Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Grade and Spelling Tests

It's here. the first day of first grade.

I'm scared, guys, and I ain't even playing.

not anxious. just plain scared.

I have nightmares. To call them frequent is an understatement. dead things. everywhere. towns full, buildings full, rivers and rivers of dead things. and among all of these dead things is my family- who have absolutely no sense of self preservation.

Last night, zombies. everywhere. all over the place. The kind that are attracted to noise. and these dummies? one set is over in this area trying to make cars run with their loud motors and turning up radios to have some sort of dance party. another set is at the river watching a bunch of zombies fish not realizing that the zombies are fishing for rotting fish carcasses without bait because the fishing poles are the bait for the stupid people who get close enough to be eaten. and the Goofy One? Good Lord, that child is going to be the death of me! He found a certain zombie that he found very interesting and kept taunting him. He'd stay just out of reach and make all sorts of noise and when the zombie would try to look for him he'd lay perfectly still in a pile of rotting corpses, not even breathing while the zombie would run his hands over the pile and the kid trying to find his food. As soon as the zombie would stop looking, the game would start all over.

That is almost (but not quiet) as scary as what I saw in the WELCOME TO FIRST GRADE letter at open house. "Spelling words will be sent home on Friday. Please practice them throughout the week. Spelling tests will be on Friday." He can't read- not even on level 1 (supposed to be level 3), he can't write in a straight line, and he sure as hell can't put things in order. He can spell his name, though, so maybe ... yeah. maybe I'm wrong. maybe this will be simple, maybe all I have to do is figure out how to teach him.

With Walter and Cruella (the niece who lived here for a while), all we had to do is realize that an oral quiz for a written test is just ridiculous. So, we'd get the words on Monday and have a nightly written test. Monday and Tuesday, they wrote the words they got wrong 3 times. Wednesday and Thursday, they wrote the words they got wrong 5 times. They learned quick that if they learned the words early, they didn't have to do all that extra work (*woot* for lazy kids). By Friday, they knew them and the test was no big deal because they have spelling tests every day.

So, yeah, this might be easy. Spelling is the easiest of all the work. Not the way they did it, of course. Writing is torture for him, but we can figure something out... right?

So, I quizzed the Goofy One... How do you spell your name? right! and a word I know he's more than familiar with- how do you spell 'like'? He looks at me, so confident and yells out the answer... L-I-A-N!!!! He's looking at me so proud of himself and I'm thinking... Holy shit. We're going to have to stock up on beer... I smile and congratulate him on effort.

What am I going to do!?

Any ideas? please? I don't even know where to start!


  1. (1) pray, (2) drink that beer, (3)... I'll get back to you. Spelling is our thing, but damn.

  2. for my son, we make it fun..... shaving cream on the bathtub wall, and using his finger to spell/write the word, pudding on a cookie sheet..... writing words with his fingers in sand........anything that we can combine sensory with spelling

  3. We have a magna doodle that goes with us everywhere and we practice practice practice. But I agree with Jessi

  4. My guys all have issues with writing and spelling. Somethings that I do is write them on index cards and read them with them. This year I bought them index card spiral books and I am writing their spelling words for each week in them for them to look at and practice.

    I have them use their fingers to trace them and say the letters out loud at the same time. I write them out on construction paper and have them use markers to make "rainbows" out of the letters. Also, letter tiles.

    This may help too

    If the teacher would be willing, I would ask if you could use another instrument for the spelling words. Such as the magna doodle or even using flour shaving cream for their spelling test.

    Maybe some of those could help?? I hate spelling! :-)

  5. I'm sorry but that is what the spell check on the computer is for!! PEACE