My First Experience on the Importance of Spelling
The Importance of Spelling
There is already an e-mail that passes through my inbox on occasion that is one example of the importance of spelling. It's an e-mail where a younger student writes about his dad and the dad's experience hores. He means horses of course but it gets quite funny because when you think about what your experience with a horse would include...... Riding a hores is probably not something you want your son knowing let alone writing a paper about it!!
Well, this was my fist year teaching and my own experience that has led me to change the way I view spelling. It is important.... During my first year, I had heard about a strategy that would help my students solidify what they were learning, as well as inform parents. Those who have experience talking to children might relate to this...... "What did you do at school today?" responses might include, "Nothing," "I don't remember," "Stuff," and if you are lucky enough you might get, "Spelling," "Math," or even "Reading." Your next attempt at getting children to expand with be nothing more than the first response as you all well know.
As a teacher and a parent, my thought was, "This will take care of both of these problems." So, I put a journal in place and at the end of the day the students would write what they learned that day. (By the way....... It worked just as well as the conversation did, no matter how many times I demonstrated them how to expand and the thinking involved! LOL!)
About halfway through the year as I was responding to their responses to keep some accountability going. I was reading a student, one of the smartest in my 4th grade class by the way, who just happen to write something a little bit different. His parents signed his journal, no questions asked, but I am sure inside their minds they were chuckling at the implications.
He wrote, "Today I learned about studying my nuts for a testes." I kid you not, I just about fell out of my chair laughing my ass off. Wondering what must have been going through their minds as they read this. "What are they teaching my kid at school!!??!!" In case you weren't able to decipher this message, it is supposed to say, "Today I learned about studying my notes for a test."
And, no he did not do this intentionally. He was the sweetest, most innocent child in all the world. His dad was a big man who was a correctional officer at a prison, who held a degree in art. He was a no messing around kind of guy and if he was your father you would have been just as terrified of him as I would have been!!
No doubt after this I was very adamant about spelling. Besides, the kids love spelling. This is sometimes the only thing they do well with, unfortunate, but true. Probable because it is the only thing developmentally at most of their levels that is a basic thinking skill, most can do on their own. If you anything about child development then you know that.