Spelling in Kindergarten - ProTeacher Community





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Spelling in Kindergarten
Old 04-06-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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Does anyone use an actual "program" or curriculum for spelling in kinder? In my school the spelling program does not start until 1st and we focus on phonics in K. I have a parent who is very concerned that her daughter "doesnt know how to spell". She also questioned why teachers would allow students to use phonetic spelling and not just address the correct way to spell it right away. I'm just wondering how you approach "spelling" in your school?


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Old 04-06-2011, 12:51 PM
 
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My kids learn sight words and we use a word wall. These words I expect for them to use and spell correctly. Everything else, they sound out. Our school doesn't allow for the other grades to do spelling tests anymore either. There is a lot of different philosophies out there.
I like kindergarten kids to sound out words because it will help them decode words as they read and develop a better understanding of letter/sound relationship.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:49 AM
 
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That is what we do as well. They are accountable to read and spell their sight words and also three letter decodable words like cub, bus, sit. I tried to explain that kindergarten students use phonetic spelling and she just questioned why its ok for kids to not spell things correctly. I think she is expecting that I just tell kids how to spell things so when its written down it looks correctly--and i tried to expain that her daughter wouldn't actually be learning to spell if I did that-her papers would just look better!
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:49 AM
 
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We use Spelling with Samson part of Samson's Classroom. It is a web-based online program that we use for sight words as well. My kids love it, and it makes things much simpler for me. I highly recommend the program from a teacher's standpoint, and from a student standpoint.
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We use spelling mid-way through 3rd qtr
Old 04-07-2011, 08:41 AM
 
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We base it on word families. We tie it into the practice book of HM and other word families that will show up for the kids. It is NOT graded and NOT on the report card. We just do it to get them used to testing...rhyming....and getting rid of any anxiety...they love it since they suddenly are like their siblings...studying for spelling.

Too bad that mom doesn't understand developmental stages and emerging writing. First child?? Good luck Nj (and good luck to that student)


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Old 04-07-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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That is similar to what we do--it is also based on word families and words that are easy to decode. Yes, the mom was very snippy with me "I don't understand why the incorrect writing isn't addressed immediately" and didn't get that really it is "incorrect" at this level. She definitely got under my skin, making me feel as though I wasn't teaching properly!
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Then you have the mom who is trying to have
Old 04-07-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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their child "sound out" sight words (which are not decodable) They have to know them on sight....hello! McFly? It's teaching child AND parent.
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:21 PM
 
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I don't do any formal 'spelling' tests, but like many others, my room is well-labeled and I have a word-wall. I do expect and enforce, that any word that is in our room needs to be spelled correctly.

One thing I've done this year that I've added to my student of the day routine, is first, I am challenging them in a very lighthearted way to see if they can spell the SOTD's name--and the SOTD gets to choose whether to do his first, middle or last name...so it can be very challenging. We do this on individual whiteboards and many are quite accurate. I then let them check theirs and change it when I write the name correctly. There is no pressure to do it right, we just give it our best effort. Then, I give them 2-3 sight words, usually one or two easy ones and one more challenging one. I did this as an experiment at first, but this class loves it SO much, there is no going back...
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Our Phonics program
Old 04-09-2011, 04:58 AM
 
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... Our Phonics program teaches reading AND spelling at the same time... basically - these are the spelling choices for this sound.

It starts with single sounds (and CVC words etc), then progresses to the 'vowel' sounds... so all the spelling choices for the /a/ - a, ay, ai, eigh, a_e.

This is only new to us this year and means that when we send word lists home to be learnt, where we previously asked that they bring them back when they can READ the list, now they bring them back when they can read AND spell the list. There is no time limit on these lists, so they have a list, and have all the time they need to learn it. They return it when they and their parents feel they are ready and we test them... and ask them to do more practise, or else let them graduate to the next list (but they must get 9/10 to be able to do so).

It has been working well so far - and we are only 10 weeks into the school year (Australia).

To be honest, though, I have always corrected spelling anyway... I didn't realise some people didn't. I accept ... and praise... phonetic spelling ... You know, I might say, "that is sooo great! I can see that you are thinking about the sounds, and yes, the sound here is "r" but the spelling choice in this word is actually "ar". Here I will write it underneath for you so you might remember it next time" I did that even before the spelling lists.

