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Need your help on the teaching of spelling

Discussion in 'Primary' started by totallyflipped, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. We are in the process of looking at how we can improve our children's spelling ability and I am trying to find out what different approaches are "out there" and how effective they are.
    At present - we give weekly word lists out to children for testing, but it has been suggested that we give sentences instead so that the children learn to by Shopping Sidekick Plugin">apply the words that they are given.
    I have read up on the principles of spelling and found many do and don't lists/tips.
    I realise that maybe our KS 2 teachers lack the understanding of how spelling (phonics) is taught in KS1 and are only vaguely aware of the alphabetical code.
    I am starting to feel that maybe the way forward would be to train up KS2 teachers in this practice and get them to see how phonics IS spellings.
    I know what I think and feel but I am extremely good at seeing only one side of an argument......... so I need your help.
    What do you do?
    1)Do you have spelling logs?
    2)weekly tests?
    3) give lists of words?
    4)give sentences?
    5) Are your KS2 teachers trained in teaching phonics and the alphabetical code?
    6) Do you think that KS 2 teachers NEED this by Shopping Sidekick Plugin">training?
    HAve you any other thoughts/advice?
    Thanks
    TF
     
  2. We are in the process of looking at how we can improve our children's spelling ability and I am trying to find out what different approaches are "out there" and how effective they are.
    At present - we give weekly word lists out to children for testing, but it has been suggested that we give sentences instead so that the children learn to by Shopping Sidekick Plugin">apply the words that they are given.
    I have read up on the principles of spelling and found many do and don't lists/tips.
    I realise that maybe our KS 2 teachers lack the understanding of how spelling (phonics) is taught in KS1 and are only vaguely aware of the alphabetical code.
    I am starting to feel that maybe the way forward would be to train up KS2 teachers in this practice and get them to see how phonics IS spellings.
    I know what I think and feel but I am extremely good at seeing only one side of an argument......... so I need your help.
    What do you do?
    1)Do you have spelling logs?
    2)weekly tests?
    3) give lists of words?
    4)give sentences?
    5) Are your KS2 teachers trained in teaching phonics and the alphabetical code?
    6) Do you think that KS 2 teachers NEED this by Shopping Sidekick Plugin">training?
    HAve you any other thoughts/advice?
    Thanks
    TF
     
  3. indigo987

    indigo987 New commenter

    I think that Y3 and 4 teachers at least need experience of phonics, because they will have a significant number of children that are still at phase 4/5 of Letters and Sounds, and you need to carry on filling in the gaps in their phonics knowledge. At my school, we had a whole school INSET on phonics and have found it useful when KS1 teachers have moved into KS2. However, the majority of KS2 teachers are not confident with phonics. Following support for spelling seems to be working ok.
    Generally, I think the most important thing is to set an expectation that spelling will be taught (and in ability groups whenever possible) regularly, and all teachers have the same attitude to correcting spelling - for your least able, encouraging phonic sounding out and making sure every sound has been attempted. I would not accept "chokit" or "toklet" as a spelling of chocolate, but if my least able speller has written "chocklit" or something else phonetically plausible, I would leave that and concentrate on correcting the spellings of any incorrect high frequency words like went, goes, they. However, for my most able, I will be highlighting words that we have practised the spelling rules for, or that they should have looked up in the dictionary.
    We do weekly tests, giving a list of words to learn at home and then asking them to be spelled in sentences using high frequency words, e.g. I went to the shops and bought some cake. This has worked with the middle and high groups, but the lowest ability children don't often apply it in their own writing - still working on that! I just keep track of their mark out of 10 each week to encourage them to learn the spellings.
     
