Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teach_each1, Jul 22, 2008.
Jul 22, 2008
How do you administer independent spelling tests?
Oh, I want to start this this year, too. If things get too difficult, I've read about grouping students so you only have to administer 3 or 4 tests (depending on the students of course) and letting the students administer them to each other (like in pairs) although I'm a little apprehensive about that. Looking forward to other, tried and true, suggestions...
I just give the entire list to all the kids and then only grade the ones the kids with the shortened lists are responsible for. Although this only works if you use the same words...I'm curious to hear other ideas as well!
My kids switch lists with a partner and give each other the tests...Theres remarkably no cheating... (grade 2)...Plus the spelling TEST doesnt' matter as much to me as whether there's transfer to their writing...
My question is... What is the point in a spelling test? Just for a grade? That is ridiculous.
Why not try a word study or giving them letters to make words that have certain patterns, or have them find the misspelled words in a sentence or paragraph. Those seem like better ideas and how they could be tested on state tests especially in the upper grades.
Jul 23, 2008
I do lots of the above in my word study lessons, literacy centers... The purpose of a spelling 'test' in my class (grade 2) is to learn how to study for a test and take a test. We have no standardized or mandated tests in my district for grade 2 but I want my kids to have test taking skills.
I'm with LionPride. All it teaches the kids is how to memorize and spell it. Usage and meaning are far more important - that should be what guides a spelling/word study program. Context is far more difficult to learn - what's the point of knowing how to spell it if you don't know how to use it?
So I use word lists and tie in grammar concepts and usage with my lessons; and the same concepts come back week after week so that it stays fresh in their minds.
As for tests, I make a word study test that forces them to know the spelling and the context. On a list of 15 words (bi-weekly), I'll come up with sentences that require the blanks to be filled in with list words (approx. 10 of the words). For the rest, they need to use the words properly in a sentence of their own. I'll also have questions relating to the grammar concept being learn (apostrophes, parts of speech, homophones etc.). I find it works well for me and I see the students using the words - properly - in their independent writing too.
This all might be a little complicated for primary grades but I've used it successfully in grades four and five.
I feel like the only reason I do spelling tests is because of the parents. That's why I also have students sit back to back and give one another the tests. The only problem I find is that my students who have a hard list can really only get the words from me because the other groups don't know the words.