Extremely bright but can't spell

Discussion in 'General Education Archives' started by Bogart, Apr 13, 2007.

  1. Bogart

    Bogart Rookie

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    Apr 13, 2007

    I have a 6th grade student who is one of the brightest kids I have ever met. He's in gifted classes for both reading and math, and he has always scored in the 99th percentile for reading and math on standardized tests.

    My question is this: how can he be such a terrible speller? I mean we're talking getting less than half right on a spelling test. He's always had difficulty with spelling. It's just so strange. This is my first year teaching so I don't know if this is common or what. My other students who are in the gifted programs have no problem with spelling. I'm just wondering what is it about this child that makes spelling so challenging. ??
     
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  3. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    He could be dyslexic and have a really, really good set of coping skills when it comes to reading. This isn't actually that uncommon.
     
  4. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I think there may be a specific form of dyslexia that really affects spelling, I think it is auditory dyslexia. From what I remember they don't really have a problem with reading, but with transferring the sounds into letters. Maybe someone on here is a reading specialist and can explain it better than I can. :)
     
  5. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I can't spell either. I am love reading and math. But stink at spelling. Half the time when I am writing in class, I call out who knows how to spell (what ever the word it). My 5th grader usually spells it for me.
     
  6. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    I also stink at spelling. Sometimes I get stuck on a word and I will run over to my computer, type it up and then hit spell check! Pretty pathetic for a teacher, but that is my weakness!!!! I am good at everything else!;)
     
  7. michelb366

    michelb366 Comrade

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    I would be interested in strategies to help these students as well. I have a student similar to this one this year and will be getting another next year.
     
  8. Docere

    Docere Rookie

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    Yes, it may be some kind of dyslexia. Or it might just be a weakness. Spelling and reading usually coincide, but not always.
     
  9. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I think part of the problem (at least at my school) with spelling is that it has truly been pushed to the back burner. It's not a high stakes subject. We don't have a book. We don't have a parish program. We have a list of words that someone came up with, some puzzles made on the web, and that's it. It's almost just an afterthought.
     
  10. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    I can't spell to save my life.

    I think ti was because the way I learned to spell (the whole memorize, spit out, forget, method didn't help me). We mostly did words based on themes. Halloween, Winter Break, etc. So there was no common set of rules.

    I learned more teaching spelling in my 4th grade student teaching placement than I did in all of my spelling learning in school.

    The school I did that placement at did DI (I know it is controversial) but they did it just for spelling. The entire school did it. They were split by ability not grade level. I did a group on a second grade level, but the group was comprised of 3,4,5 graders. This school was a 3 - 5 school.

    We used two different programs spelling through morphographs and spelling mastery. The kids didn't get tests every Friday like traditional tests. They just had them randomly (well what seemed randomly) placed into the lessons. Most students (who were in class everyday - we had a lot of kids who were homeless in our group) scored 90 - 100 on most tests. Which showed they mastered the skill.

    Spelling is not something you can qualify for LD for for SPED in most states.

    I'm sure your school isn't going to get an entier program (expensive) for one student, but I was just throwing it out there in case you can get your hands on it.
     
  11. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Apr 15, 2007

    It's a little late in the school year to ask this question as applied to the current students I work with, but I am curious about your opinion.

    We teack it the memorize (by random stuff), reinforce it, drop it (but we do use it in reading) method. Some kids aren't doing as well at retaining this stuff this year. They do well on the spelling test but they don't always retain it later.

    SO my question is what method can I use if they aren't phonetic learners (deaf), get confused if the words are too much alike (word families) and don't do well with the memorization method either?

    Typically our first grade curriculum is expose them to all the words they will need to accomplish writing and reading at this level. They can't do inventive spelling (though we are forced to try to make them do that) or sound things out. So they have to have tools to work with. It's a catch up game. Then in 2nd grade, they expose them to more word families.

    I'm curious what your take on all of this is.
     
  12. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 15, 2007

    Just found this:

    Poor spelling ability really does not have a relationship to general intelligence. However, desire, education, and intelligence do have something to do with excellent spelling ability. And the personality traits of being meticulous and organized certainly have an impact on one's ability to spell well. From some surveys that have been done, it has been found that the top spellers were more organized than the average spellers. So, the ability to spell well may be more related to personality traits or habits than other factors. You are also likely to be a good speller if you have a deep interest in language, its roots, the connections between different words via meaning and sound, and in the poetic quality of words. To improve one's spelling if one is not naturally good at it takes practice. You have to look things up, keep a spelling journal, take quizzes, etc., if becoming a better speller is your goal. With practice, you can train yourself to take pictures of words. You can add words consciously to your visual memory. Visualization is very helpful because spelling is primarily a visual activity. Many good spellers depend on visual memory to determine whether a word looks right or wrong. The more finely tuned your visual memory becomes, the better your spelling will be. Paying closer attention to the way words look also encourages you to notice the world around you more. This is a great side effect - increasing your powers of observation!
     
  13. ithacateacher

    ithacateacher Rookie

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    Apr 16, 2007

    spelling rules?

    Loved this response on the subject of spelling and all the other comments as well. I am 47 but I remember learning spelling rules (even if the english language has a million exceptions). For example, I often see misspellings of a word like matter (mater). If a student knew the rule, double consonants make a short vowel sound, wouldn't that help he/she recognize the error by ear? Then it is giving them another way to memorize-using a rule coupled with their ear- not just visual. Like chalk on a chalkboard-aahhh!!! that word needs another "t"!!! I also love the visualization idea. I once worked with a teacher who was into something called "NLP". Neuro-Linguistic Programming - which used visualization for all kinds of self-improvement - she applied it to spelling improvement. I have not taught elementary but am curious if spelling rules are taught, or maybe my memory of this one rule has nothing to do with why I spell well. Sorry to ramble on-first time chat person and am loving the chance to discuss-have also been out of teaching for 10 years. Good luck to all the spelling teachers!
     
  14. Ms Z

    Ms Z Companion

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Mee TOOO!!!! there may be nothing wrong with him.. just one of the many people who need to take dictionar.....(see) wherever we go..:D
     
  15. chicagoturtle

    chicagoturtle Fanatic

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    This must be my issue.
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 16, 2007

    Believe me that it's perfectly possible to be a very good speller and hideously disorganized.
     
  17. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 16, 2007

    I am a perfect example! :D
     
  18. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    I'd have to be better organized to qualify as a perfect example...
     

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