SPELLING EVENING AIMS To consider how our current spelling system has evolved To explain how we are teaching spelling at Fordingbridge Junior School To give some ideas of how you can help your child with spelling at home Outline of session 1) The current state of spelling – has it changed? 2) A brief history of spelling 3) What makes a good speller and how can we can promote and develop good spellers 4) Our new approaches to teaching spelling at Fordingbridge Junior School 5) Marking and Testing 6) How can you help your child become a better speller 7) Final thoughts “My spelling is wobbly. It’s good spelling, but it wobbles, and letters get in the wrong place.” Winnie the Pooh Good spelling instruction must give you the power to spell words you have never seen before Was Spelling Better In the Old Days? “Pupils are turned loose on society to shock it with their bad spelling, and disgrace the schools which they attended and in which they should have been taught.” Spelling Textbook 1881 A Brief History of Spelling What makes a good speller? Forget the idea that spelling is about memorizing words – there are too many! Good reader doesn’t necessarily mean good speller Good spelling is about word construction/ how words work Children should not be afraid of making spelling errors – kiss of death to writing A spelling test is not a learning experience Children need lots of opportunities to write for real audiences Children need to know words are interesting Children need to know about spelling’s place in the writing process The learning should be based on the pattern not the list of words Children need to understand word parts e.g. prefixes, root words, suffixes and how to build up words – teach chunking Good spelling instruction must give you the power to spell words you have never seen before The 3 part lesson 1) 2) 3) Collect lots of words which contain a certain spelling pattern Sort the words into groups What have you discovered Ideas for Creating Better Spellers Play the odds – the Las Vegas Rules Put words with the same patterns together Good spellers can generalise a pattern, poor spellers cannot spot or generalise a pattern – therefore raise awareness of the patterns, teach them to spot/describe patterns Teach proof-reading Teach dictionary use Let children play with, construct, sort, deconstruct words Marking Spelling Testing Ask them to learn the pattern not the list of words (except for exceptions) Get them to teach the rule to someone else for homework Mark for the rule/pattern in tests How you can help your child at home Believe that your child can become a good speller Read regularly at home Take notice of environmental print at every opportunity Have fun with spelling e.g. playing games, making up limericks and riddles Give children real audiences for writing Do homework together Praise adventurous misspelt words Have a dictionary at home to use where appropriate Make sure children proof-read their written work Talk about words as much as possible Final Thoughts Once you brain has been stretched by a new idea it will never go back to the same shape – memorising doesn’t do this. Once you have forgotten everything you memorised in school what stays with you is your education Where next? How will this workshop change what you do at home with your child?