Request for Spelling List

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by myKroom, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I have a parent who just sent me a note requesting that I send the spelling list home on Friday instead of Monday. She says she is having trouble getting her daughter to finish her spelling homework. She procrastinates and loses the list and mom just can't get the daughter to get it done!

    BUT...

    I do my pretest on Monday. Based on the results of our pretest, I assign challenge words. If I give her the list early she is going to have an unfair advantage on the Monday pretest.

    I'm also big into responsibility!! The work is to be completed between Monday night and Friday morning! It's not hard!! It's only 3 short things.

    Here is my compromise...I will email mom the list to mom on Monday and that way the daughter can't say she lost it!

    Is this okay...or does anyone else have any thoughts!
    Thank you!
    (This is 1st grade by the way!)
     
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  3. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I think it depends on your ultimate goal.

    Mom's is helping her daughter get through the spelling words. It sounds like a fairly reasonable request to me.

    Wouldn't it be relatively simple for you to come up with words that would challenge a first grader without the pretest results?

    Sorry, but I vote with mom on this one. We don't know what's going on in that house (or others) -- whether the kids shuffle off to dad's for half the week, whether mom is working 3 jobs to make ends meet...

    A simple change to your routine would enable this child to better complete the assignment you want her to do.
     
  4. Toak

    Toak Cohort

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    I agree - send the list on Friday
     
  5. SaraFirst

    SaraFirst Cohort

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    I think that if you send it home on Friday for one student, you might as well send it on Friday for every student. I do this, and I know that some kids practice early and others don't, but at least they all have the chance. Do your challenge words take the place of the regular words or are they in addition to them? You could send the challenge home Friday too, and kids/parents who need the challenge and take the opportunity to practice them. Or, if you have time, you could give the pretest on Friday.
     
  6. futureteach21

    futureteach21 Habitué

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    I think it sounds reasonable to email it home on Monday. But if that doesn't work, then I think you have to send it home to everyone on Friday.
     
  7. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    My question to you is how well does the child do in spelling. If you think that it will help her grades in spelling yes by all means send the list home for ALL students. It is just to hard to send it home for one student. If the parent is only requesting this so that the student will be more "responsible" my answer would be NO!!!!
     
  8. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Explain the pretest set up to mom and see if emailing the list on Monday would help with the homework issues.
     
  9. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    The issue is mostly responsibility! She typically does well on her spelling tests. The reason I send home homework is to get the students ready for later grades when there will be more homework and it will be much more important. I'm trying to work them into the responsibilities of doing their work and turning it in on time. It is also a chance for the parents to take a part in their child's homework. At this age they need more support to complete their homework. I'm glad this parent is trying to help...but I don't know that it is in the right way.

    Mom said she is "constantly pushing" her to get it done and the student either "procrastinates or forgets to bring her words home". I know she takes the list home...what she does with them when she is there is a total mystery to me! I figured emailing them would solve this problem.

    In my mind...mom needs to step up and tell her daughter this needs to get done by _____. That is the whole point of homework, right?! Receive it on a certain date...return it on a certain date!
     
  10. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 18, 2010

    Not in my class, no.

    In my math classes, the whole point of homework is to practice the material so that you gain a clearer understanding of it. It's not about "teaching responsiblity" it's about teaching math.

    My high school kids are allowed to miss and make up up to 3 homeworks per marking period without penalty. I get the whole responsiblity thing, but I also realize that there are times when life gets in the way of homeowrk.
     
  11. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I'd give her the list on Friday, she's wanting to help her kid.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree that homework, especially in the earlier grades, often serves two purposes--academic, of course, and teaching students responsibility, organization, and other important skills and traits.
     
  13. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Agreed that homework is as much about learning the subject matter as it is about being responsible to complete something within a set amount of time.

    That said, can you explain to the Mom about the pre-test and that the point of that on Monday is to test them cold to see how much they know without first studying the words? She may not know about the pre-test. Explain to her that three extra days is unfair to the other students and she would not want another child to gain that type of advantage over her own child.
     
  14. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Feb 18, 2010

    I had a mother request the words on Friday for her son. I saw no problem with this and I send home the list. Also, I publish all of the words on Friday afternoon as I use Spelling City. So anyone in my room who wants the words ahead of time can get them off of Spelling City. Also, I offer two separate lists, the regular 2nd grade words from our spelling book plus a challenge list of 3rd and 4th grade words. The students get both lists and choose the list they wish to study. I stopped giving pretests on Monday. I was amazed at how many of my students take the challenge words and are successful. What a boost for them.
     
  15. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    I'm guessing you test on Fridays? This is what I am wondering. How much of disruption would it be for you and the other students to back everything up a day? For instance, pretest on Friday and send the list home, homework for the week sent home Monday, test on Thursday. This way the students have more time to study the words and you still get all your goals met.
     
  16. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    I send my High Frequency word list for the entire year home several times per year. I really want them to learn the words and if the parents are willing to teach them in advance, I am glad. It helps me in the long run.
     
