Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Teach Spelling in First or Not?

Edit Posted by with 6 comments
Our school system teaches first graders to "stretch spell" (see http://mrshess.org/stretchspell.html for details).  This is supposed to lead children to use conventional spelling, however, I am not really seeing this transition with my students as quickly as when we simply taught conventional spelling.  I am wondering which method of teaching spelling your school uses and what are your thoughts on this subject?  We use a word wall, interact with it, have sight word practice nightly, and yet, my students continue to misspell sight words using the "stretch spelling" method they learned in Kindergarten.  I am anxious to hear your thoughts on this topic and see if you have any ideas for helping first graders become SUPER SPELLERS! :0)

6 comments:

  1. Check out Words Their Way! You'll LOVE it!

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    1. I just got Words Their Way but haven't had a chance to dig in, yet. It is on my shelf at school! I will bring it home and check it out on Monday. :0) Thanks!

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  2. My school has the same philosophy. We use inventive spelling (kid writing) and we teach the high frequency sight words and use Words Their Way for phonics instruction. However, even with all of this, their spelling is not great. I believe it is developmental, though, and the more they read and write, the better they will become at spelling conventionally. It gets better in second grade (which I also teach). The funny thing is, though, when my students misspell words and I bring it to their attention, they are always able to spell it correctly. They just get so used to spelling it phonetically.
    Great blog by the way! Please stop by my blog and check it out! Thanks!

    Lori
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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    1. Hi Lori!

      I just joined your blog (excellent- highly recommend anyone reading this to check it out). You make a great point when you say students can spell the words correctly when you ask them! The same thing happens in my room and I do feel they have just made phonetic spelling a habit. They are getting better now that they are approaching second grade but in the beginning of the year, spelling was not so pretty! Thanks for your valuable input! :0)

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  3. I tell my kids, "If you can say it, you can write it." On the other hand, we use our word wall and individual spelling lists too. I do believe Lori is right though. The more they read and write, the better they will spell. Good question!

    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

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  4. My second grade team uses a three-pronged approach: the Fountas and Pinnell phonics lessons for our grade level, Words Their Way word sorts in small groups to move students through the stages of spelling, and individual high frequency words so that students are practicing words they actually need to practice. It works really well. We have seen improvements not only in spelling but also in the knowledge of spelling patterns and how they work. There has been much more improvement than ever before. And they have the F&P phonics lessons and WTW sorts for the 1st grade level. It's a lot of work but totally worth it.

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