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How well should a 2nd grader spell?

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May 23rd, 2011, 06:29 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
It's hard to tell just from spelling lists how a 2nd grader should actually be spelling when writing. My 2nd grader can't spell much reliably except "dad, mom, day, sun," etc. He might spell "mommy" momy, or, for instance, he will write "moove nit" (movie night) on the calendar.

Is this normal for this age (he just turned 8), or are we way behind? I feel writing/handwriting/spelling are our biggest downfalls.

Science, Math, Religion, History, we have a better handle on. Even reading they are decent at, I think. I was always pretty good at writing, handwriting, and reading, but I haven't figured out "my way" of teaching these yet, and I'm afraid it's showing...

I have our end-of-year assessment coming up (for NY state) pretty soon and I'm worried spelling & writing may be a problem area.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

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May 23rd, 2011, 07:35 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Lonestar State
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I don't know if I'm interpreting this right or not, but it looks like that's probably a 1st grade level by NY standards. Scroll up or down to decide. This is a direct link to the 2nd grade section of the document. There's very little mentioned about spelling at all. EMSC Content Page
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May 23rd, 2011, 07:46 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
Thanks! Yipes. Yeah, kinda what I thought. I have tried to teach them about punctuation, capitalization, etc., and they often do it right when I give them a worksheet with sentences to correct. But when I tell them to write a sentence on their own, they frequently do a terrible job and I have to constantly remind them of when to use capitals & punctuation. And their spelling is pretty atrocious, but I wasn't sure how much to expect at this age. Oy.

Any suggestions? I need something that will make it easy for me to teach them how to write a sentence, how to write a paragraph (if it's not too early for that?), but I'd rather not even get into all the grammar stuff necessarily. I just want them to be able to put a simple thought down on paper, and learn to answer a question with a full well-formed sentence.

Do you know of anything like this that won't take us long to make progress with??

ETA: I know I got a little distracted from the original spelling question, but not being able to spell well ties in with the whole problem of not being able to put a readable sentence on paper that doesn't look like "its moovE nit tonit aNd I cant wAte" ... lol
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!


Last edited by TaraJo29; May 23rd, 2011 at 07:48 PM.
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May 23rd, 2011, 08:46 PM
Jill0924's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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One of my favorite programs for spelling (and reading since they are closely tied) is SPIRE. I use it with my special ed students and will use it with my girls when they are older. It is a basic phonics program that concentrates on each spelling skill and links it to both spelling and reading. I don't use it "by the book" but follow and Orton Gillingham approach (which SPIRE is based on so it lines up really well). Basically you review previous skills (reading sounds on flash cards) introduce a skill, practice spelling words with the new skill (this gets the child looking at this skill in practical words), then practice spelling words using previous skills taught, then practice writing sentences (reinforcing capitalization, punctuation, and spelling). It sounds like a lot, but you only spend a few minutes on each section. The kids really like it because for the word "writing" we write in shaving cream, pudding, sand, rice (on a cookie sheet), ... whatever I find. The sentences I do on a wipe off board. And of course new skills aren't introduced every lesson either, only after the previous one has been mastered. When I am not introducing a new skill, I will throw in a game of some sort as well. For the reading component I have the children read sight words (that don't follow spelling patterns) - these are introduced one or two at a time through the various lessons and in SPIRE are underlined so the child knows it's a new sight word. Then we read some words that go with the spelling lesson we are on and maybe a few that go with previous spelling skills learned. Next we read a story, these come with the program and focus on the skill being learned while using all the previous skills learned as well. The stories are short and mostly interesting to the children. I will admit some are kinda dry, but since they are short the children don't mind. Then we do the corresponding workbook pages that focus on comprehension skills. Of course picture books and novels (with much more interesting stories) are used as part of our reading instruction as well, but the SPIRE is the backbone for learning "how" to read. I like the program quite a bit and like that I can move through it pretty quickly. I also like how easy it is to tailor it to each child. I hope this helps!

