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What REALLY gets your goat when you're marking writing?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by k-jayne, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. YES! It's frustrating how many teachers make the same mistakes that kiddies do. The one that is really annoying me at the moment is loose instead of lose. I noticed a few kids in my class confuse the two and in the same week- three teachers! I corrected one of those teachers when they used it on their Facebook status! ha ha
     
  2. Is there a way of 'liking' this comment :p
     
  3. Yes, it was but there were so many punctuations in it I got confused!
     
  4. That in itself was probably a grammatically incorrect sentence, I'm getting paranoid now!
    The could of/should of situation is one they try and trip you up on in the QTS skills tests! Alot (joking with that - couldn't resist putting it in just for fun) of my friends didn't see the difference between the right answer of could have and the wrong answer of could of!
    And of and off being confused - they are totally different words! As are to, too and two.
     
  5. Oh, where to start?!
    Give big visible exemplars of the correct form of every mistake that bugs you, whether it's made by children or adults.
    Could of, actually short for could've. I have watched TV. I could have watched TV. (I of watched TV? Ouch)
    Loose/lose? Choose /chose - no wonder there is confusion but again, examples help.
    As for 'fanks' and 'Lice' for like, I am afraid you have the focus on phonics to thank for these. So many children are visual learners and, 'in the olden days', they would be taught words first then phonics by looking at words beginning with 'l' or words ending in 'ike'.
    'I like ice-cream' or, equally phonetically correct, Eye lighk eyskreem
    Now they are bombarded with letters symbols and combinations that have no intrinsic meaning along with all the alternative spellings of a sound. If they write Wii for we, it is because they have seen it and remembered it. To, too or two - it depends on the context, surely.
    Write 'We were playing' 'We were late' Use colour for the we bits.
    The olden days might not have been perfect, but we could still see the wood for the trees...
     
  6. Pet language hates - or criticisms:
    1) How are you? I'm good! This has become so common it is almost universal: why do pupils AND ADULTS think it smart to use incorrect english just because (Most? Many?) americans do? (Americans also say "aluminum" and "labatory", but it doesn't make it correct!)
    2) "Sat" instead of "sitting". Again, this has become almost universal with adults and children alike. "They were sat in the hall waiting for the concert to start". In the last two weeks I have heard MPs, radio 4 presenters and, yes, university professors, using this incorrect grammar-form.
    3) "Fewer" when they mean "less" and vice versa. Eg. There were less people at the concert.
    4) As a science teacher and a assistant examiner, "helps". For example, "Chlorophyll helps the plant photosynthesise". Has the candidate understood that photosynthesis cannot take place without chlorophyll?
    5) Modern teenage argot. I quite simply do not understand it. They parody it in comedy programmes on the radio and television, so I know it's not just me. But I cant understand it and the students seem exasperated that I cant. It is the accent, the non-standard grammar and the slang words and expressions. It is notable that none of my year 12s and 13s (not 12's!) use it. I am told it is an imitation of american gangster-talk, but I wouldnt know whether this is true.
    6) The casual incorrect use of technical terms like "schizophrenic", "chronic" and "prism".
    Oh, gosh! I should never have got into this!

     
  7. Fascinating topic. We all make mistakes and probably mistakes that bug other people. I am currently teaching Year 6 and I am amazed how many of them still spell using phonics. So we have: fanks, fank you, I haf (I have) and the most irritating one: wiv (with). Where I teach the children often replace the 'th' sound for 'v' when they speak and this seems reflected in their writing. I keep correcting and teaching the correct but get sighs from the higher ability kids who tend to roll their eyes and mutter, 'We already know this!' I am not sure phonics teaching is actually improving spelling - what do other people think? My last school introduced phonics (linked to spelling) in Years 3, 4 and 5 for this very reason.
    An interesting one that I saw in the classroom once was when the school's literacy team (both year 6 teachers) were doing a revision lesson about the planets and solar system. One of them had produced a power point and one of the slides was about the moths, days, earth's tilt, etc... The apostrophes for earth's and moon's when talking about their gravity and orbit were correct but it was littered with 'it's' using an apostrophe for the possessive its. I mentioned this discreetly to the teacher concerned (I was a TA at the time) and got told I was wrong and the possessive its needed an apostrophe because you had to have an apostrophe to denote possession. I pointed out that its was the exception to this rule because 'it's' with an apostrophe actually means omission (it is) and its is already possessive in nature and use so doesn't need the apostrophe. I got told that the other literacy coordinator wrote it so it must be correct! Their attitude was awful. I took my grammar book in the next day and showed them - they still instead they were right LOL
    There was another time another TA at the school pointed out an error on a sign that was in the school corridor. Again, it was done discreetly and the teacher who had made the sign went and bawled the TA out in the staffroom. A couple of us ended up saying that the TA was actually correct and the teacher stormed off and didn't speak to any of us for about 3 weeks.
    I encourage my kids and TAs to point out any mistakes I make (in a nice way) and sometimes make mistakes on purpose to see if they do spot them. I acknowledge the fact that we all make mistakes but part of the process is reading carefully through what we have written - I think we all fail to do this sometime. I also think we all do what the children do and read what we think we have written rather than what we have actually written (I am terrible for this on a computer screen) as our brains fill the gaps that are missing.
    My biggest annoyance though is constantly having to nag Year 6 for missing capital letters, full stops and capitals for names. If they don't take the care to get these basics right or take on board the feedback about this then they aren't going to be bothered about getting the rest right - this is the battle I seem to be fighting at my current school: complete apathy with a large number of the pupils or total frustration/temper tantrums/mardiness when asked to write anything and a 'can't be bothered' attitude which is quite sad.
     
