I never ever mark in red pen and write corrections above in pencil. I write a comment at the end in blue biro.
Is there a compromise where a teacher could correct the spelling and but not lose grades? Meaning that at least the spelling is corrected but it's the content that is being graded rather than the spelling/grammar?
I get what people are saying here in that teachers feel correcting spelling and grammar is sometimes detrimental to a child's confidence. I just feel that spelling and grammar, speaking well, should be the groundwork of a basic education. It's truly shocking how badly so many Aussies speak and write. These kids that struggle with writing and grammar always have strengths in other areas - perhaps athletics, or arts. How do you protect the feelings of disappointment for kids who suck at sports? Give them a medal for coming last?
It's ok for kids to suck at things and struggle in certain areas. Yes it's important to identify their strengths, but not at the expense of Ignoring weaknesses IMO. With things like spelling and grammar, repetition is key.
I went to a grammar school - (obviously) they were pretty anal about spelling and grammar, no matter the subject. To this day my school friends are the best writers and speakers I know. I noticed it on FB when we all got back in touch after so many years. My mum also used to correct our speech constantly (and very annoyingly) at home.
I was responding to the post(s) which commented that as long as a teacher is focused on a child's strengths, it's ok to ignore weaknesses. Isn't great teaching about addressing both? Especially with basic things like English language.
I don't really see how not marking spelling/grammatical errors does a child any favours simply because it's not English homework. You can still praise/grade them for an excellent piece of work while making separate comments about the spelling. A PP said they use blue pen and that there's no need to have big red crosses all over the page. it's not like you're giving them the cane for making errors, just drawing attention to it whilst not necessarily marking them down for it...?
I don't know, I guess I'm quite shocked that teachers ignore spelling and grammar errors simply because it's not English homework and they don't want to upset the child. Are we raising a generation of kids that at too sensitive to handle any criticism??
Well, I must be a bit of a hard-*** with my grade 4/5/6 then because their spelling and grammar is corrected on every piece of work.
However, I don't just hand the books back en mass and let the kids deal with the consequences- for the majority of the grade who are doing well I do.. but those who I know struggle (eg I have a grade 6 girl who I am convinced is dyslexic- or at least has erlands but the prin refuses to test as she is about to go off to high school) I will always individually conference, and use the 'sandwich' method:
*positives of her work
*parts that need improvement that I have marked (still pointing out the positives- making good phonetic choices, starting to use punctuation to break up long sentences etc)
* Overall positives (I can see you tried really hard, I'm so proud of you, I love the way you mentioned x etc)
Out of a grade of 17, I have maybe 5 students who need this daily conference. I have 2 that need a conference because they are advanced and need direction on where to go next.
But, in response to the original post- I agree wholeheartedly that sometimes it may not be appropriate to correct spelling for every piece of work handed in- it's just that I only have 17 students and so I have the time to sit down and work through it all with them.
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