  17. Rabbitt

    Rabbitt Connoisseur

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    Feb 19, 2010

    The day the words are received isn't the problem here. I see that the problem is responsibity, organization, and who is in control at home.
     
  18. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    Feb 19, 2010

    Would it be possible for you to give her pretest on Friday?

    I can see how that would be one more thing for you to remember though.
     
  19. hatima

    hatima Devotee

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    I agree about the responsibility issue of turning the homework in when due. I like that you use Monday to pretest what the students know already. However, if you do send it home on Friday do so for all students, clarrifying that 2 additional words will be added on Monday and those will NOT be given on Friday. This will make 5 spelling words.
     
  20. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    After a few times of parents requesting the list on Friday (so they could study over the weekend - I don't give pretests) I just sat down one day and entered all of my spelling lists on my web site. That way the parents could access them any time they needed. At the time I really thought it was just parents wanting to cause trouble, but I have to admit, the scores for some of the kids (mostly my non-spellers) did go up. It was worth it.
     
  21. justfine

    justfine Comrade

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    Feb 19, 2010

    I you give it to Mom on Friday, you have to give it to all the kids on Friday. You have to be fair to them as well!
     
  22. trayums

    trayums Enthusiast

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    Is Mom's main issue that her daughter loses the list? Or is it that her daughter doesn't have enough time to learn the words? If it is that her daughter loses the list, and you are opposed to sending the list home on Friday, could you email her the list on Monday so that she has it and can print it out?
     
  23. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    It's really not fair to the other students if ONE particular student has extra time to study the weekly spelling words & complete the weekly homework packet!

    I would definitely email the spelling list to mom on Monday; however, I would NOT send home the spelling list on Friday unless I was prepared to do this for ALL students.

    Shouldn't mom have set up some sort of consequence at home if her daughter wasn't bringing home the spelling list?
     
  24. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I apologize for being unclear. What I, and I think other people are suggesting, is that the words go out to all students on Friday.
     
  25. mrsleapfrog

    mrsleapfrog Companion

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    I send all of my homework and spelling list home on Friday. The parents like it so much better because there are so many students with after school activities. They can get an early start on it if they want to.
     
  26. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    This is simple! I would turn it over to Mom. Easy way to make her happy, and so what if she gets the words all right on Monday?? You have achieved your goal - she learned the words. Maybe you could make the words available to all the kids on Friday if you think it is unfair otherwise. Lots of my parents would love to have the week's homework on Fri. because Sat. is the only at home day the kids have.

    Think of your goal. If this will make reaching the goal easier, give the issue over to Mom. It is not going to cost anything.

    On the other hand, emailing the list to Mom on Monday takes the responsibility away from DD and gives it to Mom. Mom is not in first grade. :)
     
  27. Toak

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    If the ultimate goal is for the child to know how to spell the words, why would it matter if she received the list early? I'd personally consider knowing how to spell the words to be a more important goal than pre-testing on them.
    And once she starts first grade, won't she be using a spelling book where she can look ahead at all the lists for the rest of the year any time she wants too?
     
  28. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

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    Feb 21, 2010

    I would just give it to her on friday also, if the goal of the homework is to help the students learn how to be better spellers, and the mom wants to help her do her work, learn how to spell, and generally seems proactive, then why not?
     
  29. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Not necessarily. I can't speak for all schools, but our reading series comes with a spelling work book. I know the middle grades use it (2-4) but I'm not sure about first grade. I think she has her year planned out around word families. I never used the spelling workbook in either 5th or 6th because I thought they were confusing. Some of the lists focused on as many as three different spellings of the same sound. Other lists didn't focus on any particular skill. Most of the words were ridiculously easy for my students anyway, so I started making my own lists about three years ago. I choose the words each week based on their needs, contenct vocabulary, and words with the roots/prefixes/suffixes we are studying.
     
  30. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS 7th grade ELA SDI in Texas

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    Apr 14, 2010

    I once asked a (2nd grade) teacher to do the same... send the words home on Friday. She had the same setup: pre-test on Monday with test on Friday. Challenge words substituted for words spelled correctly on Monday. Teacher said it would defeat the purpose of the pre-test. I was fine with that.

    I had the same issues as your mom seems to be having... even though my kids are only in one after-school activity at a time, I want them to play. Play. Play outside. Play with friends. Play. Not come home from school and do work.

    Every single class that assigns a week's worth (or several days' worth) of HW with the idea that the student spread their homework out over the week... doesn't happen. I wonder how many other families actually do it that way. We need the weekends for all the homework that is sent home. When we get a bunch of HW on a Monday and it's due on a Friday... guess what... we're doing it all on Thursday evening.

    This year, my 3rd grader gets all her assignments on Friday and they are due the following Thursday. I much prefer this b/c she does all her HW over the weekend.
     
  31. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

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    Apr 14, 2010

    It sounds from the mom that the problem is that the girl procrastinates and loses the list. For that reason I would email it on Monday. If she had said that maybe it is easier for her to work on it during the weekend that would be different but this is a responsibility problem.

    And I also agree that, especially in the younger grades, homework serves both an academic goal and also gets the students ready for more work in the future.
     

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