Oak Grove Elementary

Dekalb County Schools

Oak Grove's new "No Excuses" Spelling Initiative

Dear Parents,
As we continuously prepare our students for the future in the area of spelling, we have found our students struggle with incorporating studied spelling words into their everyday writing. So, as students write across the curriculum, we want to emphasize and encourage spelling accuracy. As a way to encourage spelling accuracy, we will begin focusing on a list of "commonly misspelled" words that all students must move toward spelling correctly in all subjects. The goal is for each student to see errors in his/her writing, and begin to self-correct his/her own work.
Learning to spell a word is the first step, but a word is not considered mastered unless your child can spell the word correctly in writing. Spelling and proofreading go hand in hand, so proofreading is the second step. It is important that your child understands that spelling words correctly in writing is a habit needed for a lifetime.
In addition to our skills instruction (phonics, word origins, spelling rules, usage, homophones, etc.) in the classroom, we will begin in January focusing on the attached list of words. Have your child review these words. If your child can spell the words correctly each time you ask, you are making progress! Over time, your child will master these and many other words for a lifetime.
Here are tips to making spelling accuracy and proofreading worthwhile:
? Choose a quiet place to work together. Sit next to your child with the paper to be proofread. Have your child read their words or sentences aloud to you one at a time.
? For misspelled words in your child’s writing put a dot in the margin next to a line that has a misspelled word. Put two dots if there are two misspelled words, and so forth. Ask your child to identify the misspelled word(s). Give help where necessary. Then ask your child to anticipate how each misspelled word should be spelled by attempting to write the word again on scratch paper. If necessary, provide the correct spelling. Then have your child correct the misspelled word.
? Print a word familiar to your child—one your child can read easily. Ask your child if the word is spelled correctly. Occasionally, misspell a word. Then have your child rewrite it correctly.
? Be on the lookout with your child for examples of spelling errors in print material—newspapers, signs, advertising brochures. Gather examples of “commercial spellings,” such as lite foods and brite detergents.
We have decided as a school, that selected assignments will be assessed for both content and conventions (spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation) to reinforce spelling correctly in writing.
Let's make your child's spelling growth a team effort.
Lynda Mauborgne