Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spelling Ideas Part 1

Most of you are probably days/weeks away from the school year finishing-SO EXCITED for you! Not because teaching isn't great, but come on-the renewal from the summer is so necessary. 

Schools over here go into July, but lucky for me I had a pre-arranged vacation to the States (Illinois to see family and Florida to a beach condo!) from late May to mid June before the school asked me to finish out the school year. Fortunately one of the weeks falls over a half term holiday here (1 week)...but still it's strange to get my cover plans together. CAN'T WAIT! 

So, in the thick of the BIG Year 6 play production rehearsals, honing in on my Year 5's English levels before they take their secondary exams in the fall, and trying to get back to the gym-it's a BUSY time once again!

I'm really excited to get through it all and enjoy next year a lot more (due to the organization and work I've put in this year). New jobs are exhausting, but rewarding right?

Among other things, currently I'm trying to make some gains in spelling for my struggling spellers. I've been reading this book,

and picked up a few valuable tips.

*Ask children why spelling is important. Many will say 'to pass a spelling test' or 'get a good grade' (yikes! Discussion quick!).

*When children have an audience for their writing, they have a reason for learning about spelling and for doing the best they can.

*It's helpful to look for patterns that emerge in the type of errors students make so you know what to focus your teaching on for individual needs.

*Spelling tests: competent spellers use many strategies to try unfamiliar words and to learn words. The emphasis needs to be on children's learning these strategies rather than getting a list of words to be learned by rote. 

Anyway, these are just a few wonderful reminders from the first 2 chapters. I'm excited about the possible changes I can propose to the staff next year as English Coordinator. 

Although spelling is a small component of English/Literacy, when there are big gaps or poor can become a BIG component that affects other areas-don't you think?

Can't wait to tell you about a resource I hope to use with second grade and up next year to support spelling and improve vocabulary!!  (Hint: Personal Dictionaries with a twist!)

I will leave you will this because I just LOVED it!!! Click on the picture!

Have a good one!



Tammy said...

Looks like a great book! I agree with everything you shared so far. (I just saw the clip of the guy singing at the gas station yesterday. Funny!)
❀ Tammy
Forever in First

Kim said...

I have that book and I love it! Spelling has kind of been abandoned in my District... which is why most of my kids mix up your/you're and write dosen't! (And they're 12!)

Love the singing couple video. Nothing like happy laughter on a Sunday morning!

AND: Thanks for being a sweet BloggyFriend too!

Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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Anonymous said...

Asking why spelling is important is a good way to find real interest past what basically amounts to, because I have to. I agree that rote learning is not nearly as effective as having proper learning strategies for spelling. That was some of the best gas station singing I have ever seen.

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TheBeezyTeacher said...

I just discovered your blog from your TpT store when I was buying a couple of your products and In coming here to read some of your posts I wanna say we have some things in common. I just started my blog in May and I have a lot to learn but am encouraged to follow yours and see what you went through! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one! Although I've only taught in Germany - I've not taught in the many places you have. However, I get to travel all over the world. I have lived here for over 25 years, now and in some ways I'm ready to go "home". Come on over and check me out and maybe chat across the pond!
My email is:

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