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  #1  
Old 12-15-2017, 09:18 AM
happymom happymom is offline
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Default Kindergarten Spelling Tests

I don't remember ever having a spelling test in kindergarten. That said, I don't remember much of kindergarten. But now I have a kindergartner and I feel like his spelling words are way too hard.

I don't really know anything about education. I feel like an idiot saying this, but I try to be involved in the school. He's my oldest/only school aged child. He's pretty typical, he's learning to read and spell and math pretty well.

But today is his third spelling test, ever. We've been "studying" his words all week together, and I wish I could feel confident for him. He is crushed when he misses words on his spelling test. I don't want to put too much pressure on him, as HE IS FIVE.

His words this week are :
thermometer
whip
thirteen
wheel
think
whiskers
thumb
whistle
thorn
thimble
whale
thermos
wheelbarrow
This is more of a vent than anything else. He goes to a charter school that is known for being tough. I just never imagined he'd need to be spelling these kinds of words at 5. What about KID, CAT, DOG, MOM, DAD, PIG -- we just should skip those words and go straight to ELEPHANT and THERMOMETER?

None of these kids even know what a thimble is!
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:19 AM
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Sorry, maybe this should be in the off topic chat. My bad
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2017, 09:28 AM
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Welcome to common core.

The push down of academics that most of us complain about is just that. Kindergarten is the new first grade.

Are these words from books they are reading in class?

They're assuming the kid learning pre-k dolch sight words in preschool. They're assuming they can read, write, spell well enough to understand these words.

The sad fact is, the great majority cannot. I WOULD NOT worry about this- maybe even ask the teacher if he can opt out if possible.

Instead, work on word families at home- -AT bat, rat, cat, sat, fat, mat, pat. etc. and the dolch sight words (words like one, and, you, that you cannot sound out, you can google search for these by grade level)
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
Welcome to common core.

The push down of academics that most of us complain about is just that. Kindergarten is the new first grade.

Are these words from books they are reading in class?

They're assuming the kid learning pre-k dolch sight words in preschool. They're assuming they can read, write, spell well enough to understand these words.

The sad fact is, the great majority cannot. I WOULD NOT worry about this- maybe even ask the teacher if he can opt out if possible.

Instead, work on word families at home- -AT bat, rat, cat, sat, fat, mat, pat. etc. and the dolch sight words (words like one, and, you, that you cannot sound out, you can google search for these by grade level)
Yep...commom core at it's best. My sons are jh and hs now but when they were in elementary, I was told by the teachers if they could prove 2+2 is 3 and the sun is purple then they are correct. Some crazy stuff out there!
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:44 AM
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It's not that he can't spell the easy words. It just seems like once you learn those words, wouldn't it make more sense to go to --um, I dunno, 4 letter words like "this" and "then" and "math" (I know they are focusing on the TH and WH sound right now) -- WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU CHOOSE THERMOMETER FOR A 5 YEAR OLD?!
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Annalee View Post
Yep...commom core at it's best. My sons are jh and hs now but when they were in elementary, I was told by the teachers if they could prove 2+2 is 3 and the sun is purple then they are correct. Some crazy stuff out there!
It's definitely hard to understand and hard to help him with his homework. I can't even follow the directions, it scares me for what's in store when he gets older.

I'm really lucky to have a kid who wants to do well and wants to learn and can easily stay on task and will sit on his own and practice his spelling and is always reading, wherever we go.

But these spelling words are really quite discouraging.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:01 AM
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My daughter will be starting K next year. I was dead set on home school... then thought maybe she would actually enjoy the classroom setting of going to school (she's that kid that would). And then I read this kind of stuff and think NO NO NO. We're going to enter the lottery next month to try to get in one of the charter schools... Do they not teach phonics at all anymore?
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by TheMisplacedMidwestMom View Post
My daughter will be starting K next year. I was dead set on home school... then thought maybe she would actually enjoy the classroom setting of going to school (she's that kid that would). And then I read this kind of stuff and think NO NO NO. We're going to enter the lottery next month to try to get in one of the charter schools... Do they not teach phonics at all anymore?
We got into the Charter school we wanted. They still follow the common core.

