Of course I noticed that misspelled word in my previous post...after it had been posted for a whole day. And of course I had to go back and change it. I'm obsessive about spelling.
Spelling is one of those things that either makes sense to you or it doesn't. I used to think that I wasn't smart if I couldn't spell. I've learned over the years that even the brightest students aren't always good at spelling. It really is a memory function, not a sign of intelligence.
My cousin is a very intelligent woman. However, when we were in school she would turn around in her seat and ask me to spell the most common words for her. Homonyms drove her crazy! Scientific terms eluded her. Let's face it- many of our words just don't make any logical sense!
I face this challenge each day with my kindergarten students. It's tough to teach them a language "rule" and then in almost the same breath tell them that there are many words that break the rule. My stronger readers already know that most words ending in "e"- such as lake, cake, kite- will have a long vowel sound in the middle. But, that means I have to explain give and live! "Live" is really tough because it has both pronunciations in our language. So spelling becomes a challenge.
"Spell check" you're thinking! Yes, it would have helped me if I had remembered to do it. However, in typing I've found that there are some very common mistakes that I make that are overlooked by spell-checking. I frequently type "form" when I mean "from". You may have already noticed that in several posts. And spell-check doesn't recognize some words.
Today my kindergartners will take their weekly spelling test.They will spell words like pig, hot, go, dad, and kite. Some will be very good at sounding out the letters and writing them on their little papers. Others will struggle and I will talk with them again about doing their best and just writing down the ones they know. Next year they will have word lists to memorize and the words will be longer and more difficult. Somewhere along the line they will begin to form the opinion that there is something wrong with their brains because they just can't keep all the letters and words straight. I hope at that point they get a teacher who takes them aside and says, "Look, it's just spelling. Do the best you can." I don't want them to grow up to be as obsessive about it as I am. :)