Thursday, December 02, 2010

Cannon vs. the Spelling Test

 Cannon is working very hard to keep up with his class in math and spelling.  At the beginning of the year it seemed that holding his pencil was even a laborious task.  He is more comfortable now but still has to make a concentrated effort to write.  He is often reluctant to do his homework but is getting better at taking the time for homework and spelling practice without having a fit. 

We realized right away this year that we'd have to practice every night with him on his spelling so he could have a good grade on his tests.  In one of the early weeks of spelling he came home with a fairly difficult set of words.  He worked all week and knew the words by the time spelling day came.  Eric spent some time with him the night before his test, helping him remember the phonics they were using on the test and he even called him in the morning while we were eating breakfast to give Cannon an encouraging word and ask him one more time what those phonics were.

As you see above, Cannon wrote those phonics on the top of his test, ready to get 100%.  Then the teacher started saying the words to spell and not one of them was on Cannon's list that he had brought home.  A very discouraged boy came in the door after school and said something like, "it didn't even matter that I studied, none of those words were on the test."  Isn't that a sad scribble on the top of his paper?  The realization that he wasn't prepared with the right material.

We communicated with the teacher immediately.  Cannon seemed to be the only one with the wrong list of words.  But he talked to Cannon about it, not that it changed his score but at least it was recognized that he had the wrong list. 

A couple of weeks of normal tests, never with a 100% score because they are marked off for having backwards letters or capitals instead of lowercase, something Cannon has to really think about to get right. 

Then another test came home with a horrible score because once again Cannon had received the wrong list.  Though if he hadn't been marked off for reversals and capital letters he would have gotten a 9 out of 12, which we were quick to point out to Cannon so that he wouldn't feel like a complete failure and loose his gumption to try. 

Eric requested a call from the teacher to discuss the matter.  The next time the spelling list came home there were three lists printed on the back with the teachers names listed with each one to avoid this happening again.  It turns out a few students had this happen to them, though not ones from his classroom, just others in the 2nd/3rd grades with this set of teachers who work together. 
Finally, the week before Thanksgiving break, success!  100%.  Hooray for Cannon! 
Now on to the next one.


mindy said...

Outstanding! That was the perfect ending for that post. If I were Cannon I would be frustrated too. Good for him for sticking with it and working hard.

Lark said...

What a great kid. I would be heartbroken if I had the wrong list of words and failed the test. How discouraging. Glad to hear that his hard work is paying off though. And it seems that this is what I have to look forward to with Paul...

Shannon said...

Good job, Cannon! It probably doesn't seem like it right now, but the study skills and determination he is learning will really pay off in the future. One of my three had a difficult time in early elementary, but it taught him to work hard for what he wants. He is now our 4.0 student. :)

(But shame on that teacher for not letting Cannon retake the tests that he had the wrong words for! It makes me mad just thinking about it!)

Kim said...

Good job Cannon! I'm sure there were times when he wanted to give up, but good for him for sticking to it. Spelling will benefit him in the future.

I agree with Shannon. What a rude teacher, not letting Cannon redue his tests! I guess some teachers aren't considerate.

Alexis said...

Way to go, Cannon. Those phonics on the first test looked pretty challenging to me- definitely way harder than the words that were tested. I say way to go, Cannon, for mastering those phonics!

It seems pretty crazy to me that a list of words from another teacher could end up in Cannon's hands- the teacher should have been on top of that.

Kathi said...

Way to go Cannon, and mom and dad for staying on top of that teacher!