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Getting Rid of Weekly Spelling Tests
Old 10-19-2014, 04:50 PM
 
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Ok, this year, I have some students who really struggle with spelling. Our district curriculum guide has a spelling pattern to work on each week. I am finding that my students can memorize their lists for their weekly test, but outside of spelling work/tests, they are not able to use the spelling patterns.

Does anyone not use weekly lists/test? If so, how do you work on spelling with your students? How can I still address the weekly patterns that my district requires? How can I still give them a grade on spelling for their report cards?


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I want to here this as well
Old 10-19-2014, 05:09 PM
 
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We were told to stop giving spelling lists and tests. I do word work with my students but sill struggle with how to give an assessment.

I am adding a couple of words a week that I see commonly misspelled in their writing assignments. Last week it was "because" and "does".
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I am SO following this!!
Old 10-19-2014, 07:41 PM
 
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Every year I struggle with whether or not to give spelling lists and tests. I haven't for many years because I too find that there is no transference. Research has even shown this but yet I am frustrated with my students' spelling day to day so am constantly questioning the practice.
I use Cafe/Daily 5 and have incorporated word work through PWIM, our content word collector sheets and our word wall. I don't know how to assess or grade this either and would love to hear from others.

I read one PTer's post that said....
"I choose 3-5 kids a week to choose a word off the list. They circle it and put their name under it. It does not have to be the word they wrote on the list. They make a word card for our word wall, and do their assignment on an index card. They have to write the definition, part of speech, and a sentence using the word correctly. They turn this in for a grade. The following Wednesday (we call it Word Wall Wednesday!), they teach the class their interesting word and it goes up on the wall. They take such ownership of the words, and this is the first time in a lot of years that I've seen actual carry-over with our word wall. They truly use it because they are their words! It's a great way to learn new vocabulary words!"
I'm considering this but am not sure how to assess or give a grade.
Any ideas from other PTers?
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I like....
Old 10-22-2014, 02:39 AM
 
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the ideas so far, but my district still mandates a spelling pattern per week. Even if the majority of the class doesn't need a specific spelling pattern, I still need to spend a week on it.
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No more traditional spelling lists
Old 10-22-2014, 02:52 AM
 
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I didn't do traditional spelling for years, I just used Month-by-Month Phonics for Third Grade and used the Word Wall words. It was great, low pressure, and I really felt kids could spell the basics. Then, about 7 years ago, we got a new LA curriculum (Reading Street) and we were mandated to do their spelling. However, I never gave up Word Wall words. I just did both! My results were okay, for a while . . .

This year we've noticed that there's no application of either spelling words or Word Wall words on kids' writing. I'm fed up and just had a team meeting with the P, asking if we could stop the RS spelling and focus on WW words - the basics. She agreed, so as of this week we're only doing WW.

We still talk about patterns and work on spelling, it's just that these are more basic words. I'll be darned if I still send kids to 4th grade spelling "thay!" Grrrr!!


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I get it!
Old 10-23-2014, 08:11 PM
 
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Beagles2 I get your frustration. Even if I have a word wall and remind the kids to 'use the text to help you spell", they still don't do it! It has helped me to tell the kids that if the word is on the word wall or in the text and they do not use it to help them, their mark is reduced. I hate to reduce things to this but it seems it is the only thing that works.
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I give them
Old 10-24-2014, 02:22 AM
 
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But I give words that use the patterns, not just the words in their sorts. And I hold them accountable for using the patterns correctly in their writing once they learn the patterns. I think that the parents are more likely to help them practice if there is a test attached. If there wasn't a test, I don't think I'd get as much support. We use Words Their Way, and also use spelling city.com, and I put their word lists on the website each week for them to practice.

Our literacy coaches recommend a two week cycle for each pattern, and to assess authentically by checking their writing. I find it more manageable to assess each week, and give an extra week if needed (just repeat the same sort if they struggle.)
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