To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Mary Beth's Winning Story

Mary Beth's story "My Dog Bella" was selected out of all of the kindergarten students at her elementary school to compete in a district writing contest. Here it is, with all of her spelling and punctuation intact. The teacher encourages them to express themselves naturally, spelling the best they can. Of course, she'll eventually learn to spell all of these words!

My Dog Bella

I have a dog named Bella and she is a fun dog. She is a gold dog and she is a orange dog. She can sit and she can laye down. Wenevr I get the lesh, I put it on Bella she gose crasee. The wethr is gedenge warmr and Bella is sdardng to shed. My name is Mary Beth and that is my dog Bella.

Update in March of 2010: In light of our new experiences at a new school, I am so sorry I did not protest the fact that they let these and other spelling errors stand in the munchkin's writing. Even though my common sense warning bells were ringing, I allowed myself to believe that the experts at the school knew what was best. I think it was a great idea to allow her to write the story initially without for concern for spelling - but only as a rough draft. There should have been a revision process to correct the spelling and encourage the habit of always presenting your best work. Because the teacher allowed this "phonetic spelling," I didn't correct it at home either when she wrote in her journal for fun. All of that constant reinforcement of spelling words like "weather" as "wethr" and "whenever" as "whenevr" meant that in first grade she had to unlearn a bad habit and then relearn how to spell words that end in "-er," among other things. How inefficient. Why allow this spelling in kindergarten and then suddenly do a 180-degree turn in first grade and put a red mark on every misspelled word? It was very confusing to the munchkin when she got those red marks in first grade after having been praised for her writing in kindergarten. Chalk this up as another reason we're happy to be out of public school.

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