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My son is in 1st grade and recently qualified for the highly gifted program, which won't start for him until next year. His current teacher has been trying to "beef up" the program for him and a few other kids, but just doesn't really "get it".<br><br>
Anyway, so spelling tests have started. Every week there is the list for the whole class of ten words (common sight words), and another list of five killer words for my son and some of the other kids. Every week the list seems more and more inappropriate, and the teacher is not following any of the "best practices" for spelling instruction (I am a teacher). But I feel like I have already butted in a lot, and now I am taking my son out of the school anyway.<br><br>
This week, the regular list is did, down, people, way, only, may, use, water, find, little. The extra list is homesick, blueberries, hospital, grandchildren, dishtowels.<br><br>
Our choice is to spend a lot of time studying these words each week, or have him miss a lot on the test. Last week he missed four, and he crossed out the score given to him (out of frustration?).<br><br>
He is a good speller, and I would hate to have him think that he is a "bad speller" because of these tests. He doesn't want to stop doing the extra list, because all his friends do it.<br><br>
Should I let this go? There are only 5 more spelling tests to go for the year. Has anyone else had experiences like this?<br><br>
L.
 

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Could you tell the teacher "thanks but no thanks"--your son will just do the regular spelling list? It seems as if it would be better to have him do the regular stuff for the rest of the year as opposed to a badly done "gifted" add-on.
 

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According to Merriam Webster, "dishtowel" isn't even a word. Nice. I agree with what the pp said; maybe just nix the extra list and have him do the regular words instead. And have a talk with the teacher about checking the dictionary to make sure she's assigning actual words.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leatherette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8123275"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My son is in 1st grade and recently qualified for the highly gifted program, which won't start for him until next year. His current teacher has been trying to "beef up" the program for him and a few other kids, but just doesn't really "get it".<br><br>
Anyway, so spelling tests have started. Every week there is the list for the whole class of ten words (common sight words), and another list of five killer words for my son and some of the other kids. Every week the list seems more and more inappropriate, and the teacher is not following any of the "best practices" for spelling instruction (I am a teacher). But I feel like I have already butted in a lot, and now I am taking my son out of the school anyway.<br><br>
This week, the regular list is did, down, people, way, only, may, use, water, find, little. The extra list is homesick, blueberries, hospital, grandchildren, dishtowels.<br><br>
Our choice is to spend a lot of time studying these words each week, or have him miss a lot on the test. Last week he missed four, and he crossed out the score given to him (out of frustration?).<br><br>
He is a good speller, and I would hate to have him think that he is a "bad speller" because of these tests. He doesn't want to stop doing the extra list, because all his friends do it.<br><br>
Should I let this go? There are only 5 more spelling tests to go for the year. Has anyone else had experiences like this?<br><br>
L.</div>
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Um, I'm not really seeing what your issue is here.<br><br>
Are these words too <i>hard</i>? Sorry, but it's been a long day here and I'm not getting it. At first, I thought your post was about how the teacher wasn't really "getting it" in the sense of not providing enough challenge for students -- a common enough problem especially in the primary grades.<br><br>
Does she not understand that just because someone is gifted in (for example) math that this doesn't mean they're also gifted in spelling? I'm not sure what you expect the teacher to do, though (besides looking up "dish towel," because ITA that it's two words, not one) -- she is clearly trying to give more challenging words, not just stuff from the Dolch list.
 

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Dishtowel can be written as one word... so says dictionary.com. I woldn't, but apparently it's an option. And the words seem to be following a theme - except for hospital, they're all compound words. They're not really that difficult, if you learn them that way - "homesick" is home+sick, "grandchildren" is grand+children...and hospital is pretty much just as it sounds... most kids I know actually struggle more with "people" (on the regular list) than any of the "Challenge" words.<br><br>
It would seem to me that the Challenge words would be for kids who are getting nearly all of the regular words correct without needing to study... that's how I've always seen it done. if your son isn't, I don't think giving him more words is appropriate. Actually, spelling tests really don't have an impact of eventual spelling proficiency anyway, but that's another subject...<br><br>
dar
 

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I will preface this with the understanding that I can't teach ds anything - he learns on his own - if he wants to and when he wants to.<br><br>
If it were me, I'd allow your ds to continue taking the tests. I would make sure that he understands that these are extra credit words and if he wants to challenge himself to get them right, he might need to do a little extra work. It's up to him.<br><br>
Part of the reason that I say this is that I've read numerous posts with gifted kids getting upset when things don't come easy to them. He's in first grade and this is a GREAT time for him to learn that he doesn't have to get every single thing correct, but he might need to work a little harder in areas that don't come easily to him. Maybe he can choose one or two words on the extra list to focus on each week and see if he can master those. Ask him if he *wants* help or if he'd like to study them his way. I would focus on the "effort" and not necessarily the results.<br><br>
My personal feeling is that if you allow him to opt out, it might give him the impression that he can opt out whenever he wants, like when things get tough.
 

