Spellings - suggestions for teaching them at home

(8 Posts)
Teachercreature Mon 25-Mar-13 18:20:48

Just re-read last post and there should not be an "are" in that first sentence, sorry!

Teachercreature Mon 25-Mar-13 18:17:47

And mrz is right, they are almost certainly will be teaching some form of spelling within lessons too. My DD is Y2 and they have phonics lessons every day for this purpose.

Teachercreature Mon 25-Mar-13 18:15:17

diamondsneezer 1970s made me laugh... yep education does love a trend!

But I'll stop being facetious now and say, to be fair there is evidence to show that for some children memorising individual words for a test doesn't help them to spell better in their work (as they don't transfer it from short term memory to long basically), hence some schools went off tests. Elibean was also quite right re context and it's really helpful to get them to write/record them in a sentence when you practise at home so that they are used to applying them in their own writing.

That said, for some children learning individual words is very very helpful, and hence I think still worthwhile.

Currently in education the drive is more towards phonics and spelling patterns and getting ideas down (again surprised they are correcting so much in their own work, can be somewhat soul-destroying for the child... I usually pick on a few words at a time rather than all mistakes and ask them to then practise those, since just correcting doesn't impact much on a child's learning to my mind.)

Personally I am a firm believer in a good mix of approaches being necessary - so yes teach phonics and patterns, but also practise high frequency words. Also very helpful to identify which way your children learn best - is it writing it out over and over? Is it looking at the words? Is it saying the letters out loud? (This last one is very out of vogue by the way, since letter sounds rather than names are the big thing, but it really helps auditory learners with a weak visual memory!)

Support is also key I think, so it's great that you're looking into ways to help!

mrz Mon 25-Mar-13 18:08:19

Just because the school doesn't send home lists of words to learn or give tests doesn't mean that they don't teach spelling.
Research shows spelling tests don't guarantee that a child will be an accurate speller.

diamondsneezer Mon 25-Mar-13 17:53:44

teachercreature I was surprised too! It all seems a bit 1970s to my mind. The work is corrected when it is spelt incorrectly, i.e. all the time, but they don't have words to learn or tests. My Y1 child is an avid reader but has no confidence with writing because she doesn't know how to spell. Although interestingly she wrote 'dear' and 'birthday' correctly the other day (from writing it on birthday cards) but can struggle with CVC words. It seems obvious to me you have to be taught how to spell... I'll check out the high frequency word lists, thanks.

Liking the look of that app elibean, thank you.

Elibean Mon 25-Mar-13 17:16:59

My 9 year old has done 100% better at learning spellings since I started putting her spelling lists on to a Squeebles game on the iPad.

I held out for years, thinking it would be better for her to write them out, but apparently not! If you have an iPad or iPhone, you could try that? I say the words in a context, to make sure she understands the meaning as well as the spelling iyswim.

Teachercreature Mon 25-Mar-13 17:14:46

Am a fan of teaching spelling myself - bit surprised to hear your school don't until Y3!

I'd start off with the high frequency words as these tend to cause most problems, being so common and so tricky! There are several sites like these ones with lots of resources: http://www.highfrequencywords.org/

Once they're secure you could have a look on Amazon - loads of spelling resources on there and the customer reviews are a useful way to narrow down exactly what you want and which ones have worked. Good luck!

diamondsneezer Mon 25-Mar-13 16:56:12

Having struggled with one dyslexic child, I have another (non-dyslexic) DC who can't spell at 9. I have 2 younger DC but their teachers don't teach spelling until Y3 and I'd like to do something with them at home now to stop them being poor spellers later.

Interestingly, the 9 year old can spell better in French than she can in English because she has specific words to learn each week and knows what they should look like. Can anyone could recommend age appropriate spelling books to use with the younger ones please?

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