Spelling problem fixed - I hope

I understand there's a push to do more, to do better in school these days.  But sometimes I have to wonder if more is really better.

A few weeks ago I blogged about GG's spelling words. In case you missed it, a few of here words were

  • ribonucleic acid
  • transversive
  • rhetorician
  • subversive
For a fourth grader, again I repeat, what the hell?!  Part of her assignment with those words that week was to categorize the words.  Are they a noun, adjective, verb, or other.  The fact that I had to sit there, dictionary in hand, and help her did not make me happy.  I did my time in school, thankyouverymuch.

I asked a friend what she thought of those words because her daughter is in my daughter's class.  The reaction was not what I expected.  She did not seem as frazzled as I was.  I didn't want to say anything out loud, but I wondered if not all the students in the class got the same list of words.  For the most part, GG does well in school so it never really occurs to me to ask the teachers what is going on.  If we just needed to study more because the curriculum had been upped, so be it.

Fast forward to last week.  I found out exactly why GG had the spelling words she did.  Yes I realize I could have asked and found out much sooner.  Sue me.  I'm not always the best mom out there!

Anyspell, here's the deal.  If a student aces the pre-test on Monday, they are free to choose their own spelling words from the classroom dictionary.  Awesome.  Challenge them.  Let them push their own boundaries.  I'm all for this.  But at what point should the teacher step in and ask if those are really words a fourth grader should try to spell?  Again I say, challenge those kids, but really, what fourth grader needs to know "ribonucleic acid"?

And if I really want to nit-pick?  Some of those words weren't in my own dictionary at home.  Granted my dictionary is from my high school days, but also?  Blogger's spell check doesn't even recognize those words!!!  Those words aren't real and if they are, please assign each child their own said classroom dictionary for home use.

Yes I'm throwing a fit.  And I will surely throw another one if my daughter brings home ridiculous words like that again while still in elementary school.  Yes, she's been warned.

Until next time...


Oka said...

My two oldest boys' teachers did something similar. Except they took the collective group of kids who aced the pre-test. Collectively they would come up with 10 words for their Friday spelling test. They were encouraged to select words they knew, but were unsure how to spell. Sometimes they were pretty off the wall.

Unknown said...

Wow first of all I have to say how awesome of your daughter to push herself. But I kind of agree with you on the teacher needing to reign them in sometimes..

Kmama said...

Isn't that funny? I was b*tching about a book Buddy brought home for his "take home reading assignment" and come to find out, he picked it out. Our kids sure know how to rile us up!