September 4, 2011

Creative Spelling Homework

I need to admit something. I do not believe in homework. I think that my job is to push students to learn to their potential during the school day. Homework in my class consists of taking home what you didn't finish in class that day. I should also tell you that I only teach reading, language arts, and science. In reading I expect my students to read every night, but I don't really consider that homework. The only subject I make an exception for is spelling.

In fifth grade, we have little to no time in our school day to devote toward spelling. This saddens me, because I consider spelling to be an important life skill. Spelling and handwriting were two of my favorite subjects in elementary school, but today, they are almost extinct. I remember getting points taken off for not having perfectly formed cursive letters. Now, the only standard I have for handwriting is "Can I read it?"

While handwriting is no longer taught at all, spelling has become more of a student-directed skill. My students get their spelling words on Monday, and it is up to them to learn them by Friday. On Thursday they turn in their homework assignment for the week. It is called Creative Spelling Homework. I like this assignment because it gives students some choice. I have been doing this with my students for years, but I was inspired to revamp it after seeing this post on The Organized Classroom Blog. Here's a freebie if you are interested. How does everyone else do spelling instruction in the upper grades?





12 comments:

Amanda Gingerich said...

Thank you for your great ideas! I just moved to fifth grade, after teaching third grade for 6 years, and I really appreciate your blog. :)

Julie said...

I have really enjoyed looking through your blog! I teach 5th grade as well and it's nice to come across some new ideas. I have a list of creative spelling homework too if you're interested!

Linda Dunnavant said...

Thanks Julie! It is nice to connect with other fifth grade teachers. I would love to see your creative spelling homework! You can email it to me at lkdunnavant@gmail.com. Thanks!

Andrea said...

I do something very similar with about 30 choices ranging from 20-50 points (increasing in difficulty) where students must complete 100 points for the week. Looking forward to checking out the rest of your blog!!

Jen said...

This is FANTASTIC! I am teaching spelling for the first time to 7th graders and this is exactly the type of stuff I was looking for. Thank you!!

Teaching and Tech

Corri said...

I really love looking through your blog! I am new to 5th grade this year after teaching 4th! Thank you so much for sharing all of your great ideas!

Laura said...

Came across your blog today while looking for better options for spelling activities for my 4th and 5th graders. Love your 100 points idea and the activities listed! I've used most from your list and modified to suit my kiddo's abilities and added a bit of technology to the mix.

Thanks for sharing - I think I'll find lots more to value through your blog as well!

Patty said...

These are great, thank you!

stacie dunn said...

Awesome! Love that they have choice & ownership.
Do you take a grade on this? What does that look like? I teach 6 sections of 5th grade Reading.

SASchnall said...

I am entering my 2nd year of teaching 5th grade and I am so happy to have found your blog. I also struggle with how to teach spelling. We have a book that we can use with word lists and activities but it feels more like busy work. Where do you get your words? I feel like I need to bump up my spelling/vocabulary because vocabulary is such a big part of the CCS.

Linda Dunnavant said...

I just grade it for completion. I like to make it easy on myself! Spelling was only 10% of our language arts grade, so all I did was this assignment and a spelling test every week. I hope that helps!

Londa

Linda Dunnavant said...

I just used the words that came with our reading series. I have always liked the idea of students keeping words they're personally struggling with in a notebook and using those as their spelling words. I've never found a way to make it work though. Good luck!

Linda

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