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Reception spelling tests

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by 2logd, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. I'll own up to be a Secondary Head of Maths - with a 5 year old who is being set 4 of the first 45 words each week to learn as spellings.

    We were on week 10 - and last week were on come said they & going. DD didn't get them right - although had spelled them phonetically correct. Obviously I am concerned (as she had been getting the right at home) but I am more concerned with the fact that the teacher wrote 0/4 you need to practise these NAME.

    Hmmm what are your thoughts? did they need to write 0/4 would the crosses have given it away.... and just given the same sheet to "have another go".

    Do all reception children get tested on their spellings - consensus at my school is that this was a bit "harsh"... would be grateful for any insight.
     
  2. I'll own up to be a Secondary Head of Maths - with a 5 year old who is being set 4 of the first 45 words each week to learn as spellings.

    We were on week 10 - and last week were on come said they & going. DD didn't get them right - although had spelled them phonetically correct. Obviously I am concerned (as she had been getting the right at home) but I am more concerned with the fact that the teacher wrote 0/4 you need to practise these NAME.

    Hmmm what are your thoughts? did they need to write 0/4 would the crosses have given it away.... and just given the same sheet to "have another go".

    Do all reception children get tested on their spellings - consensus at my school is that this was a bit "harsh"... would be grateful for any insight.
     
  3. my reception children are asked to learn how to spell the first 45, once they know how to read them. But I would never set them as a spelling test. A set are sent home and the children are "tested" individually. If they cant spell any they are just sent home again to re-learn. ( Mind you, my Y1 children LOVE spelling tests, they always want to know how many they got right, even those that never learn them.)
     
  4. i work in reception and we have just started giving most of the children spelling tests to help prepare the children for having spelling tests in year one.
     
  5. I do not do spelling tests in my Rec class, think they are not necessary. I am focussing on children recognising the tricky words (from Jolly Phonics). We have them on the wall, many chidlren are learning to spell them at the same time and I expect my HA to spell them correctly either from memory or from copying them from the wall or a prompt card. I expect my others to use a propmt card or the wall to get the correct spelling.
    I am sure that my HA would love spelling tests but don't see when / how I could fit them in so will leave it for Year 1.
    Lucy
     
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    My class are given 'spellings' which make up a sentence such as the words ....play they to are going.....They are then dictated a sentence .... "They are going to play." This is done in small groups and they don't get a score just a comment.
     
  7. My most able children have had spellings to learn since Easter and when 'tested'OMG last week most could spell the majority of the YR hfw list They are tested OMG by my TA on a Friday and get comments and stickers- all positive and encouraging- and none of them seem to be traumatised by this!!!!
     
  8. boatmanco

    boatmanco New commenter

    I give weekly spellings to my Reception but they are CVC or CCVC words. It's more of a handwriting exercise than anything else. the children love it because we have stickers for everyone and i never put 5/5 or whatever. It's all about having a go.
     
  9. I can't be the only one to think that spelling tests in reception are a really bad idea (and serve no purpose whatsoever).

    Now obviously children do eventually need to know that there are correct ways of spelling words, but at the age of 4 and 5 does it not dent their confidence to 'have a go' at writing phonetically if they are worrying about perfect spelling? Do they not get hung up on how an unfamiliar word might be spelled to attempt writing it?

    It's just that when I worked in KS1 a long time ago I inherited a class who had these spelling books - ridiculous things with a letter per page that they used to take to the teacher to write in any words they didn't know how to spell. The kids had no confidence to attempt writing any thing other than the HFWs they'd obviously been drilled to death in, and initially I had a constant queue of children asking how to spell virtually every other word they wanted to write.

    Good phonics schemes taught well are all children need - children are instantly empowered to write and in time they get to know which grapheme to put into a word to make it correctly spelled (so today a child in my class wrote 'cheeting' in a piece of work, but in time, through encountering the word in reading books and with more experience of spelling patterns, she'll come to know that it should be spelled 'cheating'). As teachers we should be celebrating children's enthusiasm to write, not knocking all their confidence out of them by getting overly hung up on spellings.