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I am not and never have been a teacher, so I don't know what the "best practices" are, but here's my .02 anyway.<br><br>
When I saw the list of challenge words, my thought was, "Here's some words that will help a child move into more challenging/interesting reading material." As Dar said, they are all common words, and I think the likelihood of your son encountering them in reading material is fairly high.<br><br>
I don't really understand why you think they are inappropriate, but if you plan to take your son out of school, and the challenge words are negatively affecting your son, then I'd let him opt out for the rest of the year. If he insists on continuing to take the challenge test, make sure you explain to him that it's going to require extra work.<br><br>
dm
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>JanB</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8123617"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">According to Merriam Webster, "dishtowel" isn't even a word. Nice. I agree with what the pp said; maybe just nix the extra list and have him do the regular words instead. And have a talk with the teacher about checking the dictionary to make sure she's assigning actual words.</div>
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Being a mom of a now 6th grade GC, this type of comment will alienated the teacher. Those words aren't terribly difficult, they are mostly words that can be separated into two separate words. If he is frustrated, then certainly, eliminate any frustration. This will only cause problems not solutions.
 

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I guess my issue is that there is such a jump between the two lists, with no instruction in the concepts, like compound words, dropping a y and adding<br>
-ies, just testing. My son can read all of these words, but there is a difference between decoding a word and encoding a word, and being gifted does not necessarily take a 6 year old to the level of encoding 12 letter words with no instruction. And a 15 word spelling list is not developmentally appropriate.<br><br>
I want my son to be challenged, for sure, but I want teachers to remember that he is a six year old. The spelling itself is only symptomatic of the way half-assed developmentally inappropriate stuff was thrown at my son when he was labelled gifted. I know that the teacher is trying to challenge him, and I appreciate what he is doing on one level. I am frustrated that the differentiation comes down to spelling words and that my son is alternately really bored and then getting a "bad grade".<br><br>
But it is just 5 more weeks and my son says he wants to keep the extra list.<br><br>
L.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LauraLoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8124852"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I will preface this with the understanding that I can't teach ds anything - he learns on his own - if he wants to and when he wants to.<br><br>
If it were me, I'd allow your ds to continue taking the tests. I would make sure that he understands that these are extra credit words and if he wants to challenge himself to get them right, he might need to do a little extra work. It's up to him.<br><br>
Part of the reason that I say this is that I've read numerous posts with gifted kids getting upset when things don't come easy to them. He's in first grade and this is a GREAT time for him to learn that he doesn't have to get every single thing correct, but he might need to work a little harder in areas that don't come easily to him. Maybe he can choose one or two words on the extra list to focus on each week and see if he can master those. Ask him if he *wants* help or if he'd like to study them his way. I would focus on the "effort" and not necessarily the results.<br><br>
My personal feeling is that if you allow him to opt out, it might give him the impression that he can opt out whenever he wants, like when things get tough.</div>
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Laura, I really agree with what you've said here. I don't know if it applies in the OP's situation, but it sure does in mine. A little dose of expend some effort and achieve mastery would do wonders for my DD. Like your DS, she's very self-directed so we rely on school to provide the "gap" she needs to cross.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leatherette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8125600"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The spelling itself is only symptomatic of the way half-assed developmentally inappropriate stuff was thrown at my son when he was labelled gifted.</div>
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I guess that's the problem to me. What is developmentally inappropriate for one 6 year old is appropriate for another 6 year old. "Gifted" has so much variation. In levels alone, there is a very big difference between a highly gifted child, an exceptionally gifted child and a profoundly gifted child. And then, like Meg Murray said, not all gifted kids are globally gifted. My own kid (who is a year younger) would probably not be able to spell all those words (I'm guessing), but he would need advanced science materials. Some kids need more challenging math. What works for one does not work for another. The only problem I see with the list is that it's going to be too hard for some and not hard enough for others. Ideally, the kids would get some sort of individual differentiation to address their specific areas of giftedness.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leatherette</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8125600"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess my issue is that there is such a jump between the two lists, with no instruction in the concepts, like compound words, dropping a y and adding<br>
-ies, just testing. My son can read all of these words, but there is a difference between decoding a word and encoding a word, and being gifted does not necessarily take a 6 year old to the level of encoding 12 letter words with no instruction. And a 15 word spelling list is not developmentally appropriate.<br><br>
I want my son to be challenged, for sure, but I want teachers to remember that he is a six year old. The spelling itself is only symptomatic of the way half-assed developmentally inappropriate stuff was thrown at my son when he was labelled gifted. I know that the teacher is trying to challenge him, and I appreciate what he is doing on one level. I am frustrated that the differentiation comes down to spelling words and that my son is alternately really bored and then getting a "bad grade".<br><br>
But it is just 5 more weeks and my son says he wants to keep the extra list.<br><br>
L.</div>
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***But part of the teacher's problem is that spelling now, under your guidelines here (e.g., introducing and explaining spelling rules), amounts to an entirely different prep while the other kids are basically twiddling their thumbs. I also strongly believe that spelling -- at least for English -- is largely a combination of word recognition and understanding of how foreign roots operate. Is he presented with the words in advance to study?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8125905"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I guess that's the problem to me. <b>What is developmentally inappropriate for one 6 year old is appropriate for another 6 year old.</b> "Gifted" has so much variation. In levels alone, there is a very big difference between a highly gifted child, an exceptionally gifted child and a profoundly gifted child. And then, like Meg Murray said, not all gifted kids are globally gifted. My own kid (who is a year younger) would probably not be able to spell all those words (I'm guessing), but he would need advanced science materials. Some kids need more challenging math. What works for one does not work for another. The only problem I see with the list is that it's going to be too hard for some and not hard enough for others. Ideally, the kids would get some sort of individual differentiation to address their specific areas of giftedness.</div>
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Thanks -- I'm glad you said the above (bolded). My dd loves to spell, so frankly, a thirty-word list wouldn't be inappropriate for her -- but that's her.
 
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