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Primary School Spelling

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Janet2340, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Thanks - I like the idea of streaming as it allows you to keep a closer eye on each child's accuracy and progress. We stream with Maths but not Language - perhaps worth a try !
  2. titus4t

    titus4t New commenter

    I am a big fan of Fat Sam (the Violet Brand books). I have tried differentiating but find that actually whole class teaching is best. We practise the words every day for spelling and handwriting on whiteboards and then do the dictation on Fridays. Less able children sit on a table with me and may only write one sentence instead of 3; or have access to phonic mats etc to help them as appropriate. I think its great not just for spelling but for handwriting and punctuation too. This is in a yr2/3 class.
  3. Twinkles

    Twinkles New commenter

    We stopped doing weekly spelling tests because the children were getting them all right every Friday and absolutely NOT using them in their work at all, so we were getting fed up. We're doing a kind of 10 minutes oral warmup before each Literacy lesson based on Phonics in KS1 and Support for Spelling in KS2 but we still have children who cannot spell!
    Should we try these Violet Brand books? Do we need all of them?
    Thank you
  4. Well... here's a thing. I had this exact problem. I started marking up every spelling mistake in my MA and HA children's work (and key words in the LA children's). AND expecting them to correct them every morning when they come to school.
    Amazingly enough the MA spelling has improved massively in 3 weeks... spooooky. Anyone would think they were just spelling words badly because they couldn't be bothered to try. The LA children are making a genuine attempt to spell things... and using the word wall to do so. The HA children are markedly less careless too.
    Made 3 weeks of extra marking time worth it. :)

  5. I'm also looking for ways to improve spelling. Can I ask, do you mark every piece of written work and correct them? Do the children then have to do anythign with that spelling marking? What do you mean by getting them to 'correct them'?
    What year group do you teach? I am y5 and some of mine seem to spell every other word wrong. What about longer, difficult words?
  6. Y4 and 5. Yes I mark everything, even guided reading tasks. I underline words that are wrong, and write the correct spelling in the margin. Children's books are on the table for them in the morning. And I have trained them (with a bit of reminding) to check their work... What I didn't mention is that they usually have other things to do too, eg. sort out sentences that don't make sense etc. They use a green pen to write their corrections - which is, weirdly, a bit of a treat.
    If when I am marking I notice someone hasn't sorted out spellings etc when they should have, they stay back and do it at break the next day. It sounds like a lot of work... (I don't make LA correct EVERY spelling mistake... otherwise it would be a long job marking and correcting!) Nevertheless, they are being a lot less lazy about using spelling rules, and copying spellings if they are in questions in front of them or on a ppt etc.

  7. Learning to spell accurately just takes a lot of practce. The learning for tests helps with making those spellings automatic, but some children need a very long time for it and only 1in 2 (judging by GCSE English scores) spell confidently by age 16.
    It's easier for children to spell correctly in spelling tests - much harder to concentrate on what they are trying to say and correct spelling when they write.
    When teaching spelling, it's perhaps best to concentrate on exceptions to a particular pattern, such as 'fun, mum, run'

    Above, among, brother, colour*, comfort, company, compass, covenant*, cover*, covet*, covey*, dozen*, front, govern*, honey*, Monday, money*, monger, mongrel, monk, monkey, month, mother, nothing, once, onion*, other, oven*, pommel, shovel*, slovenly*, smother, son, sponge, stomach*, thorough*, ton, tongue, won, wonder, worry. Come, done, does, none, one, some; dove, glove, love, shove. Country, couple* , courage*, cousin*, double*, enough, hiccough, nourish*, rough, slough, southern, touch, tough, trouble*, young. Blood, flood.

    * Without doubled consonants after short vowels.

    If such lists might be of use to u, see
    The teaching is definetely more important than the testing. Letting children test each other can be really helpful.
  8. If English spelling really obeyed its code, then such a chart would be helpful.
    But seeing, for example, that the /ee/ sound can be spelt as in
    see, tea, me, chief, police, seize....
    is of no help in deciding which one to use in a particular word
    (see <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/11/english-spelling-rules.html</font>
    for all of them)
    It might be better to put up the words, grouped by sound, that pupils in your class keep misspelling.

  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    An alphabetic code chart such as Debbie describes is very useful word lists less so.
  10. Teaching children the main vowel options for decoding, such as that a, e, i, o and u have a short and long sound, is undoubtedly helpful, but not for learning to spell the hundreds of tricky to spell words, especially not the ones with two or more spellings,
    such as there/their, it's/its, to/two/to, sale/sail, male/mail .... .
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    [​IMG] it's is a contraction
  12. So is 'always'.
    To children it's and its is a word which has different meanings, just like mean.
    They are able to use both correctly long before they learn to spell them,
    just like there/their or too/to/two or ground, post and like.

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