Spelling question

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by brians34, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. brians34

    brians34 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 16, 2008

    I'm sorry that I've barged into this forum, but I don't know where a better place to get my questions answered than in a forum full of first grade teachers.:confused:


    Anyway, I am the parent of a first grader. He just started a few weeks ago, but he is already having spelling tests. I'm 44 and I don't remember having spelling tests in school until about 3rd grade or so. Some of the words are a little complex for a 6 year old, at least in my mind. Last weeks spelling words, most were easy 14 words each week, hat, cat, van, but "give" and "likes" with the silent letters seems to me a little hard for 1st grade. This week the hard words are (in my opinion) quack, what, they, and your.

    Whatever happened to the Dick and Jane books? See Dick run, see Jane run, see Spot run.

    We got the carry home book of "The Eensey Weensey Spider". He could sing the song, but read the words?

    How do I teach my 6 year old how to spell "what"? Sounds like it ought to be spelled "whot". "They" sounds like "Tha", I mean why not.

    To me, it seems to be trying a little too hard to try and get them to learn too fast. I think we need to get back to the Dick and Jane books and let the younguns learn a little about being able to read a few words and put sentences together first and learning how to sound out simple words. What's the hurry, he has 12 years. Just a little "thot".

    Please give me a little insight as to how I might be able to help my child learn to spell these words such as quack, what, they, and your. You know that (being 1st grade teachers), it's next to impossible to try and force a 6 year old to "memorize". So if he can't sound it out to spell it, then what?

    Why are these words being taught at such an early age?

    Brian
     
  2.  
  3. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    1,897
    Likes Received:
    27

    Sep 16, 2008

    In our previous series, we did not get spelling words until week 7 of school. With our new series, we had spelling words in week 3. There are some words that we just have to know how to spell what being one of them. Maybe break it in 2 parts for your child wh-at. Now for the word they, some may criticize me, but when we have this word I let my children know if they can spell the, they can they because we just need to put the y at the end. It is just my way to help them because most would put ay and not ey.

    Now to answer the question about why things have change since we were in school. I am 43 and also grew up on Dick and Jane. As teachers, we are guided by a curriculum that has been outlined for us by our states. Each state follow guidelines set out by US Dept. of Education. Last year I had a parent who constantly complained to me because she thouught what we were learning was too much for first graders to learn. My answer to her was that I am required by my district to teach these things. I also let her know for the most parts, my students were comprehending the things that we are being taught. There are few that struggle with the things they are learning.

    Just a side note, last night I was sharing with my husband our robust vocabulary words for our current story. These words are distance, form, bothered, attention, supportive, and perform. He was like, that's first grade vocabulary; I explained that it is called robust vocabulary and his response was that is VERY robust.

    I hope that I help you a little, but I will say that your child will be fine.
     
  4. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    583
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 16, 2008

    I think your child will be fine too! My children had similiar words in first grade. My children loved those little books the teachers sent home. Especially when they were in kinder because they knew the words so they felt like they could read. But they both could read the itsy bitsy spider in first grade with no problems.
    Spelling in English is crazy! Do you know that in some languages they don't have spelling bees? They don't have the problems with all the silent letters, and f and ph etc. that we have. Think about words like October and octopus that actually start with an A sound. There is just a lot of memorizing and practicing involved with spelling in English, but the kids have to start somewhere! :)
     
  5. Carebear05

    Carebear05 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 16, 2008


    True. Each state has certain standards they must go by. When you were in school, teachers mostly had the choice of what to teach, today we have a curriculum set for us. And there are some words that kids do just have to learn and memorize how to spell. The English language is screwy anyway, but as teachers we cant really help or change that so it is up to the student to learn it the best way he/she can. You have to realize that today's students are learning way more than what people learned years ago. I'm only 25 and I know that they learn more than I did in certain grades.
     
  6. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 17, 2008

    I agree with the other teachers, today's standards are much more difficult than before. Most teachers would tell you that they don't like it, but they have no choice.

    In First grade, it is important for kids to feel like readers before they become one. Also, hearing language spoken and seeing reading modeled by an adult is crucial. Sending books home, such as The Eensy Weensy Spider , allows your child to feel like a reader because they already know the words (which builds confidence). When you read it to him, you show him that you value reading and model what it should look like.
     
  7. swtteacher

    swtteacher Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 17, 2008

    Your child's words sound very much like the words I give my students. However, I only give 10 words. Usually I give about 6 words that follow our phonics pattern (-at, -ab, -an) and then 4 of our high frequency (sight) words. The reason these more difficult words are given (such as what, they, your) is that they are used often in writing. It's important for students to be able to write these words correctly so they don't have to sound out words as much. Learning English DOES require a lot of memorization. That's what sight words are--there's no way to correctly sound out a word such as "said". It must be recognized on sight. The same things goes for spelling!
     
  8. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,729
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 17, 2008

    I have some spelling games on my website (click the signature) and they are for memorizing those words that don't make sense. They are totally brain-based and are fun.

    As for me, I don't believe in spelling tests for first graders. We practice the words in class and do chants, singing, and writing, stamping and so forth with them.

    My words for the first two weeks of school:

    have
    my
    from
    dear (we did letter writing)
    like

    friend
    the
    was
    is
    to

    Am I being too easy??? I follow Month by Month Phonics.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. Backroads,
  2. waterfall,
  3. Linguist92021,
  4. YoungTeacherGuy
Total: 309 (members: 9, guests: 286, robots: 14)
test