuinely amazed - they're streaks ahead of most of the children in my son's reception - in fact I'd be surprised if any of them could write that sentence, and there are some very bright kids amongst them. My son's far from dim, but he's not writing anything other than very cautious key words and then he often needs some help. Am not at all worried, as he's still only four and just hasn't clicked into it yet, but if you've got a whole class who can write like that at 4/5, well am genuinely speechless.. Is it just me? Clary seemed a bit surprised too. Anyone else, or is my school just letting them play - which I have to say is fine by me..

smee · 12/05/2009 11:46

or was Clary surprised at OP's teacher comment. Me is feeling not so bright today..

foxinsocks · 12/05/2009 11:47

I would check his understanding is ok before dismissing it as lazyboyitis. Have experience in lazygirlitis and looking back, I think it was more a case of borninthesummeritis tbh.

Dd (also August) was hardly even picking up a pencil in yr2 let alone writing sentences.

Seeline · 12/05/2009 11:56

Smee I too am surprised at MrsZ. My DD is in Reception, and is quite bright. The school doesn't follow the usual route of learning, much more play oriented than many I think, and doesn't use a structure reading book system. My DD could I think spell most of those words, may struggle on said and was, but I don't think could cope with the sentence (although could definitely read it). I don't think that there are more than possibly 1 or 2 in her class of 30 that could do that sentance at this stage.

stillenacht · 12/05/2009 12:07


would the same teacher say to parents of girl 'lazygirlitis' - i doubt it.

spinspinsugar · 12/05/2009 12:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrz · 12/05/2009 18:10

I teach in a FSU in an area designated as socially and economically deprived with mixed nursery and reception children so it is very play orientated. Our children arrive with very poor language skills, some not able to communicate by speech. We put a big emphasis on speaking and listening and good phonics teaching (2x 10 mins per day) and it works for us.

One of my four year old boys wrote this story independently

Once upon a time there was a feroash dragon. He livd in a smelee swomp and he came out one afternoon and he rapt the priness a round the tree. St George cut off his hed.
the end

smee · 12/05/2009 19:58

Am still very genuinely impressed mrz.

nuttyworkingmum · 15/05/2009 16:35

wow mrz , I wish my sons teacher was like you!!

OP posts:
nuttyworkingmum · 15/05/2009 16:55

ok mrz I have just tried what you suggested with my son and this is what he wrote:
When asked to write the sounds of cat,man and hot he wrote the correct letters dowm: c,n, and o.
I asked him to write crisp, troal and skirt. He wrote: crisp, tral, and sert, after I asked him to try and write the sounds of the words again he wrote: traol.
He remembered said.

The sentence : My Grandfather thinks I shout too much.

He wrote: my grandfavn thixs I shant to mych.

I am worried!!

Any suggestions!

OP posts:
nuttyworkingmum · 15/05/2009 16:57

I dont know why he puts a n at the end of lot`s of words and he does seem to miss vowels out alot.

OP posts:
ShellingPeas · 15/05/2009 17:17

My DD is just 7, in yr 2 and this is what she wrote in response to mrz's little test:

scert (skirt)
troll (troal)

My grandfarther thincks I showt to much.

nwm, I think that your DS is probably about the same level as my DD on the written front. However my DD struggles with the reading which you said your DS seems to be doing okay with. Maybe he needs more support from the school regarding his writing, and they really shouldn't be calling it 'lazyboyitis' and letting him drift along.

Perhaps you can work out some strategies with his teacher to help him at home?

Hulababy · 15/05/2009 17:23

mrz - that is excellent achieve,ent from reception children. The children in the Y1 (all Jan starters) class I work at would struggle with that. Their abilities range amassively. Some are writing 2 page stories, albeit with phonetically spelt words (s0me soomewhat dubious at times, lol) nd some are still just using initial letter sounds and maybe the odd end sound.

For example the girl I worked with today would have written your sentence (My grandfather thinks I shout too much.) as:

m gf vx I ts t m

Likely that they'd be no capital letter or full stop, although she is now putting spaces between her words. I have anpther 4 or 5 maybe the next step up, so with some middle sounds and most CVC and VC words spelt ok.

The more able ones would still have struggled with the sentence though. I am guessing an attempt, based on what I have seen this week, might be something like this.

My gandfthr thinx I showt to much.

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