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    Default Spin Off: Not correcting every spelling mistake

    Rather than continuing with the 'problems with education' tangent in the other thread I thought I'd start this thread (warning - this is a teacher's perspective).

    Someone mentioned their teacher friend who would not correct a spelling mistake because it was a piece of maths work. Let me put this into context.

    Johnny has always struggled at school, as a result has very low self concept as a student and gives up on tasks very easily. He is used to getting all his work back covered in crosses and red writing. But Johnny has started to realise he's more capable in mathematics, he's slowly gaining confidence, and this confidence is starting to spread into other areas of study. If the teacher were to cover their maths work in red corrections due to spelling mistakes, Johnny wouldn't even see the fact that most of his 'answers' have ticks. Trust me, the most kids will just give corrected work a quick glance over to see if they've done well, ok or bad.

    Scenario 2. Mary thinks she's stupid. Whenever she's asked to write anything she has so little self-belief that the teacher is lucky to force two sentences out of her. One day Mary is set a creative writing task on a topic she loves - and the writing just starts to flow. Before anyone knows it she's up to half a page. There's barely any punctuation, half the words are spelt incorrrectly, but it's a great story and she's really put herself out there and taken a risk with her writing that she wouldn't normally do. Would you send this piece of writing back covered in red corrections? Potentially scaring Mary off from ever trying again? Me, I would make some punctuation corrections essential to the flow of the story and then talk to Mary to explain that yes, there are lots of spelling mistakes, but that I chose to leave them as her efforts on this story are amazing, best work this year etc etc.

    Finally, by the 32nd writing book, sometimes the teacher misses some spelling mistakes!

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    So would you not correct a spelling error on ANY child's work just because it is maths homework, regardless of the child's abilities? That is what I was talking about.

    To be clear - my friend did not say "oh no, this is Johnny's maths book, I don't want to discourage him". She said "nah, this is maths".
    Last edited by shelle65; 22-11-2012 at 10:52.

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    Interesting points but shouldn't we push our children to give it their all? Spelling can become very hard to correct once it is in your head. So if you are spelling say multiply wrong on your math for 3 years its going to be harder to change that habit later than sooner wont it?

    I think teachers have gotten soft over the years. I had one paper (yes this was in America so may be different here) that my daughter got something marked right when it was wrong but the teacher could "see what she was trying to say" I argued that the answer wasnt exactly right and what she wanted so she should have gotten it marked wrong. I dont think being slack on students help them at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    Rather than continuing with the 'problems with education' tangent in the other thread I thought I'd start this thread (warning - this is a teacher's perspective).

    Someone mentioned their teacher friend who would not correct a spelling mistake because it was a piece of maths work. Let me put this into context.

    Johnny has always struggled at school, as a result has very low self concept as a student and gives up on tasks very easily. He is used to getting all his work back covered in crosses and red writing. But Johnny has started to realise he's more capable in mathematics, he's slowly gaining confidence, and this confidence is starting to spread into other areas of study. If the teacher were to cover their maths work in red corrections due to spelling mistakes, Johnny wouldn't even see the fact that most of his 'answers' have ticks. Trust me, the most kids will just give corrected work a quick glance over to see if they've done well, ok or bad.

    Scenario 2. Mary thinks she's stupid. Whenever she's asked to write anything she has so little self-belief that the teacher is lucky to force two sentences out of her. One day Mary is set a creative writing task on a topic she loves - and the writing just starts to flow. Before anyone knows it she's up to half a page. There's barely any punctuation, half the words are spelt incorrrectly, but it's a great story and she's really put herself out there and taken a risk with her writing that she wouldn't normally do. Would you send this piece of writing back covered in red corrections? Potentially scaring Mary off from ever trying again? Me, I would make some punctuation corrections essential to the flow of the story and then talk to Mary to explain that yes, there are lots of spelling mistakes, but that I chose to leave them as her efforts on this story are amazing, best work this year etc etc.

    Finally, by the 32nd writing book, sometimes the teacher misses some spelling mistakes!
    Thank you. This is what my son NEEDS, my daughters need to be corrected every time because they don't have any other issues. He needs to know he work is worthwhile. If you have never had a child that comes home everyday with the belief that they are stupid and no matter how hard they try they will never succeed, you might not understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lovemyfam View Post
    Interesting points but shouldn't we push our children to give it their all? Spelling can become very hard to correct once it is in your head. So if you are spelling say multiply wrong on your math for 3 years its going to be harder to change that habit later than sooner wont it?

    I think teachers have gotten soft over the years. I had one paper (yes this was in America so may be different here) that my daughter got something marked right when it was wrong but the teacher could "see what she was trying to say" I argued that the answer wasnt exactly right and what she wanted so she should have gotten it marked wrong. I dont think being slack on students help them at all.
    You need to careful not to push a child to the point of break them. You need to reward the effort as well as the content

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    Default Re: Spin Off: Not correcting every spelling mistake

    Didn't read the other thread but I think a good teacher will know her pupil & decide accordingly. If the child needs encouragement they should get it in whatever way they can.

    I remember in high school one girl always got top marks. She was given 99% in geography one day, and when she asked where she lost the 1% she was told it was for a spelling mistake. in a geography test. That's the other extreme, nit picking looking for mistakes where there aren't really any.

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    Shelle, every teacher will have their own teaching philosophy. I could understand a high school teacher doing that, but probably not most primary teachers. I can only give one teachers view based on professional learnings and personal experience.

    Lovemyfam, some kids 'all' is a lot less than other's 'all'. The two scenarios are quite common for me at the school I work at - often it's just a push to get 'anything' let alone 'their all'. My school kids know that I have high expectations of them, in a positive way. Eg. I will not accept that any kid is 'stupid' no matter what their parents/a bully/a past teacher told them. They also know that I expect them to do 'their best' (achievable) not 'the best' (achievable for 1%).

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    Default Spin Off: Not correcting every spelling mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovemyfam View Post
    Spelling can become very hard to correct once it is in your head. So if you are spelling say multiply wrong on your math for 3 years its going to be harder to change that habit later than sooner wont it?
    I'm a teacher too and will probably come back to add more later

    I just wanted to quickly say that at my last school the 'policy' was to correct mathematical terms on maths work. So words like subtract, centimetre, length, volume etc. would be corrected.

    I can definitely understand both sides of the argument on this one.

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    OK that's cool, but you didn't answer my question - do you correct spelling mistakes on maths homework if you have no concerns about the child being discouraged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretched View Post
    Shelle, every teacher will have their own teaching philosophy. I could understand a high school teacher doing that, but probably not most primary teachers. I can only give one teachers view based on professional learnings and personal experience.

    Lovemyfam, some kids 'all' is a lot less than other's 'all'. The two scenarios are quite common for me at the school I work at - often it's just a push to get 'anything' let alone 'their all'. My school kids know that I have high expectations of them, in a positive way. Eg. I will not accept that any kid is 'stupid' no matter what their parents/a bully/a past teacher told them. They also know that I expect them to do 'their best' (achievable) not 'the best' (achievable for 1%).
    I can understand that. I think if they are special needs, or have a learning disability this is prob the best way to go about it, but if they dont and are making mistakes due to being lazy and not caring they should be docked and not given any slack just because we dont want to hurt their feelings for my kids at least that is how I feel.


 

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