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May 23rd, 2011, 09:10 PM
Jen7980's Avatar Veteran
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Posts: 328
I use Spelling Workout... I like it... but then again... Xander is kind of a natural speller. I haven't even tried spelling with Lucas yet. As for the writing I use a program that goes hand and hand with grammar. But I've heard nothing but good things about Writing Strands... but I haven't used it. I looked into it once and it does seem like a solid program.
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May 23rd, 2011, 09:23 PM
Alison79's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Texas
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We are using All About Spelling and really like it. Evelyn is a natural speller and is moving very quickly through each lesson but Reid is just starting and he loves that you can use magnet tiles to spell the word first and then write it down.

Evelyn has a harder time writing but she's been doing well with Handwriting Without Tears. She had her writing workbook that I expect neat and proper sentences and then a daily journal that I don't "correct" and she uses that for creative though. Slowly she has been improving her journal entries but she really enjoys it now and it was a huge struggle before to get her to write even a simple sentence. Sometimes she dictates to me, I write it and then she copies each line.

Out of all our school curriculum I had the hardest time deciding on a spelling/phonics program - you aren't alone!
Alison - Mom to: Emmeline (7/14), Augustus (2) Maximus (4) Eleanor (5) Reid (6) Evelyn (8) Lucas (13) Christopher (14)

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May 23rd, 2011, 10:59 PM
BensMom's Avatar Ephesians 4:29
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Location: The Lonestar State
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I also like HWT for handwriting. We're using sequential spelling, but I have a natural speller, and I don't have to do standardized testing. It's not a leveled curriculum, so there are some things he can spell on a high school level, and others that he still spells at an elementary level. It teaches spelling by family (like a series of "oat" words... oat, boat, goat, float, floating, floatation, etc.).

Explode the Code is great for phonics and spelling IMO. I think you've already done that one though, right? (Sorry... it's midnight... my mind's a blur, and I'm waiting on laundry to finish.)
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May 23rd, 2011, 11:53 PM
Frackel's Avatar DOh!
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Phonetic spelling is actually very common up to and through 3rd grade. It's not something most people worry about. Granted a lot of kids pick it up before 3rd grade. But even if your child doesn't, it does not in any way mean they are behind.

When Lissy went in for her yearly appt.(she goes in once a year for a day of various tests and also meets with all of her therapists and such, usually lasts a good 8-10 hours) last year we got a whole bunch of paperwork and pamphlets and stuff. I'm not sure where they are, I'll have to look for them. But that's one of the things we got from her therapists' office. It was actually a small booklet that had various milestones with regard to learning(reading, spelling, math, etc.). Alyssia still spells things phonetically sometimes. Most things she gets right, but not all. She's in 4th grade. She can read at an 10th grade level, she just can't spell, lol. But at least *she knows what she's writing, which is important.

I don't use any specific program. Leo has HWOT, but that's about it. Phonetic spelling as long as you're pointing out the *right way, will eventually fade. Spelling is one of those subjects that varies like crazy. Sometimes it just doesn't click for us. But spelling phonetically isn't inherently bad. It shows your child knows the sounds and knows the word-they just need to learn how to put the right letters in there. Sometimes that takes way longer than we want it to. But as long as you're not pushing them(or making a big deal of the bad spelling), while still making sure the child knows the right way, it should work itself out.

Practice is about the only thing, imo, that can correct bad spelling. Whether you use a program or not. Repetition is important and sometimes using a mnemonic device may help as well. Especially on words they get wrong a lot.
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May 24th, 2011, 06:19 PM
LovinMyGirls's Avatar Proud Working Momma
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 15,490
I'd say a 1st grade writer as well. Typically 2nd graders beginning learning and grasping more about spelling patterns and extending them to their writing (ight word family, silent e at end of words, 2 vowels in the middle of words etc.) They begin to correlate what they see in their reading into their writing and begin to move more away from the phonetic spellings in 2nd grade. But obviously, I'm coming from a public school POV. But just thought I'd throw my 2cents in as to the writing you contributed.

No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you are the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside." AA&NJ
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