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Is Spelling Obsolete ?

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Is Spelling Obsolete ?
Old 12-04-2015, 10:46 AM
 
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I am being told by my administrators that spelling instruction is obsolete because it is recall and does not require higher level thinking skills. Is this the thinking in your school? I teach grade 6 and many of my students come not being able to spell basic words. I do not spend a lot of time on spelling but do send home 20 spelling words and 10 vocabulary words a week for my students to work on as homework. They are assessed every Friday. This does not take up much classroom time other than I expect my students to use the vocabulary words and spelling words in their writing. What are your thoughts?


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Old 12-04-2015, 11:00 PM
 
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Absolutely not! Does your state not have a language mechanics test at the end of the year? In Kentucky 4th graders test in language mechanics, 5th graders test in writing (with language mechanics incorporated), and in 6th they're tested in both. Teaching spelling requires students to APPLY spelling patterns to similar words. Application is above comprehension and recall in Bloom's.
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:19 AM
 
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Spelling is not obsolete. Spelling lists to memorize are.

It's more valuable for kids to understand how to spell than to memorize twenty new words a week.

Don't ask me how to fit this in too because I'm still working on it.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:56 AM
 
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Sounds like my school. We aren't allowed to teach or grade on spelling. Spelling bee is gone. Yes, we are supposed to teach phonics skills and let those be the basis for learning spelling rules, but as a result of taking away spelling tests it has become completely obsolete. I have 6th graders who cannot, will not spell correctly. Even when I take away points for misspelled words that require only copying from the board or an assignment because the word is spelled correctly printed at the top! They simply don't care. It's sad.
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Fwiw...
Old 12-13-2015, 06:42 AM
 
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My daughter had spelling K-5, and the school didn't teach phonics and did the anything goes for spelling in ELA.

She got As for all most all those tests, but can't spell worth a damn. I see her written work and just cringe. It looks almost illiterate. If you never have to sound out words to spelling them, and "close enough" counts enough for ELA, what do you expect?

I wish the teacher (really, stupid school district) would have never wasted our time. DD rote memorized all those words and probably a 1/4 stuck.

My daughter can not spell words like when, weight, friend, then, (almost anything with a silent h), what, how, church...I know she is not the only one. Middle school 6th grade ELA teachers, I don't know how you do it.


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Old 12-14-2015, 09:55 AM
 
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My philosophy is that if you have a writing assignment... if you spend your time fretting about spelling (and grammar... punctuation) and don't get anything written, that is not as useful as getting your words down on the page because you can always edit afterwards. When you're handwriting stuff, of course, the editing then is a bit harder, but I've watched so many kids who can answer verbally but then get brain freeze when it comes to writing it down. I'd much rather have a paragraph with bad spelling than a blank page.
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Spelling is not obsolete
Old 02-03-2016, 05:04 AM
 
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Spelling is most definitely not obsolete, and I would have to disagree with the previous post that said lists of spelling words are. I think the old fashioned list of spelling words that students had to memorize/practice may not be as popular as they once were, but I think they still have a very useful place.

As far as spelling in general goes though, I'd be surprised if it wasn't on the standards for each grade in some form or another. Spelling may not require higher level thinking as we usually consider it, but it certainly requires more than just memorization or recall. Once needs to be able to analyze and/or examine their own writing and work. At the very least it requires application of prior learned skills.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:43 AM
 
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I do not believe that spelling is obsolete. Yes, there is memory involved, but it goes farther than that. My students need to study the definition of each word. We discuss that in class and I often ask for sentences to show an understanding of the word. If students understand the meaning that helps them remember the spelling. I also will discuss the words (for example - spelling patterns, word endings, Greek/latin roots, etc.) This only takes about 10 minutes of my 90 minute block.
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