Why we teach spelling

I spotted this lovely sign on a wall in my school last week. Apparently a couple of eight-year-old girls who attend my school are concerned about the plight of tigers. (The mighty, rain-loving Vancouver Tiger that is fast becoming extinct, no doubt.)

Translation for those of you who aren’t fluent in Kidwriting: “They’re innocent. Tigers are innocent animals. Just because they have cool fur doesn’t mean you kill them.”


10 responses to “Why we teach spelling

  1. I’m wondering what was so bad that it deserved to be scratched out. I was doing pretty well with the translation until the ‘cile’ part. I’ve read stuff that’s just about as bad on blogs and facebook and it mostly likely wasn’t written by 8 year olds.

    • Kimberly – I believe the scratched out part was a failed attempt at writing the word “animals”. I just love “cile”! It’s a perfect example of the letter “c” making two sounds, plus that pesky silent “e” that the French so often put at the ends of words! (French Immersion kids add that “e” a lot when they’re first learning English spelling.)

  2. Thanks for the translation… Cause really, I wasn’t quite sure what was going on there. How did you manage to decipher it?

    As for stupidity, Einstein said it best: two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.

    • Jazz – I’ve been doing this teaching gig a LONG time. I am an EXPERT at deciphering Kidwriting in both of our official languages. I don’t believe I have ever been stumped. There was one instance where it took me a couple of months to figure out exactly what the kid had written (I came back to it after putting it aside in frustration), but I did figure it out.

  3. Somehow that concept of not teaching French Immersion kids to write (and read?) in English until Grade 3 sounds wrong.
    And isn’t “innocent” pretty much the same in French and English?

    • VioletSky – Some school districts start English (yes, reading, too) for French Immersion kids in Grade 4, even! Some start with English reading and writing in K or Grade 1, then teach French reading and writing in Grade 2 or 3. It all works, because the process is the same in any language (well, except pictoral languages like Cantonese or Japanese, I suppose). Once you learn what letters make which sounds – and the common exceptions – you’re pretty much good to go.

  4. Not too far removed from some of the spelling I’ve spotted on Facebook.

    • mrwriteon – The saving grace here is that this was written by two little eight-year-olds who are in French Immersion. Of course they can’t spell very well in English at this point – they’ve never been taught! (In my school district, the French Immersion kids start to get formal English Language Arts instruction, one hour a day, in Grade 3. Before that, their education is completely in French.) The poor spellers on Facebook? They’re probably just lazy and/ or stupid.

  5. I’m glad you translated that for us. I was a little bit (a lot) mystified.

    • Nora – As well as I read Kidwriting, I had to look at that first bit twice myself! I finally got it when I tried sounding it out – and then I started laughing out loud, startling another teacher who was passing me in the other direction. Somehow, she didn’t think it was quite as funny as I did.