Topic | correcting spelling on narration

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  • petitemom

    I know this has been discussed before but I don’t remember what is the recommendation!?

    My 3rd grader has been doing oral narration so far,  when you start with written narration how much of the spelling mistakes do you correct?

    He doesn’t like to write so much. He has written a couple of stories but I never corrected those. It seems to spoil the fun!

    We are always correcting copy work off course. And using a spelling program.



    I don’t remember what the commonly accepted wisdom is on correcting spelling on narrations, but here is what has worked really well for my hates-to-write- can’t-spell son:  He writes his narration; I read over it and mark the challenging words that he spelled RIGHT (totally subjective on my part), he counts up those words (hopefully also noticing what he did correctly) and then we record the number of “narration points” on a chart.  I do this for all three kids and the points are combined, when they reach a certain goal for “narration points”  we go out for ice cream. (Narration points also include things like proper use of commas, including different types of phrases, word choice– again very subjective)

    As for misspelled words: I do keep track of those.  I write them in a steno notepad with his spelling on one side and the correct spelling on the other.  This way I can keep track of what he frequently misspells.  At the time of the narration writing I do NOT point out the misspellings as this discourages him and I end up getting narrations where he doesn’t put in any effort.  On Monday of the following week, we look over the misspelled words and together pick out 5 or 6 to learn that week.  These are words that either come up frequently in his writing or words that he think will be important FOR HIM.  In this way he is invested in the words and motivated to learn to spell them.

    Once a month we work on a final draft of some writing– generally finding a common thread in several narrations and putting them together in an essay or report.  This final draft is taken through the revision process and expected to be free of spelling and punctuation errors.

    Again this is just what we have found to work for us after much trial and error.



    I appreciated this post because I have wondered the same thing. I love the idea of secretly keeping a list of the words off to the side instead of pointing them out. The main thing with written narration is to get the ideas onto paper. I’m not currently requiring written narration of my 3rd grader but will start him on that next year. I think that practice with oral narration at this point is fine for him but I do ask him for drawn narrations sometimes.

    I definitely notice spelling mistakes with my older kids in their written narrations so maybe I will start adding a few to their Spelling Wisdom passages.

    Maybe Sonya will weigh in on this.



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