12.11.2010

Spelling Tests

I give a spelling test almost weekly in class. It covers the spelling words from the reading series, sight words, a skill we have been working on and sentence writing. I create my own tests following what we have been doing in class. I have the kids write their spelling words, then they have to find the sight word I say out of a group of 3 and then do whatever the skill part is (this week was writing a word that was the opposite and also writing the digraph that began the picture). Then they have to write a sentence using the word I gave them. I feel this is good practice, but others disagree. I'm curious as to what others think. Do you give spelling tests? What is on them? What do they look like? If you don't give them, why? I'd like to see what others in Bloggyville think about spelling. Let me know your thoughts, please!

4 comments:

  1. Hi!
    Personally, I don't give spelling tests. I feel that the "test" is in their real writing. In my teaching placements, I saw a lot of spelling tests where students had memorized (not learned) the words, and could write them in a list (in or out of order), but would then spell the same word incorrectly, in three or four different ways in their writing. I prefer to teach the lessons that go with Word Work, for 10 minutes a day as a warm up for language. We talk about the words, we play with the words, we stand on our chairs and yell out the way they are spelled in song style. I teach Grade Six, so keeping their attention and interest is different than Grade One of course, but we still work with the words, and we discuss the importance of correct spelling a lot (to communicate, to make sense, etc.) ... I see the true test as my assessment of their writing. If they are spelling the same words incorrectly all over the place, it's time to teach or re-teach. The kids often tell me what words they have trouble with, and I work with them to find ways to help them remember and learn the correct spellings. My kids also have "PWW"'s ... Personal Word Walls, that they keep up to date in their writing books. Some kids find them helpful, others could care less. As I say to them, whatever works for you! If you give a spelling test, that's your choice - but the real questions to ask are, are they helping your students spell correctly, and are you using the information for meaningful assessment - assessment of your own teaching, or assessment of their work? I would stick to it as a formative assessment, and as a summative assessment, check their daily work. That's the real test, if you ask me! :) Good luck ... it's a tough choice to make, and to prove to parents that spelling tests don't need to be done!

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  2. I tried to post yesterday, crafted a nice one, but the it wouldn't go through. I will try again.

    At the middle school level where we are, we can no longer give spelling tests. I don't know what they do at the lower levels. However, we have regular stems testing through out middle school. It is more then just identifying what a stem means. Those stems tests require some thought. Students are taught new words with the use of those stems, and must be able to figure out what the word means. They also have daily stems practice, weekly stems tests, and one big major stems test at the end of every quarter.

    As a science teacher, I have been contemplating also giving stems testing as well as spelling tests. The rules are no spelling tests in ELA. I don't think there are any rules for spelling tests in science. I would probably give them and use them to help students grades. They already get regular stems in ELA and some of them are used in science, but science needs to do something with stems or vocabulary, and I think I will.

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  3. Hey,
    I Love your spelling test. I think it is great that the kids don't just spell words. I LOVE the extra skills that are practiced and tested. Do you have copies of your other test that you would be willig the share or sell. They may not go along with our words each week but I could cut and paste to make them suit my class needs. I don't want to reinvent the wheel. Thanks for your hard work!
    Kristin

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  4. Hey
    Just wondering if you received my comment about your spelling! My email is krast@windstream.net
    I don't know enough about all of this to know if you would already have email or not from my comment. I'm getting too old for all of this modern technology but I don't want to give up!!!

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