Spelling Curriculum

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by stampin'teacher, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Nov 2, 2011

    In a parent conference, one parent who has a highly academic child wanted to find some way to challenge her child in spelling. I use scholastic spelling, and try to incorporate as much as I can into writing etc.

    I have several parents that like the curriculum we use, and explained how helpful it's been to their child. Well, this other parent asked me bluntly, "Why is your spelling program so lousy." In my head, I answered "wow, now I know why you child lacks tact!":mad:

    Anyway, I explained the purpose of our spelling, and how it's been well received this year, but that I understood her child could handle more of a challenge.

    Does anyone have any tips on how I can challenge this child with the spelling words without bogging him down with more work? I told her the last thing I wanted to do to her son was to "grant" him more work because he's a bright student (plus he is completely unmotivated to DO work).

    She said he will randomly look up word origins of words he finds interesting...maybe something along those lines?
     
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  3. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Ugh - in a bad mood so disregard my answer...

    Tell her to do her own spelling program at home if she doesn't like yours.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 2, 2011

    Incorporate some challenge words of the student's choice into his list each week.
     
  5. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    HA!

    The only downside to that at my school...she would bring it in and want me to teach it to everyone!!!! People seem to know everything about subjects they didn't go to school for...
     
  6. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    First, I have to say that parent was very rude and incorrect to call your spelling program "lousy". I do think that making spelling more challengng for her daughter is something that you could do that might not take much time. I do this for 5 of my very high students. I use edhelper.com and go a grade higher. The parents love that their children are being challenged, and I have to say I think it is good that they are learning new words as well.

    Your spelling program sounds good. You could still have these higher students do parts of the program if you feel it would help them.
     
  7. Rich Games

    Rich Games Rookie

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    I like the idea of looking up the origin of words, I'm interested in that myself. It might be worth getting him to do it in the classroom and have him explain it to the other students.
     
  8. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    Good idea to have him find the orgin of words and share---if he's willing to take on that extra piece.

    I was debating on getting the next grade level's spelling words for two of my students in the TAG program---both are at 7th and 8th grade reading/math and 99% in IQ testing. I teach 3rd grade. After reading your post I think I need to check into it more and see if I can make accomodations on their list just as I would have to do with students on IEPs or 504s. Thanks!

    And for the parent, I commend you on your tactful response to her. I'm sure she meant in every way possible to come across that she was concerned for her child's learning. I hope that I have a better word for the curriculum and teaching style that my daughter's math teacher is using when I go in to meet with her today, because at this point, lousy seems to be the best adjective. :)
     
  9. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Thanks everyone! My struggle is that this student is NOT motivated to go above and beyond. He is one of those that, when actually faced with a challenge, completely shuts down. Many abilities come naturally to him, so he doesn't have to work at anything.

    Maybe one task for him in addition to the spelling would be to find the origins of the spelling words, noting which words have a similar origin, etc. Maybe it's an ongoing list/categorization for each week's words?

    This parent is on my list of parents I refer to as "the usual suspects" due to her lovely tact, sensitivity, and poise. :D
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I agree with someone about do more challenge words that are along the same lines you are doing.

    I hate to say it, but as a 4th grade student I would hate to have to look up orgins...it sounds more like busy work. I would rather have more words that were close to what I am doing already.
     
  11. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    That was exactly my dilemma when I spoke to the mom! How awful is it to reward a smart child with more work??

    I suggest this because she told me her son typically DOES this on his own. He will find interesting words and look up their usage and origin. While I am skeptical it will work, I'm willing to give it a try. The problem, however, is he is not motivated to go above and beyond, and no matter what I give him, interesting or not, I'm pretty sure he'll just see it as more work.
     
  12. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    Also...is it just me, or is Spelling a strange subject to want your child to be challenged more in? She spoke highly of our science projects, reading curriculum, writing curriculum, and math program...
     
  13. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 3, 2011

    http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/spelling-level-d.html

    I don't know if there are any of your words... but there might be something fun and learning new words here as well.

    I see what your dilemma as well... I don't mind doing school work, but it's not fun if it feels like the teacher is just making me do work to keep busy, but if he likes looking up words more power to him.
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Can you find a way to give him more challenging words that match the same topics your other students are covering? I switched over to individualized lists last year, and absolutely love it. I give a leveled pretest (students are divided into 3 groups). Any words they miss go on their list, and then they choose the rest of their words from a list at their level or slightly higher. It only took me about 10 minutes a week last year to make the new lists. Then, all the activities we do are open-ended (word sorts, writing them in sentences, etc.) For example, this week we were doing long a words. Some students had 'pain' on their lists, some had 'afraid', and some had 'campaign'.
     
  15. Danny'sNanny

    Danny'sNanny Connoisseur

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    Nov 3, 2011

    I give a set list of 6, 5 bonus words (review, adding prefix/suffix, rhyming, etc)

    Their final words are "choice" words - words they are curious about, have asked me to spell that week, or we've worked on while editing their writing.

    The choice part of the list is usually enough to satisfy parents who want more of a challenge.
     
  16. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    If he already knows the list of spelling words, then he doesn't have to study spelling words while others have to. By giving him "additional work", you really are just leveling the playing field so they all can have some challange and potential to learn something. This child might be lazy because he can get A's and not have to study. Breaking this cycle would be a good thing.
     
  17. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2011

    I have a list of the 100 most commonly misspelled words. Students can choose to add two of these words to their weekly spelling list. My spelling is individualized, so my students that are good spellers and pay attention to their spelling when writing, take many of their spelling words from this list.
     
  18. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 12, 2011

    I use a website (google Buzzword) from Mirriam Webster. It has a word of the day + a simple multiple choice question that discusses the origin of the word. I don't know if that's something you can use but there are other parts of the site that may be useful.
     

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