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 Post subject: Spelling Tests
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:25 pm
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Does anyone recognise a spelling test that gives DC a mark out of 20 and then for every three marks the get 1 point? It is, I believe, a diagnostic test to assess what level they are with their spelling.

I am meeting with the head of my son's school tonight because he has serious spelling problems that are not being addressed. I know he came bottom of the class in this test even though he his in the top set. Children who have been having SEN support scored significantly higher than him.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Sorry, not sure what this test is but you might like to consider the 'cued spelling' approach.
Its the only thing that has ever worked with any of my 3 children - they are all bright, high achievers with SLDs and awful spelling!
Lots of info if you google it.

Agree that issue needs to be addressed but take heart - my eldest two both got A* in GCSE English despite not being able to spell :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:40 pm 
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Location: Lincs
My daughter has awful spelling but sadly looking at the cued spelling approach it wouldn't work. She often can do her spellings before she has learnt them and certainly always knows them for a test ....but when it comes to spelling in her writing it descends into chaos...even the simplest words spelt wrong.
Practice obviously doesn't help and even whenshe checks her works she doesn't notice. :roll:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:04 pm 
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Sounds exactly like my three!
I think with cued spelling it improved his spelling within his work because the system focused on commonly used words that he couldn't spell. He then got into the habit of checking these particular words - not by looking at them as an overall pattern but by applying his 'cue' to each one.
It isnt a magic solution but it did help in a limited way, which nothing else has ever done & we have certainly tried a few different methods over the last 14 years :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:28 pm 
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Thanks for that KB but I am hoping that the school will finally do its job and give him the support he should have had two years ago when he started.

A friend who works with dyslexic pupils has recently given me the 'Spelling made easy' literature by Violet Brand. I recognised it as my son had started this scheme in his welsh language primary school when they were taught english in y3 as a second language.

The problem is he moved to an English school in y4 and hasn't done any formal spelling work since despite frequent requests by myself and my DH that he receive support.

I was assured at the autumn parents' evening that he would receive this support instead of unnecessary SATs inflation work and it hasn't happened.

I hoped if I could get some info on this test he sat it would help my case, forwarned is forarmed etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:35 pm 
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The cued spelling was used in one of the primary schools that one of my children attended.
Would seem that whatever the test was it is good evidence for your case :)
Even with dyslexic children, different systems work for different children so might be worth bearing cued spelling in mind as an option.
Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:28 am
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Location: Bexley
My daughter gets just 10 spellings every week. She is in the middle group.

Every week she doesn't learn them and every week she gets 10/10.

I have been saying for 2 1/2 years that she should move to the top group for a challenge. The teachers say that when she writes her spelling is poor so they won't move her.

I have a theory that as she doesn't LEARN her spellings - only has a quick glance at them before her test - that they don't stick. If she were to be given more challenging spellings that she did have to LEARN, they would not disappear from her memory so quickly.

Any thoughts on this??


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Hi Tracy, this is what I think...for what it's worth...

Clearly, you daughter CAN spell if she is able to get her spellings right without having to learn them (check that they don't get given time to learn them each day at school before the test though - some schools/teachers give these tasks out as fillers when work is finished or at the beginning of the day as a settling activity!)

Assuming she really does know how to spell them without any practise at all, it suggests to me that she DOES need to be challenged more.

Many children can do spellings as a discrete activity, but when required to write they have so many other things to remember that spellings can drop off the end.

Imagine that your daughter has been asked to write a story, she needs to think about the genre and what style she needs to write in, good sentence openers, interesting vocabulary, punctuation, layout - such as paragraphs, the audience she is writing for, a suitable beginning, middle and end etc etc

This could be the reason that her spelling does not match her actual ability. Or she may not realise that she always needs to spell the word correctly. My son (12.5) still says that he will spell properly in the final piece of work but he does not need to in the rough piece (!!)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Location: Bexley
Thanks Ed's Mum, that makes a lot of sense.
I do think that my daughter is lazy and simply can't be bothered to spell correctly afterall there is no comeback. If she were to produce a poor piece of work at home then she is made to do it again. That's not the case at school though so I think that they are making the problem worse.
Also, dd knows that if she gets all the spelling correct in her writing then she will be given the top group's spellings that she will have to LEARN. I really think that she is pulling the wool over the teacher's eyes. I'm fed up with telling them so![/quote]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 9:27 am
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Location: Buckinghamshire
Ed's mum wrote:

Imagine that your daughter has been asked to write a story, she needs to think about the genre and what style she needs to write in, good sentence openers, interesting vocabulary, punctuation, layout - such as paragraphs, the audience she is writing for, a suitable beginning, middle and end etc etc

At DS's school they are required to write a sentence for each of their spellings words to test their understanding rather than just learning them (or not) by rote. Some children really enjoy activity this and turn out stories including their words, at the other end of the scale are those who just do a short sentence. Either way they are improving their vocabulary rather than just learning a list of meaningless words.


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