Schools teach spelling: Here’s how

Spelling
The Natchitoches Parish School Board would like to address a misunderstanding that occurred when it attempted to reinforce policies on how spelling is taught within the district’s curriculum. The misunderstanding caused an upset among parents who fell under the impression that spelling would no longer be taught to students.

This is not the case. NPSB believes that Spelling is one of the fundamental subskills of effective written communication. NPSB also believes the goal of spelling instruction should not be temporary memorization of words but rather the development of skills to be able to correctly represent our written language. Teaching spelling in isolation leads to a temporary memorization of words that are not connected to current learning. For example, a weekly assignment that highlights a list of words that is not connected to students’ current writing and reading goals will not transfer into long-term memory. Research has shown that children retain information, such as how to spell words, better when it’s presented to them in meaningful context. This means that students are taught new words that are connected to their everyday experiences and exposure to quality texts, allowing students to be actively engaged in the learning process.

NPSB is committed to ensuring that all students are exposed to research-based instructional strategies in order to preserve life-long learning. In addition, all curriculum programs adopted in Natchitoches Parish are aligned to the Louisiana State Standards, which state explicit goals for spelling within each grade. In addition, spelling is assessed through students’ weekly writing and on state standardized test through students’ writing.

Below are all the standards addressing spelling:  CLICK HERE – to visit Website

Grade K:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Grade 1:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  1. Capitalize dates and names of people.
  2. Use end punctuation for sentences.
  3. Use commas in dates and to separate single words in a series.
  4. Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
  5. Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Grade 2:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  1. Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
  2. Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
  3. Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
  4. Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage → badge; boy → boil).
  5. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Grade 3:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  1. Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
  2. Use commas in addresses.
  3. Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
  4. Form and use possessives.
  5. Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
  6. Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
  7. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Grade 4:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  1. Use correct capitalization.
  2. Use commas and quotation marks to mark direct speech and quotations from a text.
  3. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.
  4. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

Grade 5:

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  1. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
  2. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
  3. Use a comma to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you), to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It’s true, isn’t it?), and to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
  4. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
  5. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

9 thoughts on “Schools teach spelling: Here’s how

  1. It would also be great if the school system offered art and music at ALL schools not just select schools. And the school board members should take a ride out to NCHS and check out the entrances to the parking lots and the parking lots. It may not be long before we witness losing a car, truck or even a bus in those potholes. You should have to risk tearing your vehicle while dropping off or picking up a student.

  2. This all sounds great, but why are a vast number of high school students unable to correctly use even the easiest words (like “it’s” instead of “its”, “they’re” vs. “their”, “your” vs. “you’re”, “too” vs. “to” vs. “two”)? Why can’t they stop saying stupid things like “I gots to go” or “My moms took me to the store” or “She drove they car?” Don’t tell me it’s not a problem. I see errors everyday. I found one in this article, and, if, as I suspect, it was written by someone at the school board, that tells you how far up the problem goes. Maybe it’s because we adults don’t try to write better than we speak. What’s acceptable in one situation isn’t always acceptable in another.

    • So tell us how the schools can force kids to learn, also what is a vast number? The vast number (95%) of folks with which I associate don’t speak or write that way, maybe you need to keep better company and call out those that don’t learn and not those providing the opportunity.

      • It’s bad manners to correct someone’s grammar to her or his face. I say “vast number” based on what I saw as a teacher in schools all over this state. I gave up figuring out how to make students learn. If I called out everyone I saw who hasn’t learned how to write and speak correctly, I’d hurt a lot of friends’ feelings and tick off numerous coworkers. As far as your 95% goes… congratulations on avoiding contact with the real world. I apologize for angering you so much that you feel the need to advise me on the company I keep. But frankly, we all care about each other, and they accept me as I am, flaws and all.

      • Angered me? Not a chance, your response is typical, complain about a problem and then when confronted with the solution worry about offending the little darlings.

        Back before this problem became prevalent people were called out for bad manners, grammar and were shunned when they refused to behave and speak properly but now those of us that know better are called out for being “insensitive”, “out of touch” and the like.

        As to “reality” only those not willing to stand for truth and proven methods are the ones living in an alternate universe Instead of giving up how about growing and be among the “vast majority” that don’t make excuses while complaining about a serious societal problem.

    • Lady Jane, I usually enjoy reading your comments, but you’re making a false equivalency here between the integration of spelling into the educational curriculum and the use of informal verbal communication. It’s also not wise to criticize others (and using an “educator” ethos) when you aren’t using “even the easiest words” properly yourself. Remember that “everyday” is an adjective that means “ordinary” or “typical.” “Every day” is a phrase that means “each day” and is what you intended when you erroneously used “everyday” instead.
      Beyond the point that no one is perfect, the solution to both spelling issues and frequent mistakes in writing is … READING! Reading good, complex prose. The statistics about what most people read these days (social media posts, headlines of online news, quippy short bits of text) and how infrequently many people read anything of length or complexity suggests that these are not just issues of K-12 or even K-16 education but social problems. How many of us read after work instead of popping on the TV or logging onto a computer for mind-numbing entertainment?
      Let’s make reading cool again! How can we help do that? We just lost the Boys and Girls Club. Headstart is at risk. Education is underfunded, undervalued, and disrespected. Let’s stop criticizing and start doing something to help!

  3. So I guess now that the “misunderstanding” has been cleared up those posting asinine comments about the original letter will issue formal apologies for speaking out of ignorance…… yeah I’m holding my breath. NOT

    • You know, I find it easier to apologize for a car accident in which I’ve caused thousands of dollars worth of damage than to apologize because I was wrong.

      • That’s the most twisted thing I’ve read today. So you only apologize if the damage reaches a certain monetary figure? How do you know being wrong hasn’t caused damages (some monetary) as well? Nevermind.

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