I understand that their phonetic spelling is developmental - and amazing - because, as I say, it shows that they can connect sounds and their writing... however I don't see any harm in correcting it... it will definitely stick with some, and might even ensure they don't learn incorrect spelling/habit early on.

I am kind of on the same page as your parent on this one. I think they should be encouraged to spell correctly from the get go. Certainly, praise all attempts - phonetic or not - however ... I see no harm in showing them the correct spelling of their phonetically spelled words...
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Old 04-09-2011, 05:48 PM
 
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Phonetic spelling is part of a child's development. When babies first begin to makes noises and begin speaking we encourage their every "word", even if it is incorrect. As time goes by (years) and they experience more speech they correct many errors on their own.

Phonetic spelling is like that. Children are experimenting with the sounds that they are learning. Kindergarten is only 1 year. They aren't ready for everything during that time. If we discourage their writing creativity by making them stop and spell everything correctly we stifle the very creativity that we want to encourage.

By the time the children get to 1st grade they do not remember that they spelled the word bird "brd" during the 4th month of K. Just like they don't remember saying "her my friend" when they were 3.
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Sorry...
Old 04-10-2011, 02:28 AM
 
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I probably didn't explain myself well! We/I certainly don't discourage their phonetic spelling... absolutely not! And I agree that it is part of their development. I encourage it! I praise that they have given it a go, and that I can see EXACTLY what they were trying to write. But... what I do do is write the correct spelling underneath/beside/above and tell them that this is the correct spelling choice for what they were trying to write.

In some cases I get them to copy my correction underneath, in other cases not (I judge by the child/skill level etc)...

Having said that, our phonics program DOES teach both reading and spelling... Originally they are writing words using single sounds, and as they have learned these sounds already when they make the sounds in their head in attempts to write, they are usually using the single sounds they have learned.

In the second half of the year they start to learn the spelling choices for the vowel sounds (so the long vowel sounds) then they begin to use these when making their sounds. They often don't choose the correct one, but they at least choose one of them - ie. gate... they might write gayt ... you get the picture... Again, all I do is praise that they have written it, and I can understand what they were getting at... however ... here is the correct spelling choice...

It's not that we tell them that they are wrong, we (I) definitely tell them they have chosen the correct sound, however I show them the correct spelling. I think it helps them to think more about what they are writing and START to make the correct choices, maybe earlier than they normally would.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:09 AM
 
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This is why I love Kidwriting! They really know how to honor developmental spelling and still correct spelling.

They do this by having an adult (can be a volunteer or you) do the "adult" writing. It makes perfect sense to a kindergartner. They do "kidwriting", adults do "adult" writing. When they do this it's appropriate to praise all the child did correctly after you've written the adult writing by saying, "Wow! you heard the ___ and wrote that, or "you said __, and there IS a ___!" This way they have the correct spelling in their journal to go back to when/if they need it again.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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That's exactly what I do! Phew! Someone explained it well and so succinctly! haha! Thanks Jacque/Wa/K-1!!!!

Brain has gone out the window here over the weekend!
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:06 PM
 
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It's NOT DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE! She must be the type of parent that buys "my baby can read" at age 2.
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Old 04-12-2011, 04:05 AM
 
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KTeacher-I do the same thing-highlighting the sounds they got correct and writing the correct sound underneath. But this mom just wants me to say "what word do you want to write? ok this is how you spell it" and not even have her try it unless she already knows how to spell it!
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ohhhh!!!! No way! Now I know what you mean...
Old 04-12-2011, 01:56 PM
 
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I get so cross.... even with my own kids! .... when other's jump in with the spelling. We are in Australia, so they are at the end of their firts quarter of Grade 1, although they are really at an end of Kindergarten level - long story (Kindergarten was not so great for them)!

It happened to me the other day with my own kids at a local shop... One of them asked me how do you spell clothes (we were buying clothes!) so I said "Well, have a think about it - what does it start with?" The woman at the counter, completely ignoring me jumped in (and rolled her eyes - oh my goodness!!!!!), and said "C-L-O-T-H-E-S". Ah, okay. Thanks. There's a missed teaching opportunity for a child who REALLY needs it! ARGH!

So, yes, absolutely, I encourage them to work it out... then do as we've said... (same as you)...
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