what is the teacher doing?

Cynthia - posted on 09/28/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My 1st grade son got 10 of 10 spelling words wrong on a test. i could not believe it. so i emailed his teacher. i don't understand what he is doing at school for 6 hours if he cant spell one of his words. i'm here to vent. i understand she has other kids to teach.and i get that it is my job to do his homework every night. but my problem is i am not a teacher, i go over the words with him. i just don't feel that it is fair that he has a teacher if i have to teach him his words, then what do i need her for. i'm thinking about home schooling him. i'm just mad. does anyone else feel that it is the schools job to teach and if the kid gets a 0 then the teacher is not doing her job. we do homework for an hour everyday. and sometimes i dont even know the answers and he is only in 1st grade... i want to send a basket of laundry to school with a note that says School work, graded on neatness and cleanness.... i'm so feed up.

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In our school, spelling is learned 100% at home because there are so many other subjects that she has to focus on at school that cannot be taught properly at home. J is in 1st grade.



For spelling, she lists several activities on the weekly homework outline*, and they pick 4.

1. write the words & highlight the vowels

2. write the words 3 times

3. write a sentence with each word

4. spell the words out loud to someone

5. type the words

6. write the words in alphabetical order

7. write the words in different colors using a pattern



I find that if he does one spelling activity per day, and we have a "spelling test" in the car on the way to school about 3 times a week, he knows the words by testing day.



Maybe even if the teacher is not requiring activities like those above, you could implement them to help him study.



*Weekly homework outline: She sends all of the assignments for the week home in the form of a chart, divided by subject, on Mondays. J can do the assignments in any order he likes, and on any day he likes, but he is responsible for making sure he has all required work ready to turn in on Friday morning. I like this method because he is learning a lot about time management, and it gives us some slack if we have to miss a day of homework for some reason.

Teresa - posted on 09/30/2011

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If you don't feel the need to help him with his spellign words then I really don't think homeschooling him is your answer. My son has ADD and learns very physically. We toss a ball back and forth adn each time we catch it we say the next letter in the word that helped a little and then he was officially diagnosed (after a half a year of torture in the 1st grade) the medication and maturity has made homework and school alot easier and actually pleasant. I wanted to homeschool but I now know that I would not have sen his learning issues like his teachers did. and they didn't jump on the ADD wagon. We had issues in Kindergarten also and went most of 1st grade trying alternate methods. Try having him spell and read words while out and about. AT the store is a great place. My son's first "read" was Wal-Mart. Go figure.

Wordwork - posted on 09/30/2011

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I'm not sure that home schooling would be the answer for your family. You should have a conference with your son's teacher, but keep in mind, your responsibility as a parent is to teach him everything YOU can, in addition to what he learns at school. Apparently you have the Internet, so search for online resources...there are fun spelling games out there and other education sites geared to grade level that may make practicing his words more rewarding for your son. Please be careful not to convey a negative attitude toward his teacher or his homework to HIM. Good luck.

Margaret - posted on 09/29/2011

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Hi Cynthia my lil girl is in yr 1 as well and they do these spelling tests as well for the 1st n 2nd test she didnt get any correct even though we do homework together so i decided to spell the words with her couple of times then told her to spell n write down the words then i get her to study 1 word at a time, hide the word n told her to write it down sometimes when walking to school or doing things around the house or outside i test her to spell the words for me then the night before the actuall test i test her at home telling her pretend i am your teacher and found out that this has helped her and she has improved so much at her speeling tests.
i know its difficult esp with little ones i have a 7mth old n a 4yr old wishing you all the best.

Rachel - posted on 09/29/2011

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Help him by getting him to write his spelling words a certain amount times each. Have him tested. My middle child was like that in the first grade, I had her tested and we found out that she was dyslexic. She was seeing her letters and numbers backwards. That's why she was failing all her spelling test. How is doing when he is reading? There could be all kinds of reasons for why he is not able to pass spelling. Look into everything before you jump to conclusions and blame your sons teacher. It could be something as simple as a learning disability.

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13 Comments

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Gloria - posted on 10/04/2011

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I noticed with my son that if I read the words in order he would get them right but if I mixed them up a bit, he had to stop and think about the word. If you take the time and mix up the words so he knows the words instead of the order they are in, most lekely he will do great. It's your job to help him with his homework not do it for him and it is our job as parents to help them "study" what they are doing in school so when they go to school it's as easy as pie.

Christy - posted on 10/03/2011

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I have 2 kids. 1 is in 4th grade and the other in 1st grade. I have to study spelling words with my kids everyday along with math and all the other subjects. If my kids do poorly on a test I blame myself for not working with them more. Its our responsibility as a parent, not just the teachers. What works best for me is to go thru the word list twice. One time in order and one time mixed up and keep track of the words they have the hardest time with. Than thru out the night I will just randomly ask them how to spell something. That really seems to work. Good luck. Dont be too hard on the teachers. They have alot of kids at one time. And get your kid tested. There might be some underlying problem that u are not aware of.

Tina - posted on 10/01/2011

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If you feel that your child's teacher is slacking, you should make arrangements with the school to hang out in his classroom to see what she does all day. I think you would be surprised. First grade is a very difficult grade to teach. Teachers are not only responsible for academics, they have to also teach children how to sit, listen, follow directions, share, walk in a line, etc. And they have the awesome responsibility of teaching children how to read. Spelling is mostly memorization. It can't really be "taught". And it is generally something done at home.

Melissa - posted on 09/29/2011

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does you son have allergies or chronic ear infections? Mine has seasonal allergies and when his sinuses are full it impacts his hearing, not to the point where he can't hear but to the point where it can be difficult to tell the difference between certain letter sounds like m and n, b and d, certain sounds like sh and so on. The tone and volume of the teacher's voice when giving out the word can also have an impact on how a child may hear the word, especially if the teacher has an accent or different sound to their voice. This could be why he does well when doing the words with you at home (a voice he's familiar with).
Another thing to ask the teacher is how is he behaving around other kids in his class during work time? My son had a problem in school last year with one of his friends "bugging him", and it really impacted his work performance! This year his friend is in a different class and I really noticed an improvement in his work already!
Grade 1 is a huge transition for kids AND parents, it's more work and less play, it can be very overwhelming. It's only the month of September, your son may just be still adjusting to the new class setting and routine. So give this teacher a chance and approach this as gathering information on how he's doing in class rather than pointing fingers and getting angry. Speak to his teacher face to face instead of emailing, having a personal connection with your child's teacher makes it a lot easier to communicate and approach each other when there are concerns.

Tamara - posted on 09/28/2011

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often times kids learn the words in the order they are on the study sheet if the teacher mixed them up then it may have confused him.

Other times people clam up with when taking tests.

Parents and teachers are a team when it comes to teaching a child it should not be the sole responsibility of one nor the other sad to say it is just the way it is with all subjects.

Cynthia - posted on 09/28/2011

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No i have not talked to her yet. i just got the 0 today. i emailed her but no reply yet. he has 100 in all other subjects. i don't understand. he knows the words here at home. he says he forgets

Jodi - posted on 09/28/2011

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Have you talked to the teacher about his progress at school? Maybe he is having some learning difficulties.

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