Should first graders in their third week of classes be expected to formulate five letter sentences?
My wife and I are at odds over our son being capable of formulating and writing five word sentences with correct grammar and punctuation. She is upset that our son has received a poor grade on his first graded vocabulary test in which the students are expected to write five word sentences on their own using a specified word. She also believes that this skill is beyond our sons capability at this point in time, she feels that this testing is not something that children in the third week of first grade should be doing for a grade. I disagree, I think he is capable he just needs more practice.
My initial and impulsive response is to say "HELL NO", but than I thought about it and I had your reaction when my son was in Kindergarten (he is 13 now) and to pass and be promoted to first grade he had to do that for two paragraphs and had to score a 3,4, or a 5 on it. If he had gotten a 1 or a 2 he would have had to repeat Kindergarten. He is the only child i have had out of four who has had to do that. I have to say, he is the one that has had no trouble with reading and writing.
In dinosaur days we didn't read in Kindergarten but learned in first grade. Things have changed with the strong advocation of preschool for kids. Kids usually know how to read by the time they enter first grade now.
I don't think it is beyond a first graders capability. Think of 1st grade readers: See Spot run. Etc. Correct punctuation might be a bit much.
So with practice, I believe he can do it but he should be reading to you every night and help him practice writing. Make it fun.
I would also contact the teacher and the principal and have a talk with him or her about the 1st grade curriculum and see what will be expected and you can stay ahead of it with help at home.
Quite simply, not with perfect spelling and punctuation. Part of learning to write in first grade is some reliance on invented spelling. Now he can co-write things and that will be fine. Certain types of phonetic sounds will be able to be done while others will be missed. Don't rope in an early writer by only letting he or she write the 10 phonetic sounds that they can hear and reproduce on paper correctly. Research shows that children write more fluently over time and enjoy writing more if they are allowed to just express themselves!
To learn about the stages of phonetic and language development check out Words Their Way - Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction or Teaching Phonics in Context. I used both of these in my phonics literacy class for my teaching licensure last year. They will go over the stages of spelling and what is reasonable. I would expect both to be at the library or you can grab them at Amazon in the used form fairly inexpensively.
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