Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Spelling Debate

Do you have the spelling debate at your school? I have had it several times in my teaching career. "Does spelling help the students?" "Which words should we use?" "Spelling is statistically the most supported by parents." Etc....  At my current school we have done different lists and different programs and finally decided to compile our own lists based on phonics, high frequency words and content words. It was effective last year and we plan on doing it again this year. I really question the spelling debate so I thought I would do some research. Does spelling matter in a digital age with auto correct? Does it help our students?

Here is what I have found:

Spelling Matters This article makes the argument that spelling does matter in your day to day. Writing I totally agree with this point.

No Friday Spelling Test This article is a suggestion of what a teacher does instead of a weekly spelling test. I agree with the points made as well. If the students are only memorizing words for the test there is not a benefit. The spelling ability needs to be able to carry over into their writing.

Why Learning Spelling is Important This article was one of the few that I could find that makes the case for spelling tests. I think there are several good points here as well.

I feel like I am back to square one on the debate after reading all of these articles. I still plan to give spelling. I do Friday homework packets so they have the weekend (if they want it) to practice and I try to make the spelling homework  and class work meaningful and fun. I also think compiling lists that are words that used in day to day teaching are valuable.

Weigh in! What do you think about spelling? How do you handle it in your school?

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