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TishFish TishFish is offline
 
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TishFish
 
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Spelling Test Retakes
Old 11-15-2017, 10:14 AM
 
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I have a consistent 3-4 students who are completely bombing their spelling tests. We do daily phonics practice as well as "Word Work" to specifically practice their spelling words. 3 of these students are receiving tutoring twice a week to work on phonics and spelling. 2 of them stay after school with me once a week to work on decoding and sight words. Parents are practicing for sure with three of them at home (one is a teacher).

I give these students a chance to retake the spelling test (at full credit). The tests go home on Monday from the previous week with a note. I then retest them on Wednesday.

This isn't working. Two of the three that had to retake this week got a 0 on their retake. I think I'm confusing them too much by having them practice this weeks words and last week's words. However, they should be learning these words so they can apply the phonics pattern in their spelling and if they are retaining from week to week, that's more of a concern to me than the score on their tests.

Does anyone have tips for teaching spelling to struggling students? We do things like "rainbow words", phonics work, "phonics aerobics" where I have them up and moving to segment words. Should I stop with the retakes? Should I assess differently? I feel frustrated for these kids that haven't felt success all year...


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Marcimcg Marcimcg is offline
 
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Spelling test retakes
Old 11-15-2017, 08:01 PM
 
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It sounds like you are doing everything you can. Some suggestions:

Shorten the list of words per week.
Build words with paper or letter tiles in small group with teacher ( not as center). Focus on sound spelling.
Try some dictation on days before regular test so they can see which words they really have to work on.
Give help to whole class during test by modeling each sound as they write the word. Kids do it with you of course.
Have them write incorrect test words 3-5 times under your model
Retest on Monday before you give new list.

All the research shows that weekly tests of the same words for whole class do not really assess kids spelling ability. Just tradition. We still do it, but I wish we didn't.
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Lillybabe Lillybabe is online now
 
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Old 11-16-2017, 05:40 PM
 
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What sorts of words are these kids spelling? Are they able to read their spelling list independently? If they can't read their list it's too hard for them to spell. What about a differentiated spelling list? For example everyone could be spelling short a words. Your lowest group could pick words like cat, ran, sad, etc. whereas your higher kids could be spelling things like slam, that, band, etc. Many students who struggle with reading just aren't ready for spelling. When I did Title I for three years I didn't work on spelling with anyone who hadn't already mastered decoding cvc, ccvc, cvcc, and cvce words. Then I always started with simple words they could hear every sound in.
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TishFish TishFish is offline
 
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Lillybabe
Old 12-07-2017, 05:37 AM
 
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I would love to be able to do differentiated spelling, but with the amount of time I have in my day on Fridays, it would be impossible for me to administer multiple tests and I don't have any assistant on this day either.

In addition, we start of the year with VERY simple words. The first 6 weeks are only CVC words, and the entire list will focus on the same vowel sound. We now moved into long vowel sounds with silent e. While the students struggle with reading, they are usually able to decode these words by Friday since the vowel pattern is something we have practiced all week.

One of my girls that struggles is reading at a DRA 18! We finally figured out that she had learned to read by memorizing vast amounts of words, but actually had very few phonics skills. Since I was able to figure this out, and worked with her on it, she really improved.
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broomrider broomrider is online now
 
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When I had two groups for spelling tests
Old 12-07-2017, 04:29 PM
 
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I tested them both at the same time. I had a small group at a table (mostly CVC words) and stood next to it to give the word then moved to the front of the class to give the whole group word. Moving my location helped avoid confusing the lists. I also named the groups: blue word, green word so I could alternate the words without kids meshing the lists.

Some of the students wanted to write all the words, so I had them put one list on one side of the paper and the other on the other side. They got extra smiley faces for the extra list.

I had a principal who made the great suggestion of putting how many right on top of the paper rather than how many missed. For the smaller group, I could note 1 more than last time, etc. They could see some progress.

Some students aren't ready for spelling until mid year or so, the curriculum rushes more than the linguistic development of some students allows.


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