Spelling Successes

If you ever wonder why kids struggle so much with spelling, take a look at this poem.

There are five students to whom I give modified spelling lists. Today was the first test for three of my second graders. I've designed this system where, for every perfect spelling test (one error is permitted because I'm too nice), they get to move their little paper person up one rung of a construction paper ladder. The whole set-up is on my bulletin board titled "stepping up". I've told the kids that there will be some sort of surprise or celebration once they reach the top of their ladders (each one has five rungs).

All three kiddos were SO excited to take their tests today. And (FORTUNATELY) they all passed with flying colors. Their excitement was evident as they moved their person up their ladder: they were clapping, jumping up and down, and generally beaming!

If you're wondering why I consider this a big enough deal to share with the internet, it's because, for all three of these kids, school is generally too difficult, too frustrating, and generally overwhelming. Today, they were able to experience a real sense of success and accomplishment; and, because of it, I now feel the same way!! [Insert clapping, jumping up and down, and beaming!!]


Anonymous said...

Very cool! Don't you wish your French teachers had taught you your dictées that way! Mom

Anonymous said...

Yeaaaaaaaaaaaa! dad

Anonymous said...

You should send this to every teacher in this school.. I read very well, spell great and was frustrated after a few sentences. This would show the frustration of reading, comprehension, and spelling! Not to mention the amount of work needed to concentrate to read it. Exceptional! I will save and send on to all to show how hard school can really be!


Anonymous said...

Sharing in your beaming and smiling! Not so much the jumping...just got back from a bike ride--too tired!

John Wills Lloyd said...

Hooray for the success. How's it going now? What's the modified spelling list?

I liked ascertaining which preliminary skills students had mastered and then, built my instruction from that point up for each.

Can the kids write individual sounds from dictation?
Can they write common syllable patters (e.g., *at) from dictation?
Can they write conditional spellings (e.g., vowel conversions such as rob-robe) from dictation?

Then there's the morphographs that Engelmann and Dixon....



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