Saturday, April 6, 2013

Saturday Sayings: Wrong but Good



When I confer with a child about their writing, misspellings typically don't stick out like a sore thumb.  They pretty much go unnoticed, and it's the content that grabs my attention.  I certainly don't ignore spelling though.  My spelling program is individualized, and each child's words come from their writing.  Thus, I do spend time looking specifically at spelling when I'm not conferring.  Most assuredly, I can always find a menagerie of good but incorrect words in their writing.  Instead of being aggravated by misspellings, they can be something to rejoice over.  (Okay, so there are a few that can get under my skin at this time of the year: wus, uv, thay.)  :)

Misspelled words can be proof of a shift in a child's learning.  When my emergent writer, who's lucky to hear and write any sounds in words, writes "lic" for "like" I'm going to rejoice.  That's some good spelling for that little person.  When a writer starts to realize that there are long vowel patterns in words and writes "fete" for "feet" I'm going to rejoice.  It's incorrect, but it's good. Of course, not every misspelling is a good thing.  My advanced writers and readers had better not be spelling "lic" or "fete" but they too have some great misspellings in their writing.  It comes down to knowing the writer, where they came from, where they're at, where they're going next, and then being able to recognize the good in their misspellings.   

(Look here if you're interested in reading about how individualized spelling looks in my room.)


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18 comments:

  1. I have wanted to switch my spelling to be more individualized. Next year I think I'll take the plunge. I love being able to observe over time how a child's knowledge of letter patterns and sounds shows up in their writing. First grade is full of delights!
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny, good luck with the big switch. Keep me posted on how it goes next year. I think you'll enjoy it.

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  2. I love spelling for kids this way, and so do my parents. But you're right thay drives me bonckurs! lol
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, there is no a in they, kids! :)

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  3. Even in AP spelling never takes precedence over content. We do a lot of timed, in-class writing (which is what they'll have to do on the AP exam), and basically spelling has no standing in their grade (and yes, AP students do misspell words). Of course when we do formal writing (senior research paper), they do lose points for spelling, but it's still not nearly as important as their content.

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    1. Laur, sounds like content trumps spelling no matter the grade, eh?

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  4. I LOVE the idea of individualized spelling! I had a Kindie write me a note about "crctr" (character) this week and I proudly hung it on my door.

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    1. Barbara, "crctr" is definitely something to rejoice over!

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  5. With 26 firsties, individualized lists can prove to be a week long nail-biter! But I currently am working on a tiered system including three lists.... Your way is my ultimate goal!
    Julie

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    1. Julie, this is a great point. Individualized lists do take more time, which is one reason why I'm only up for changing lists every two weeks. :)

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  6. Tammy, I went back and read your earlier post. Is this your whole spelling program? D the kids always have their notebooks beside them when they write?
    Thanks!
    Barbara
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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    1. Barb, thanks for the questions! I'll email you. :)

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  7. Love your way of doing spelling! A child's spelling tells us so much about where they are at with their reading and writing and helps us to know what to move forward on when teaching them. You know your students well! :)
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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    1. Lori, their spelling is definitely like a mirror, and we sure do need to use it wisely in order to move our kids further! Thanks for always supporting my little blog.

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  8. I love this way of individualized spelling. It is more work but so much more meaningful. You really know your kids!
    LiteracyMinute

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    1. Sandi, you're very right. It's more work than pulling out a spelling list from a teacher's manual. You are right as well that it's more meaningful. :)

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  9. Tammy,
    As always, I am in awe of the time and thought that you put into your classroom. As a horrible speller (and the parent of horrible spellers) I love the idea of individualized lists that are meaningful and appropriate for each child. I'm so thankful that you blog about your ideas and programs so that we can both copy and be inspired by you. Thank you!
    Lyn
    Mrs. Goff's Pre-K Tales

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    1. Lyn, your comment really does mean a lot. Even though I've never met you, I hold you in the highest regard so your opinion matters. Thank you for such kind words.

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