The shoulders droop, the faces fall and the smiles evaporate. The look of disappointment and disinterest spreads around the room. As a teacher and a parent, every time I used to ask my class or my own children to practise their spellings I was met with grunts of disapproval and complete disengagement. I’m not talking about learning new spelling rules, exploring the origins and roots of words, figuring out the most appropriate word to use to engage the reader in the story you’re writing, or identifying which is the most persuasive word to use in your letter about banning school uniform…all of these learning opportunities are highly engaging and can easily capture children’s imagination. I’m talking about the weekly spelling test and the practice that accompanies it.
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