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Meaningful Spelling
Old 09-28-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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I teach 6th grade and often wonder how meaningful the Spelling Homework my teachers used to give me and that I see so many teachers give their students is. What do you do in your class? How do you make sure your spelling homework is meaningful?


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Good Question!
Old 09-28-2009, 01:37 PM
 
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It seems that after all the reading and emphasis on other areas of literacy there is little or no time left for spelling during my literacy block, at least not the same amount of time I remember being taught spelling when I was in elementary school. I'm finding it now that, this is one subject area where one size fits all definetely doesn't work and its simple enough to accomodate for all of the different level learners in your class. Find a diagnostic spelling test which will give you a rough idea about the grade level that your students are at and then plan from there. Words 5x in crayon, spelling baseball, rhyme time, put each word from your list in a sentence, make a crossword/word search are some of the activities I try to get to during the course of the week.

I'm interested in hearing what other people have to say.
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I agree...
Old 09-28-2009, 05:06 PM
 
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Spelling is something that has lost momentum. In the time of standardized testing, spelling loses to grammar and writing skills. I only take fifteen minuets in class per day to cover spelling, and give no homework. Every child I have in class receives A's on their test, or makes significant gains (my two special ed students). Here is how I do it.

Monday- We take the pre-test, and create gestures for each of the words.
Tuesday through Friday- we do our spelling pages in class and go over each word.

We create gestures that relate to the word. I.e. league has a gesture that is throwing a ball for a baseball league.

The students then go throw in their groups, and as loudly as they can, each spelling word for the week. We do it twice each day. They are to say the word, do the gesture, and spell the word. It works great. Last week every student failed the pre-test, on Friday 61% of the class had 100% on the test.
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In my class
Old 09-29-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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I don't teach spelling every day. I have 2 days designated for spelling & vocab lessons.

I have a decent spelling book this year. The first activity is always a sorting activity, and we do that together on the first day of the week (wednesday, for us). The rest of the lesson is homework. Students are also required to complete 1 word work activity in class (I use daily 5)

I have about 5 students that are "natural born spellers." I have shifted them into more vocab activities.

I have 5 on a "spelling contract" because they just need more help. I meet with this group once a week (monday) to make sure that they are on top of homework. They also get together during word work and study with a partner.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:43 PM
 
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Spelling has been driving me crazy the last three years. When I moved up to sixth grade, the other teachers on my team told me they never teaching spelling as there is no time. This year, I'm trying to work smarter, not harder. I've realized that my students can not break a word into it's parts (prefixes, suffixes, roots). So we're focusing on those things (of course, the first ones to get covered are the ones covered on ISAT, but it's a start) WITH spelling. So, for example, this week we're studying the root word 'struct'. We not only study the meaning, but my students also have these words as spelling words--sort of a 2 for 1. I'm hoping that maybe this will not only help their spelling skills, but also their word meaning skills.


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I don't care
Old 09-29-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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how well they spell. I want to be able to determine what they know. If I can see (read) they understand and are learning the standards, I am pleased.

Please understand I think vocab is very important.
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Old 10-01-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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Spelling is very important. How many words do we find spelled incorrectly? Many are not teaching spelling, and I don't agree with that idea.

I use Sitton spelling. Her ideas are simple. Students are practicing the words they will encounter most often in reading and writing. You can choose the amount of time you want to invest in your classroom.

Words Their Way is a diagnostic spelling program that identifies what stage of spelling each student is at. From there, the teacher designs activities geared toward helping each group of students advance to another stage, and eventually grade level and beyond. It takes a lot of work, but if you have a small group, you will see a lot of success!
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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I use words their way and have 2 spelling groups in my classroom. I introduce the words on Monday. We do the word sort together in class in a big pocket chart. The students then practice the sorts at their desk and write them in their word sorts notebook. I then tell them to study the words each night for homework. (Let their parents help them.) Then I give them a test on Friday. I don't believe the all of the spelling homework-writing their words, etc.--works. Many time the students will write all of the first letters, then add the second, then the third, etc. They are only writing letters not words.

I spend time in class to work on vocabulary. I feel that is much more important. I introduce 2-3 vocabulary words each day and discuss their meaning, using them in a sentence, etc. They then take a vocabulary test on Friday. Vocabulary a-z is worth the money.
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Spelling in the 6th grade
Old 10-08-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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I spend 20 minutes daily for spelling and vocabulary--using the same words for both. They are also the same words used in the novel we are reading in class. EdHelper has some neat things--you just type in the words and it gives you all kinds of activities for those words. It is a paid subscription though. We've done word searches, sudoku and crosswords.
I think it is very important to be able to spell but to also know the meaning of the words they are spelling.
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Word sort?
Old 10-11-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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I tried using a word sort with my sixth graders for "ei" and "ie" words. It bombed. I know a lot of teachers use sorts - so maybe I did it wrong. I just had them work with partners to sort the words by spelling/sound. Many of the kids complained that the activity was something they did in 3rd grade. I kind of agreed.

How do you guys do word sorts?


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word sorts
Old 06-29-2010, 07:42 AM
 
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Hello. Could you tell me a little bit more about the notebook? Is it something the students set up? Or, is it one that you have made? Do the pages consist of forms for them to fill out? This will be my first year to do word sorts on a consistent schedule. Thanks.
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