  4. thanks indigo - sounds similar to my methods at the moment. [​IMG]
     
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We've introduced the Sounds-Write programme in all year groups impressed with results
     
  6. Beyond the very basic stage, phonics is of very limited use in learning to spell English 'correctly', because at least 3,700 common words contain one or more irregularly used letters which have to be individually memorised, e.g. 'friend, build, some' (cf. send, bill, mum)
    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/11/english-spelling-rules.html</font>
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Yes and Yes
     
  8. Thanks for your views so far. 3 people have shared what happens but 143 people have viewed the post.
    Need more help.......please!!!!!!
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Masha has never taught primary children to spell totalyflipped so I don't think her opinionis based on what happens
     
  10. No-one in the world becomes a good speller by learning all the so-called spelling rules - or the phonics correspondences. They are good spellers when they know when a word 'looks' right and that is a perceptual, not a ritually taught skill,
    I am a retired head teacher and author of a teaching strategy called Perceptual Learning which specifically promotes the idea of learning to recognise when they words 'look' right.
    I have a current research project involving a large number of schools and have a small number of surplus copies of the Perceptual Learning CD which would allow you to make up your own mind as to the effectiveness of this approach. Anyone interested in receiving a free copy of the CD need only email me and request it - there are no costs involved - although it would be nice if those trying it would report their reactions to this forum at the end of term, whatever these reactions might be.
    I am also happy to email anyone who is interested who may not wish a copy of the CD, a short paper describing Perceptual Learning as an email attachment..
    The email address is eddiecarron@btconnect.com
     
  11. I'd be interested to know this as well. I've been trying to teach 10 minutes of spelling every afternoon in Y5/6 however I'm finding it difficult purely because some of my children are brilliant spellers, some are terrible. I don't have any 'bizarre' spellers as such, just those that spell 'mix' as 'micks' or 'suggested' as 'surjestid'. I have no idea how I should be dealing with this!
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Identify the part of the word they find difficult and relate it to a word (that includes that representation of the sound) they CAN spell correctly so for mix the part they find difficult is the /cks/ sound and it is the same spelling as in number six

     
  13. In both the cases you mention the mistake is an over-reliance on phonics, and in both there is a morphemic clue. Firstly they would be helped in recognising 'micks' to be wrong if they were aware that the 's' at the end of such a word would normally denote a plural. They would recognise that the ending of 'suggested' would be 'ed' if they were aware of (pretty consistent) past tense endings. Perhaps some grammar work about the way root words are altered for different tense, plurals, prefixes etc might help. I can't think of a way of teaching 'suggested', or 'suggest' that uses the analogy route (ie compare 'mix' with 'six'). Double g usually represents a hard g sound, as in rugger, biggest, dagger etc, while similar words to 'suggest' use 'j', 'g' or 'dg' (fudge; majesty; digit; dodger; jest). 'Suggest' may need to be taught as an exception. I wonder how people who can spell 'suggest' learnt it? That is most adults. I suspect it is down to being exposed to it in reading and internalising how it looks.
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm definitely not suggesting using the analogy route although I can see from my example of "six" why someone might get that idea.
    I am suggesting that children should be taught to analyse the words and relate the spelling for the sounds they are are finding difficult with the same sound/spelling in words they can spell so in the case of mix it could be they can spell wax or fox or flex or relax ...
    exaggeration
     
  15. Yes, thank you, I thought there might be one out there somewhere. However, I doubt anyone ever learnt to spell 'suggest' because they knew 'exaggeration'. Whether you use fox, flex or relax, it it still an analogy route, I think, ie guessing an unknown spelling by using a clue from a known one (regarding your unknown spelling as being analogous to your known spelling because the problematic sound is the same; it can work well if the child remembers his known word and unknown word as a pair). Unfortunately some pupils might come up with socks or bricks as their examples of known words using the /x/ sound.
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    In that case I agree with you that we are using the analogy for the spelling of the sound /cks/ I was afraid you meant the "ix" in mix and six and didn't want to give the impression that we look at adjacent sounds.
    It is the role of the child to identify which parts of the word are causing problems and it is the role of the teacher to say "think of how you spell that sound in ...(a word the teacher knows the child consistently spells correctly)
     
  17. Yes, but if you teach it as a strategy it is not reliable. You would have to be careful to stress that at the time I suppose.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No method is 100% reliable because of the complex nature of English orthography and the number of words in the language but it can be very effective if children are taught right from the start to look at the words they read and think about how the sounds are written and apply that knowledge to other words.
     
  19. Well it can be helpful, but unfortunately if you choose the wrong analogous word you spell the word wrong, there are no half measures. I would agree that reading a large number of texts is essential, so the pupil is exposed to many correctly spelt words. Word banks of words spelt with the same representations of sounds are also a good resource. If these are displayed they are available for repeated reading and using while writing.
     

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