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RE: Pet Peeve Rant


From: Kimberly Herbert (kherbert_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sat Mar 15 2003 - 04:01:04 PST

Whole Language is being misused if it is being used to excuse this type
of misspellings especially in a final paper that can be proof read.
Invented spellings should be phonetic spellings. Grade level words
should be spelled correctly on all drafts or work. After 2nd or 3rd
grade students should only used phonetic spellings in brainstorming,
rough drafts, and on work that students can not use a dictionary while
proof reading (tests). My students (5th graders) phonetically spell
words, and then highlight them. When they are revising, they use various
sources to correct the spelling. On tests, I often have long answer but
not really essay questions. Students again highlight words they spell
phonetically, and I don't count those misspellings against them since
they can not use a dictionary or other sources.


Since someone is probably going to start in on spell check, you can
teach students to use it as a tool to help with spelling. One of the
first tech lessons I teach each year is about using spell check to help
learn how to spell. I type a passage, misspelling some words and making
typo's. Then rather than right clicking on each word or hitting F7, I go
through the passage proof reading for ideas, grammar, and conventions
including spelling. When I get to a red underlined word, I talk my way
through the mistake. I try a couple of different spellings that I type
(instead of taking the computers suggestions). When the red line
disappears, I check the definition of the word by alt+f7, a paper
dictionary, or If it is the correct spelling and word,
then I do something to help me memorize it. Some of the options I give
the students are whispering the spelling 5 times, typing the word 5
times, writing the word 5 times on a piece of scrap paper, or finger
spelling the word 5 times. Both the kids and staff get a kick out of the
fact when they ask me how to spell a word, I don't just spell it out or
write it down. Instead I either finger spell it or "type" it on the
table top while calling out the letters. One of my kids told his mother,
"Ms. Herbert never looks at the key board, she can even type without
one!" BTW my kids do use these methods at school at least. I keep a
close eye on the monitors and remind them to either use the spell check
Ms. Herbert's way or else you are handwriting everything! Some of my
kids were in the library typing. One of the staff members noticed them
retyping words, and tried to show them how to right click. She was told
you don't do that in Ms. Herbert's class. (She came to me later wanting
to know how you do use spell check in my class)



Kimberly Herbert


-----Original Message-----
From: Dennis Golombek []
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2003 9:57 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: Pet Peeve Rant


Not meaning to incur the rath of anyone's pets but once again my annual
pet peeve against those individuals who created and bought into the
concept of "Whole Language" has reared its ugly head. What is wrong with
learning to spell words in a correct manner? Give me and other teachers
a break.

Yes , it was time to correct my students' artists reports. I can almost
accept an 8th grader's miss conception of the "Franco Depression War"
taking place during an artist's lifetime but someone "keeling over from
a hart attack" doesn't quite make it with me.


Dennis Golombek

Lowry Middle School

North Tonawanda, NY



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