Monday, February 9, 2009

Ramblings: Hunting Trip

Maddie's class takes turns bringing home "class books"--a book wherein everyone completes their own page and then the teacher compiles, binds, and laminates it so they can take turns reading it. She brought one home Friday that the class made around Thanksgiving called "What I Would Do..." The first page says "What would you do if you were a pilgrim?" and it's filled with similar looking pilgrim people and a sentence typed by the student using sound spelling.

They are really BIG on sound spelling--meaning the kids are to write words phonetically and parents are NOT allowed to intervene, instruct, correct, or give hints at ANY COST and no matter how much they beg. Or they rip off your nails and then dip your fingers in lemon juice. And if they suspect you helped your kid spell something on her homework, they send a note to your parents telling them what a bad parent you are because you refuse to respect the learning process and that now you deserve a good spanking. Or something like that...I'm too afraid to find out. "NO MADDIE--I will NOT tell you how to spell 'recess'---just sound it out even though it's a tricky one and there's not an ice cube's chance in heck that you will even get close to spelling it correctly. I CANNOT and WILL NOT aide you in your spelling needs at this point in your educational journey. You are on your own, sister. I will, however, repeat the word sllllllllooooooooooowwwlllly five or six thousand times so you can try to hear all the individual sounds and you can take a crack at spelling it the best you know how." (Which is probably a violation of the Sound Spelling Code, I don't know. I didn't read all the fine print.)

And regardless of how many panic attacks I have, I will NOT sneak back into your backpack, remove your homework from your red folder, frantically erase the misspelled words, and in my best attempt at forging crazy kindergarten handwriting, rewrite them so that they are spelled correctly. I won't do it--even though it drives me crazy knowing that a paper FULL of misspelled words is sitting in there, just waiting to be turned in. I will just take a bunch of deep breaths and conquer that tiny little part of my OCD.

(As a side note--Sound Spelling used to drive Alex CRAZY. He'd get so worked up wanting me to tell him how to spell something that he'd end up having a complete breakdown if I didn't. So I had to adapt the rules. I'd make him try and then I'd tell him how to correct any misspellings. He has always been a really good speller and he'd remember the correct spelling the next time he wrote the word, so I figured it would be ok. Just don't go rat me out to his kindergarten teacher. I can't take any more notes going home to my parents. Maddie is fine with the rules--it doesn't bother her at all that her spelling might not be perfect.)

Anyway, sound spelling leads to many funny looking words and sentences in the class books. The teacher usually writes the word that the kid was aiming for underneath the misspelled car wreck of the word. Most of the kids in the pilgrim book wrote about how they would cook or hunt or be soldiers. Some got more detailed, a few veered off the beaten course. But mostly there was cooking and hunting going on.

This kid got creative and specified he'd be building a house. Nice. I like the eyelashes and the guy's one devious looking eyebrow.
This is Maddie's--she'll have to give me her bread recipe. Heaven knows I don't make any other kind than banana. **Note to self**teach Maddie where the spacebar is and address the medical impossibilities related to a fully-functioning floating head.
Now this last one is really my favorite. I may just print it and hang it on my fridge. I like that he really tried to get specific about what he would hunt...but I'm still cracking up. The teacher's translation is 'animals,' but I think that might be a stretch. Sheesh, pilgrims these days!


brent and kashann said...

So funny!
I wonder if we have the same focus here on sound spelling. I haven't heard of it. But I agree it's cute but I hate letting them get in the habit of spelling the same words wrong over and over. It starts to be way less cute when they are 11, let me tell you.

brent and kashann said...

So funny!
I wonder if we have the same focus here on sound spelling. I haven't heard of it. But I agree it's cute but I hate letting them get in the habit of spelling the same words wrong over and over. It starts to be way less cute when they are 11, let me tell you.

brent and kashann said...


Pamela said...

I wonder what the kid's parents were thinking about we they saw the page he made. I hope they have a good sense of humor!

Travis and Jamie said...

So Great!! I actually thought that sound spelling was something they made up in Kentucky. We are worried about what this technique will do to our boys. Both Trav and I are TERRIBLE spellers.

Kris said...

I asked a kid a question the other day and he said to me, literally, "I D K". (That is "I don't know" for all of you non-teenage-texters). My biggest pet peeve is "sol" for "saw". Sound spelling is great at their level! Getting the letter/sound correspondence is great for their age level and totally approriate. You do more damage by just telling them how to spell it. The are exactly where they are supposed to be developmentally. As for the last one...maybe tell the counselor.

Andrea said...

I seriously LOVE kindergarteners! Those pages are great!

Kimball and Marianne Larsen said...

Love it! I think sound spelling is great until you know that your kid has all the letters and sounds down pat. Then it's time to correct.

On a different subject, I don't have an email for you and want to send you an invite to our blog. Do you have my email?

Laura said...

fyi--before I freak anyone else out...I really do think the sound spelling is the right way to go with teaching them reading/writing. It's just that they send home some scary warnings/threats about not helping them. It makes me laugh.

mar--I don't think I have your email unless I can get it from your profile. I'll try there.

The Lowe Family said...

uhm...i'm worried. not for maddie, but for the anos.