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Spelling

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JSE123, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. JSE123

    JSE123 New commenter

    Hi all,

    I’m really new to this community, so hopefully I’ve posted in the right place! I’m in my second year of teaching Year 6 and was previously a year 4 teacher for 2 years. One thing we’re really struggling with in our school (and many other schools I seem to visit) is spelling. We’ve tried spelling programmes, we’re also now using spelling rules, we’ve tried weekly tests and nothing seems to improve our spelling.

    How is spelling in your school? How do you teach it? How do you get children to apply their known spellings to their writing?
     
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Hi JSE123,

    Don't no wot you meen!

    I've been in Year 6 for several years now, and spelling is a constant struggle. We do all the things you talk about. I teach spelling rules - use a combination of the old Support for Spelling (you can still download the document from various sources) and No Nonsense Spelling and many years of experience. I also intersperse the very dry learning with as many fun things as I can - eg I'll pick a word they constantly make mistakes with and put up a one minute timer. They have to write the word as many times as they can in one minute. Partner will check that all words are legible. Then we repeat it, but they write with their other hand. Pyramid spelling is useful, and focussing on a tricky word and writing it in as many different styles, fonts and colours as you can. There are lots of on-line spelling games which are fun. Early morning work is sometimes a short paragraph with 10 spelling errors which they have to find and correct.

    Also set 10 words per week to learn for homework - start with Y3/4 list in September, moving on to 5/6 around start of December. Test on a Monday. Those who get less than 8 re-take on a Friday during lunch time. Of course, there are children this is impossible for and wouldn't be fair - you can make other arrangements for them. If you do daily handwriting practise, use the spelling words for the week.

    Getting them to apply their spelling knowledge in their writing is another story …. !
     
  3. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    Linking spelling and handwriting is an excellent way to approach spelling because spelling is a visual/muscle memory process.
    I think our aim should be to make sure pupils can spell accurately all the high frequency words by the end of KS2.
    It is ridiculous teaching primary children to spell complex words they won’t use for years just because they match the rule being discussed - well, that’s my opinion!
    Charles Cripps A Hand for Spelling is an excellent scheme which approaches spelling in exactly the right way.
     
  4. derbyshiremrs

    derbyshiremrs New commenter

    How do you find the No Nonsense spelling? We are using it in our mixed form entry school but streaming over KS2.
     
  5. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    I dip in and out of No Nonsense - some of it is useful, but it's not a bible.
     

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