First of all, let me say that I have some ideas of freebies I want to make and share with you guys, but my mom's computer is sooooo old that I am lucky just to be able to get on the internet (ya know what I mean?). Plus, all of my clip art and cute fonts are on my computer at home. So, even though I love spending time with my Mama, I can't wait until I get back home (just 2 more weeks)!
The next section of the Primary Pizzazz book talks about spelling. Spelling has really been a hot topic in our grade level for a couple of years now. Spelling tests, actually. Traditionally, we have followed along with our Treasures reading series and given the spelling words that go with the story each week. We then have a test on Friday. I have to say that this DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!! I mean, who's to say that the kids are ready for a spelling test on Friday. The whole testing because it's Friday thing makes me insane (but that's a whole 'nother post)! I mean, did you ever have kids who would score 100% on every spelling test, but not spell any of those same words correctly when they write? Yep, that's another reason I hate traditional spelling lists/tests. Now, some of you may not agree, but I think sending home those weekly lists just encourages memorizing those words only and then only to put them down on a test paper on Friday.
So, last year, I tried to get my team to get rid of the spelling list and teach word families or word study. Here's what I'm thinking: Teach the -ap word family. Do lots of word building and word work activities with that word family. Then, you can give a spelling list with -ap words. The kids aren't memorizing a list of words, but are learning to apply that spelling when they hear it in a word. That would give you more freedom to differentiate the spelling test for different students. We all know that the word "map" might be just right for one student, but wayyy too easy for another.
Unfortunately, I got shot down. See, our principal has always given us the freedom (as a team) to do pretty much what we want, but the whole team had to be on the same page. Sooo, that meant that if the rest of them wanted a list, I had to do it too. I did convince them to wait until the second 9 weeks (around October) to start giving the lists and tests, but they argued that because second grade gives them, the kids need the practice.
Well, with the CCSS being implemented this year, the administration at our school has become more open to allowing each teacher to decide what goes on in her classroom. YEAH!!! Yep, that's me doing a happy dance right now. So I have finally gotten 2 others of my 4 teammates to agree to teach word families with me, but I'm wondering if any of you make your own lists. I know that I've asked this before and some of you gave me some good ideas, but, since I have some new followers, I was hoping some more of you might chime in on the spelling issue. Do you give a list each week? Do you have weekly spelling tests? Where do you get your spelling words?