I guess it's okay. It just seems too hard, like how does a 5 year old get anything out of learning how to spell words like this? They DO teach phonics, and sight words. Most of the stuff they do seems pretty on point....but I do not understand why the spelling words are so hard.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:24 AM
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That's idiotic. My dd is in 3rd grade and these words are closer to what she's learning. Seems nonsensical to me.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:43 AM
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Common core. Ugh!!
I homeschooled my three kids through high school. I am now the mom to a pharmacist, a future veterinarian and a police officer. Best years of my life were teaching those kids around our kitchen table. Priceless memories!
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by happymom View Post
We got into the Charter school we wanted. They still follow the common core.

I guess it's okay. It just seems too hard, like how does a 5 year old get anything out of learning how to spell words like this? They DO teach phonics, and sight words. Most of the stuff they do seems pretty on point....but I do not understand why the spelling words are so hard.
Yuck. I think this is insane for Kindy.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:54 AM
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Thumbs down on that list. In fact, if it were me, I'd go talk to admin.

Here's a link to the Utah ELA Parent's Guide.

https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/a8...f-29e16bdcb62f
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  #13  
Old 12-15-2017, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poptarts22 View Post
Common core. Ugh!!
I homeschooled my three kids through high school. I am now the mom to a pharmacist, a future veterinarian and a police officer. Best years of my life were teaching those kids around our kitchen table. Priceless memories!
This was me... I now have a Navy daughter with 2 bachelor degrees ( one was earned before she joined), One child started her own company & a son that runs a major business. I did ok because all speak at least 3 languages also and I did it as a single mom lol
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  #14  
Old 12-15-2017, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
Thumbs down on that list. In fact, if it were me, I'd go talk to admin.

Here's a link to the Utah ELA Parent's Guide.

https://www.schools.utah.gov/file/a8...f-29e16bdcb62f
They place the kids different spelling lists depending on their abilities. I don't know how the placement works or any of that. I think there are 4 levels, the first two are for kids who are having a lot of trouble, and the third one seems pretty reasonable (can, fin, chin, bun, win, thin, sun, van, plan) but then the fourth one jumps to words like this.

I know they are following the common core guidelines (the page that comes home has the common core logo thing on top).

My boy also had to do an oral report with a poster board in front of the class (he rocked it) and cover a list of criteria, but it also seemed to be not very appropriate for his age.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:35 PM
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Whoa! Those words are way too hard and not in line with phonetics. They usually learn the long and short vowel sounds so the words go in line with those. Hence words like cat, bat, hat, ect. I do not think those words are age appropriate. We didn't have tests till 2nd grade.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:50 PM
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It's super weird. I feel like he does pretty well, he got 9/10 on his first test, 8/10 on the second, 10/10 on the third...and then he's taking this test today. I was wrong in my initial post, today is his forth test, not his third.

We study our butts off though, and he has a crazy good memory. But this is DEFINITELY memorizing, there are too many crazy rules in our language to even begin to explain why some of these are spelled the way they are. Whistle and thumb both have silent letters -- which he has acknowledged doesn't make any sense.
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by happymom View Post
It's definitely hard to understand and hard to help him with his homework. I can't even follow the directions, it scares me for what's in store when he gets older.

I'm really lucky to have a kid who wants to do well and wants to learn and can easily stay on task and will sit on his own and practice his spelling and is always reading, wherever we go.

