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Spelling (or not sending words home anymore)

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Spelling (or not sending words home anymore)
Old 03-17-2019, 06:34 AM
 
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In college I remember my professor telling us spelling was dumb and the only reason we do it was because parents wanted to help their kids somehow and this was an easy parent pleaser. When I taught first grade we did Words Their Way. It was fine but parents hated it so much. Now that Iím in second we have to use the Journeys spelling. The way my team does it, it takes FOREVER to grade 😭. I HATE IT!!! Last week some of the words were so ridiculous that as a parent I would have been super annoyed. Iím sure some kids studied for hours😬. My son is in 3rd grade and she doesnít send spelling home. They do spelling in class but focus more on the sounds. I would actually like to try that next year. Has anyone done this in 2nd grade? If so, what do you do?


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Spelling
Old 03-17-2019, 07:43 AM
 
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I stopped sending spelling lists home and giving spelling tests years ago. I found a lot of kids would pass the test, but once it was done, could spell the word a week later. And, some parents were putting too much pressure on their kids to pass. (It got intense for some.)

We also used Words Their Way...never sent that home.

So, in my second grade room, we spent 15 to 20 minutes a day focusing only on phonics. Two or three times a year I would administer the Words Their Way spelling inventory to get a snap shot of where everyone was.

No parent or admin ever complained that I wasnít ďdoingĒ spelling lists/tests.
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No to spelling tests!
Old 03-18-2019, 07:15 AM
 
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They are a complete waste of time, as you know. Some kids can spell the words before you ever give them out and some manage to memorize them for the test, then promptly forget them, and the rest never learn them. It is an ineffective way to teach kids. I would focus on word work/word study where kids actually learn why words do what they do. I am no longer a classroom teacher, but when I was I used Sitton Spelling. You can also just use fry or dolch lists. If your district uses Fountas and Pinnell BAS, the continuum gives word work guidelines for each level. I would base my instruction off that. When I announced to parents that there would be no traditional spelling lists or tests, they were jumping for joy. Once you explain that there is little to no transfer to actual writing, they totally get it.
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Spelling
Old 03-18-2019, 07:12 PM
 
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I stopped giving spelling tests every week and now do them every few weeks. I still send home a spelling list and have students practice the phonics or grammar skill. Students have different tasks each day like alphabetizing or categorizing the words. I think these are important thinking skills that kids need repeated opportunities to practice. I also like the structure and how responsible and engaged my students are performing the routines.

While I utilize our spelling program, I have just recently felt like I wasnít getting the greatest return on the time invested into the spelling test. First, I feel that I am getting a good grasp of studentsí spelling abilities with their writing assignments and their bell work. I feel these authentic tasks are more informative than a list of 20 words. Also, I think students do more testing these days than any of our generations did, and this is one last test they have to complete. Now I have an extra time with students on Fridays and donít ever think, ďDo we have enough time to finish this project and our spelling test?Ē like I have in the past!
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:00 AM
 
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I do spelling based on whatever skill is coming up ( long e, ee, etc) however my testing is in sentence form. It is a short little story that utilizes past and present words. We incorporate some grammar in it as well. The parents like this because itís constantly reviewing words and using them in context. It takes a little longer, but works for us.


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Old 04-10-2019, 04:53 PM
 
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Since you have Journeys curriculum, look at the word sorts and activities that are in the Language & Literacy Guide. It is an easier way to make a connection between the phonics lesson and the spelling. There is a spelling test included, but we don't recommend using them in my building. But we do have many teachers that use the L&LG word sorts in class to work with the students on identifying spelling patterns.
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