Monday, January 26, 2015

I Wish This was the Last

I wish this was the last post I would ever write about homework problems, but I doubt it is.  The latest wrinkle is that YD is being assigned ridiculous spelling and "language arts" homework, but is determined not to let us complain to her teacher, because "he might be mean to me!" and also because "I want to be a normal kid!" (that is, not getting some special deal because of our complaints.)  Argh.

Speaking of spelling, I liked this:  Why Some Kids Can't Spell.  A few excerpts:
Spelling remains the most relentlessly tested of all the literacy skills, but it is the least taught.
Sending a list of words home on Monday to be tested on Friday is not teaching. Nor is getting children to write their spelling words out 10 times, even if they have to do it in rainbow colours.
If spelling words are simply strings of letters to be learnt by heart with no meaning attached and no investigation of how those words are constructed, then we are simply assigning our children a task equivalent to learning ten random seven-digit PINs each week.
The people who don’t benefit from spelling tests are those who are poor at spelling. They struggled with spelling before the test, and they still struggle after the test. Testing is not teaching.