Basic phonics and spelling

Discussion in 'Third Grade' started by dunwool, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. dunwool

    dunwool Rookie

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    Oct 22, 2009

    As we have been working more in writer's workshop lately and doing more spelling tests, I have been noticing that my students are terrible spellers (to the point where I can hardly even guess what it should be), they cannot read their own writing, and their writing shows a basic lack of understanding in phonics. Most of my students aren't adding the "e" to the end of CVC words to make the "long vowel" sound, and any complex long vowels are completely off the table. Some of mine are still struggling with basic blends and digraphs!

    My question is, what phonics do you teach to your third graders, if any? And, how to do you teach the phonics skills? (Meaning, is it small group, large group, hands on, worksheets, workbooks, etc.) We do have phonics workbooks but those aren't very engaging for the students at all. Also, though we have done a couple pages the kids constantly say "we learned this last year" or "we learned this in Kindergarten" yet they still don't use the ideas in their writing or spelling and when asked to read those phonics segments they are unable to. It seems like they think if they say, "we already learned this" they can get out of some work and as a kind of defense mechanism for their lack of understanding on the issue.

    Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated and thank you all for your help! :D
     
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  3. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Oct 22, 2009

    I find this is very true in my classroom as well. We do not have a phonics program adopted and in my state, phonics is not even a standard for 3rd grade (of course I'm not saying it shouldn't be included).

    I would say that most of my students have a mix of sight words/phonics skills, but I have a few that only spell phonetically and struggle terribly with spelling patterns/rules.

    This really kills their spelling grades at times because our spelling list sometimes is organized by sounds (oo, ew, ue, etc.) These students are usually the ones pulled out for Title I 30 min. a day. I have the Title I teacher or an aide work with these students at least one day a week just on phonics and spelling patterns, more if the spelling list is especially tricky for that week.

    In regards to the "we already learned this..." I explain to my students that we are doing this as review. If I see that everyone is capable of doing it on the worksheets AND on other assignments (spelling tests, math tests, s.s., etc.) only then will we move on. Sometimes they need to know that just because you did it perfectly on a worksheet or one test doesn't mean it's been mastered and you're ready to move on. Application is key.

    I've also started telling my students that if I see incorrect spelling, a particular grammar concept or even capital letters missing from writing assignments, they will need to complete a set of worksheets or activities on that topic. I was finding that so many of my students were careless and refuse to check over things because, "Mrs. Newbie23 will fix it."
     
  4. corney

    corney Companion

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    Oct 26, 2009

    My daughter struggles with her spelling something awful. She spells words how they sound to her usually with the wrong vowels or no vowels at all. E for I, O for A, U totally blowes her away and she always uses an E for a Y. She does have reading intervention plus a tutor, but I'm not seeing a whole lot of improvement in this area..
     

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