But these spelling words are really quite discouraging.
The teachers here hate it as well because common core doesn't allow them to personalize with each child. If the child struggles, he just gets left behind because there is no room to wait for him....it is a fast paced education now and I do not like it at all.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LysesKids View Post
This was me... I now have a Navy daughter with 2 bachelor degrees ( one was earned before she joined), One child started her own company & a son that runs a major business. I did ok because all speak at least 3 languages also and I did it as a single mom lol
Awesome job,Mom! You can be sure your kids are humbled by the effort you put into educating them!
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:27 PM
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Props to all the homeschooling moms!
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:25 PM
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What the ???? I taught kindergarten and we did not have spelling tests! Those look like 3rd grade words or higher! My daughter teaches 2nd. I'm going to see what she thinks of these words!

My kids did learn to read and we had 75 sight words that most of the children learned to read. Words like stop, can, up, down, in, out, cat, dog, the, mom, dad, you, see, do, I, to, etc. Don't you first have to be able to read the words to spell them? That's so bizarre!
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:02 PM
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Idk. I really hate this shift to academic push down. This stuff isn't developmentally appropriate. This is what we are taught year after year in ECE classes, and then when in the classroom, they don't apply the theories they drilled into us for years. It makes no sense. Well, it does. It's because no actual teachers or ECE pros created or had part in the core curriculum development. Very frustrating. I bet if you meet with the teacher, they will put him in a different group. The teacher probably finds all of this just as problematic as you do - stressing out five year olds!?
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:17 PM
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https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...g-kids/419139/
New article on academics in ECE including Kindergarten. Sad state of affairs.
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Old 12-15-2017, 08:37 PM
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Well the article is actually a year old, I double checked! But same thing still going on
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Old 12-16-2017, 03:53 AM
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This makes me so sad for children. Why? Why does he need this at 5 . I agree the teacher likely hates this too BUT this is why this school has such a “great” reputation. Most parents are dolts that think if my kid can spell thermometer at 5 they will become rich astronauts. Meanwhile most of the leading billionaires and visionaries of our time went to Waldorf school where kids don’t learn to read until 7 and the focus is not on academics at all.

My eldest didn’t do spelling tests until grade 1 and they were core high frequency words like there, here, though. She is in grade 3 now and there are no spelling tests except for French but she does everything at school, it does not come home as homework or practice.

How much power do you have as a parent? Here it is generally up to us if we want our kid to do homework or not. It sounds like he wants to do well though so maybe there is not much you can do.
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Old 12-16-2017, 04:46 AM
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Wow, my son is in 2nd grade and hasn't had the word thermometer yet. I actually really like what his teacher does this year. She teaches a spelling rule and has practice words, but my son doesn't have a list of words to study. He doesn't actually know what will be on the test that week, just that he needs to learn the spelling rule. The spelling test will have 10 words that follow that rule and then 2 words that they do know ahead of time that don't follow the rule. Its really improved his instinct on how to spell words.
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Old 12-16-2017, 11:20 AM
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Default My 2 cents

16 year veteran elementary school teacher and principal here. The list you have provided is not developmentally appropriate nor does it align with the common core standards. What is likely occurring is a desire to provide what appears to be a rigorous curriculum but in actuality does nothing to benefit the foundation kindergarten should provide for future learning.
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Old 12-16-2017, 05:38 PM
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first of all, I had to look up thimble in Google translate. I'm way older than 5, and I use it, and I had no clue what it was.
second, I'm a rebel because I'd probable say "screw that" and send my kid unprepared and let her flunk all that BS. what are they really going to do? yeah, I'd need to coach her to not give a crap. or, if I had a chance, I'd keep her home, sending a note that she has a 103 fever. because screw that. and I'm a rebel.
we had a spelling test, 49 words ("one," "red," "this," and so on. the longest was probably "orange"). she spelled 48 correctly, messing up "that," I think.
and I am infuriated for both of you.
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Old 12-18-2017, 12:43 PM
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So

I talked to his teacher. Apparently they are working on consonant digraphs -- hence all of the TH and WH words and credit is given as long as the child attempts the full words.

I don't know though, my child had one letter wrong and was not given credit for the words that he missed....I didn't want to sound like a crazy complaining mom who needs my child to do perfect on his spelling tests, so I let it go.

I am interested to get this test returned home today though, graded.
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