  8. As if to illustrate my point I have a typo of 'moths' for 'months' but didn's spot it when I read the message but hey ho ;-)
     
  9. I had a new one this week 'atall' instead of 'at all'. My favourite History misspelling was 'bonarers' (bow and arrows).
     
  10. Maybe it would be easier to teach capital letters for proper nouns if the lovely people who create the credits lists at the end of TV programmes would remember / bother to give names capitals. And don't get me started on Kwik Save / Kwik Fit.
     


  11. Never mind what the students write, what about the staff.

    Daily reports sent home to parents with the same mistakes that you quoted and when we had the old style written reports ,so many of them had to be rewritten before we sent them home.

    How can we teach the children if the teachers are failing to come up to standard.
     
  12. Tell me about it!!!
    The worst spelling mistake that get's on my nerves is "thay". It's incredibly annoying.
     
  13. I'm not a teacher (yet), but my brother and his wife are, and both agree that a large amount of responsibility for better performing students, regardless of ability, lies with the inout from the parents. Unfortunately, the culture in the UK is very much throw the kids in school as soon as they are potty trained and leave their rearing to the state, instead of investing your own time and effort as parents into bringing up the children yourself and equipping them to thrive in the school. If you have children, then there is a responsibility upon you to take the initiative and train your children in coordination and support of the education they receive from the teachers and schools, not to hand them over at the age of three as a dribbling illiterate and expect that at sixteen or eighteen when the school hands them back they are high functioning competent members of society without any input from yourself. Teachers are trained to educate children to use their faculties , but it is not supposed to be done in isolation and the parents MUST take part in their child's education, giving as much help and support as they can. Teachers teach, parents parent and they should be working in unison for the benefit of the child, not treating school as some kind of production facility whereby the parent sticks the child in at one end and the teachers deliver a human at the other end. I have probably stated my point over and again, but this really does grind my gears!
     
  14. This is a bad one, but doesn't rile me as much as 'a women'. It's sloppy, it's not even phonetic and the feminist in me can't help noticing that the same mistake is not made with the word 'man'. Raaaah!
     
  15. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Nothing...ive got far more important things to worry about really
     
  16. You wrote ...a mini i standing on it's own! It's means it is. You don't need and apostophe when using its for possession.
     
  17. Did you read this? It's riddled with mistakes!
     
  18. Alas, it irritates me more than anything else that some students are actually more concerned about the date than they are about any possible lesson content [​IMG]
     
  19. The Red Heron

    The Red Heron New commenter

    Some students will always be more concerned with that...its this trying to pigeon hole ALL children to be amazing thinkers, writer, readers, confident, loud, decision makers, problem solvers etc that annoys me...in reality the world isnt like that..we totally ignore childrens personalities because we are interested in our stats..thats where the system falls down
     
  20. I am not a teacher or staff member and my only connection to schooling is through my grandchildren. When I collected them from school one evening I saw a notice stating that "stationary would be on sale from the School Council". This is my pet hate along with "draws" instead of "drawers". I was telling my grandsons how it should be spelt and how to remember what the correct spelling was in each instance i.e. "e for envelope", when a teacher appeared. He tut tutted and I presumed he would get it amended. Not so, a year later and it was still there backed up by the school newsletter stating that "stationary would be on sale....". What chance do the children have?
     

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