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 Post subject: Homework for 5 year olds
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:41 am 
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I'm sorry I don't know where to post this so please feel free to move it, but I'm feeling very grouchy. My DD has just started in Year 1 and was given a set of spellings to learn on Wednesday. Someone else took her book bag home by accident on Wednesday night so we didn't even see these until Thursday morning when we went to school. On Thursday night she produced her spelling book which contained a completely different list of 13 spellings. When I spoke to the teacher- new and on a temporary contract Isuspect wanting to make her mark- she said my DD had been tested on sets 1 and 2 that day and only got three wrong so they'd given her the next list plus those she'd got wrong. I don't actually agree with homework for that age group at all anyway (we also have a maths sheet), but is it just me who thinks asking a 5 year old to learn 13 spellings is excessive? The funny thing is DD is actually the sort of child who loves learning and would sit and write sentences herself or work through a maths book in the car on holiday, but I was worried that she came home and said it's just learn, learn, learn. There seems to be a huge transition from Reception to Year 1. I certainly don't want my enthusiastic, sparky DD being turned off at this early stage and can see no benefit t oher whatsoever in rushing through these.
I'd be very interested to know what any primary school teachers think (where are you Yoyo :lol: ) as well as other parents.
I asked the teacher about it this morning she said is that OK? I didn't want to say no, but thinking about it I think we'll just do a few. It's not even as if they're phonetic, it's more 'said' 'was' etc 13 of them!! OK, am I overreacting?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:06 am 
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It sounds like these are the high frequency words. "said" is one of the words they are supposed to learn in reception.

The list is here and not too excessive. http://www.hgfl.org/hgfl/custom/resourc ... _words.pdf

Hope that helps. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:12 am 
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:lol: So the one's she got wrong were the ones she was actually supposed to know already !! Thanks Mitasol, I've got the list (although obviously hadn't scrutinised it enough!), but I guess what I'm saying is that I see no benefit in asking a five year old to learn 13 spellings in their first week in Year 1. (Or their second for that matter. :lol: )


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:41 am 
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In year 1 the children start to write sentences on their own and will be using these high frequency words a lot if they learn to spell them in a "test" situation and then are using them constantly then they will remember how to spell them. I am personally not a fan of spelling tests my DD always gets full marks in the tests but when she is doing normal writing she will invariably spell the same words wrong that she got right in the tests I think the only way to learn to spell words correctly is to see them in context and use them in creative writing.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:09 am 
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All of mine found it a big shock having to work more in year1 , especially as they shared a classroom with the reception class and could only stare lovingly at the playdough , whilst they had to do their sums. I had the same response as you, if I queried any work given, the teacher would just say, well is that ok ? and I would squeak Yes! If your DD doesn't mind the work then at least they sound like useful spellings rather then some word they aren't likely to use until at secondary.I used to buy those fun Well done stickers from Smiths and stick them all over my DC spelling/ reading records. oh, and a few choccie buttons ( for me) The thing is if you don't do the spellings, will everyone else ? My boys in particular couldn't spell for toffee until year 4/5 when it suddenly all clicked overnight , so does it matter ? I don't know...I'm not a teacher.It's hard isn't it .Maybe just see how your DD gets on.I have to say my Dc school seems hot on spellings this term. DS2 told me this morning he has a test today and as I went back to sleep until 8.20 ( having trouble adjusting to getting up early for DS1) I did sound a bit like a fishwife earlier. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:33 am 
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I think 13 words is far too many for that aged child. The important thing is that they can retain the words. With 13 words a child may be able to remember them for a test the next day but I would bet they would be forgotten by the next week.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:45 am 
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scarlett wrote:
The thing is if you don't do the spellings, will everyone else ? My boys in particular couldn't spell for toffee until year 4/5 when it suddenly all clicked overnight , so does it matter ? I don't know...


Thanks Scarlett. TBH I'm not sure I care whether the others do it. At the moment I'm aiming to cover some of them, but I'm not happy to make her learn 13. The thing is all of the pupils have their own individual lists and my DD's ahead anyway (although now having minor panic that she doesn't know 'said' and 'was' although she can easily read them :lol: ) She'd been given one list of 5 or 6 which most of the others appear to have then had it replaced with this.
DD's the kind of child who loves writing, already writes in full sentences, and will make up her own stories in the car, constantly asking how to spell words correctly. I simply don't think it's appropriate or of any benefit to her to push her though them so quickly.

scarlett wrote:
I'm not a teacher.It's hard isn't it .


I am -was- an English teacher. :D


Thanks DenDe. I agree totally. I'd far sooner she learnt them properly and retained them for use in her writing. Absolutely Guest55. I still remember DS doing brilliantly in his spelling tests and making careless errors in his written work.

PS I've just looked at the spelling list and realised she has 2 whole years to learn 170 or so words!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:10 am 
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The spelling thing in KS1 is undoubtedly weird. My son (now in Yr 3) brought home anything between 6 and 16 spellings, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, and often somewhere in between. Very quickly I saw the same words coming back again and again - even if he had got them right in previous tests. In the end I stopped worrying. If we had time, and he was in the mood, he learned them and if not, no one at home or school minded if he got them wrong. I think it's a different mindset from when we were at school and there was a weekly test and the 'good' children with 'good' parents all got 10/10.

DD always got 10/10 on every spelling test throughout primary school but she still can't spell when she's writing generally. I was exactly the same at that age. Not sure that spelling tests actually work.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:16 pm 
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Having spent the day stressing about this in a low level kind of way I just had to post this quick update. DD was in the car going to collect her brother from the busstop and she asked me for some spellings which she often does, but I thought instead of basic phonetic ones she could spell I'd ask a few from her list (that she hasn't learnt yet). 'said' 'was' 'like' 'you' 'he' 'they' 'that' 'hot dog' (OK that wasn't on the list!) were just a few that we covered and which she got right first time. :lol: Maybe I should just chillax as DS would say. :oops:


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:09 pm 
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Location: East Kent
google "letters and sounds" tricky words..they do a few each day and at that age it really sticks..why are they "tricky"..

I hae recently started working with reception ( I'm Junior trained) and am amazed at how they pick up spelling and writing with the letters and sounds approach. As much as it pains me to say it is an "initiative" I approve of!


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