    2logd - I would be FURIOUS if a teacher marked either of my sons' work with such an unhelpful and curt comment, and I'd definitely be taking it up with them. Firstly for putting little children through the ordeal of a needless spelling test, secndly for making their "success" or "failure" so obvious for all and thridly for making such a stupid response to your daughter's performance.
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I don't think spelling tests are the best way for children to learn words as experience has shown children don't often remember the spellings out of context of a test. I have a bright child in my class this year who's mum is a nursery nurse and gives him regular spelling tests but he can only write these one word under another and can't use them in sentences.
    Fuzzyduck I agree some children get so hung up on getting it right they stop trying.
     
  11. I used to give my class spelling tests once they'd learnt their key words, however I use the 100 key words given by ERR - Early Reading Research group rather than the 45 key words. I stopped doing the spelling tests about three years ago, I just found it too time-consuming and felt that I wasn't doing it effectively. I've noticed that the absence of the spelling tests has not had an impact on their writing at all which is rather annoying when I think of all those years of spelling tests !! Within their writing, I do encourage the children to 'think about what the word should look like' and within Literacy sessions we work on spelling strategies as a whole-class.
    Going back to the original post, I would be really unhappy about such a comment and would have a word with the teacher, not quite sure how I'd word it though !!
     
  12. I have a child in reception, never had a spelling test and a child in yr2, never had a spelling test. Spelling tests start in yr 3 at their school. Obviously correct spelling is encouraged before yr3 but the emphasis before then is reading and phonetic spelling.
     
  13. couple of issues here, the comment from the teacher and the giving of spelling tests.

    Teacher comment, not a method I would ever use.

    Spelling Test. I have spelling tests from the Easter Term, ONLY for those that are ready and only 5 words a week. They are never marked incorrectly. words that are spelt incorrectly I spell correctly at the bottom. The correct ones get a big tick and stickers on the front of the book for those that get them all right. I tend not to bother with CVC words as they get lots of practice at these and are quite competent. I use the HFW and do the ones they get wrong!
    We love spelling tests and they even play spelling tests.
     
  14. I have to say I am with Fuzzy Duck & Phoenix K on this one. I feel that we are pushing our children too soon. They will get plenty of time to have spellings drilled into them higher up the school. The time used for spelling tests would be better served coming up with interesting and different ways to practise and get enthusiastic about writing. This will help them feel excited about writing and not so scared to get things wrong. We need to help children enjoy writing (and yes remind about full stops, capitals, and trying to phonetically spell while we do it) so that they have confidence to try and actually want to write. Not making it into another thing to drill into them. They wont burn out, they wont hate the idea of writing and they will be ready for their writing to be refined from year one up. Rant over :)
     
  15. Hi
    I'm with wayne. We give our kids a list of words to take home and learn after playing games with them in class. Then at end of week we play another hide and seek spelling type game on IWB that they like - no test - all positive comments and FUN. I understand that some like a test, but some do not and I don't think they should be doing them just to 'get them ready for next year'. Those that want to do them can wait and those that can't won't be stressed for longer!!!
     
  16. Hells teeth, this sort of thing gives Reception Teachers a bad name. Work should NEVER be marked like this and dont get me started on spelling tests..................
     
  17. Thank you all for your comments...... DD is a very good reader and loves school... but this just made the hair on the back of my neck stand up....
    It's the school fete on Saturday - I may just have a quiet word over the candy floss!
     
  18. I don't think Reception should have spellings. I used to give mine a word wall that went in their reading record and they had to put a dot in each corner when they read that word in a book (without help). Then when they had dots in all for corners of a brick they could colour it in. They got a mini certificate when they completed a wall. x
     
  19. While I sympathise with your plight I do hope the last comment was joke. post 16

    As for 'tests' children should take home spellings to learn, most of the children would love them. The 'test' should then be carried out appropriately, depending on logistics.
     
  20. I've found a way to help her learn the spellings which were giving her problems..... I showed her how to make an origami "fortune teller"; and we wrote the words on the flaps instead of colours and numbers. She thinks it is great fun to spell out the words..... Daddy and I are losing the will to live....... but it has helped!
     

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