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Discussion in 'Primary' started by sandyjohn, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Thanks Msz, well I'm going to see if my reception child can spell said or friend tomorrow. I'm expecting sed and frend I'm afraid. She is on the green RWI set 1 stories in her phonics lessons at school - Black Hat Bob etc. She is one of a tiny minority who go up out of reception for phonics into a group which has some year 1, 2 and 3 children in it.
  2. Well of course 'the' has the highest count. I imagine that 'and' and 'a' comes close to it.
    If you look at this
    you will find that in 1936:
    What I am saying is that this list was undoubtedly compiled from books with repetitive text for 'whole word' learning. This is not (as people imagine it to be) a list of the most frequently used words in all texts, just children's texts which had a deliberately restricted, repetitive, vocabulary.
    I wouldn't be at all surprised if most of the other word lists are based on children's books (as the Masterson et al list says that it is) as this is where a restricted vocabulary is thought to be necessary. So all that the lists are doing are perpetuating a list of words which is only high frequency in the first place because the books have been written so as to incorporate them! The lists are self perpetuating.
    Fortunately, people writing decodable books don't worry too much about incorporating such a restricted vocabulary because knowledge of the individual correspondences and the ability to decode and blend words means that a far wider vocabulary can be used for decodables. You don't have to repeat the same word 20 times in one book so that a child can 'learn' it..
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I don't know RWI books that well I'm afraid as I'm not a fan of the programme although it is very effective (I find it too prescriptive).
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    <h3>Do you think the Ladybird 100 key words would stand the 5 minute proof test?!
    </h3><a name="fiveminute">[/URL]5 minute proof test


    Choose a paragraph from any book or newspaper, which was not written
    for children. Reading through the paragraph, underline all words from
    the Ladybird first 100 key words.

    After counting the keywords in your paragraph, you should find that
    approximately 50% of the words are key words. This is the finding on
    which the Ladybird Key Words series is based and is structured to
    introduce these key words within repetitive stories.
  5. I have just found this about structured systematic phonics

  6. Yeah he would know the majority of them!
  7. Excellent, will have a good look at it then! Any advice you may have Msz is grately welcomed! [​IMG]
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    [​IMG] would he know the ones that are contained in the words he is being asked to spell? and by know I mean "instant" "automatic" recall no prompting no pause.
  9. Not instantly no, he would need prompting and would definitly pause to think about it.
  10. I'd be very interested to learn which words your child gets wrong / has trouble with.
  11. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I am going to do this soon - too many social things have got in the way this week. My instinct says she will just spell anything and everything as it sounds apart from the words she writes frequently at home in friends' birthday cards e.g. she will write love instead of luv, but my hopes for correct spelling of said and friend are low.
    My prediction is everything else will be "wrong" as I do not think she has covered the correct spelling of any irregular high frequency words at school, so unless she has picked it up from her wider reading at home we will be firmly in the land of the phonically plausible and nothing else.
    This isn't necessarily a problem long term of course, and I don't think it's a relection of the success or otherwise of SSP in the early years (clearly as a sample of one it couldn't be anyhow!!). My gut feeling is that this particular school does not follow the SSP programme that it uses rigorously enough, or fast enough, and that it chooses for some reason to ignore the high frequency and irregular (or irregular "for now") words both in the reading and writing reinforcement work. I think if they used an SSP programme to the letter I would be seeing completely different results in my children by now, both in reading, writing, and spelling.
    But even if they followed the SSP programme to the letter, I'm still not sure how the spelling would pan out over the longer term - KS2 and beyond. Rightly or wrongly I'm getting the feeling that beyond a certain point a lot of parents and teachers (including ones well-versed in SSP) are a bit lost with the children who are not completely wonderful and natural spellers, whether they were taught to read and intially write via SSP or not.
    If spelling at KS2 and beyond can be taught successfully via SSP, what effort is being made to train secondary school teachers in its use?

  12. You have to apreciate that in secondary schools the dominant 'ideology', as far as literacy is concerned, is still that of not focussing on spelling or grammar (apart from a few maverick English teachers who are weird enough to think that such things matter). Secondary teachers are very often themselves very uneasy with spelling, grammar and punctuation (SPAG) as they themselves were educated in the long period when SPAG was out of favour as being too prescriptive and 'creativity' ruled; consequently their grasp of them is very shaky. Additionally, secondary teachers don't see it as part of their role to be teching any form of literacy, unless they can be brought to understand that good literacy standards will have a positve effect on the quality of pupils' work, and on their attainment.
    There are schools where clued up SENCos, Literacy Co-ordinators, or similar, attempt to integrate SP teaching principles across the curriculum, but, take it from me, it is extremely hard going !
    I did go to a phonics training session run by our LA about 18 months ago (just out of curiosity), but as the 'facilitators' didn't seem to know much about it themselves and hadn't a clue how to integrate phonics at seconary level, it wasn't particularly helpful!
  13. oops! 'teaching', 'secondary'
  14. It was two young men; a primary Advisor and a primary Consultant I think. Can't remember names (and couldn't put them on here even if I could...). We spent a lot of time learning how to play 'sounds' related games[​IMG]
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Oh Dear!
    I know we have been offered RWI training by the LEA and Sue Lloyd has delivered lots of training in the past ... I haven't encountered any male primary advisors but haven't experienced any LEA training for quite some time.
  16. Is anybody?
    Would u, at the drop of a hat, be able to give all the different ways of spelling the 43 main English sounds and schwa?
  17. Well, actually, mashas, I could give you all the 44 sounds and the 180ish most common spellings of them.
    Once again you are confused as to my meaning. I meant that the nice young men didn't really know about how to teach reading and spelling at secondary level using SP principles.
  18. Correction. I could very easily give you all that and probably a quite a few of the more rare correspondences. You really do not have a monopoly on letter sound correspondence knowledge.
  19. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    When I taught secondary many moons ago I had a boy in my tutor group and year 9 science class. He had some kind of retinal problem which affected his vision. His reading and writing appeared to me to be years behind his ability ------ just guessing as I was a mere scientist. He had all the technical equipment but no significant time was being spent to improve his literacy.
    So I went to see the SENCO to see if there was something we could do daily in tutor time to help. The SENCO told me he was getting overweight and needed to go cross-country running.
    I also had a girl who couldn't read in a year 9 science class. They gave her a sheet of pink perspex to read through but they didn't teach her to read so far as I could tell. The background looked pleasantly rose-tinted but she still couldn't read. Nothing changed throughout that whole year.
    I hope things have improved!!


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