Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Adventures in Phonetics

Right now we're working on big proportional reasoning projects. One option is about figuring out how many pennies a giant cockroach could carry if it were human-sized. (Yes, we do have live cockroaches that we lasso and attach to a cup full of pennies, but that's another story). The project is pretty writing-intensive, which can be a challenge especially for my ELL students. One piece of this is spelling. Although I don't mark students down for spelling mistakes, sometimes they can lead to misunderstandings of what idea the student was trying to convey.

A., who is nothing but a sweetheart, was working on the cockroach problem by making a t-table. We talked about how she should label the columns, and decided that one should say "pennies." But the combination of her poor spelling and her rushing to finish the problem led her to leave out an 'n' and the second 'e'.



Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Like my completely innocent Japanese daughter who almost walked into her first day at Pioneer wearing a "Voulez Vous Couchey Avec Moi?" sweatshirt.

I asked her if she knew what it meant. She said, no, that she just knew it was French and French was cool in Japan.

Yeah, oops.

Jaya said...

Maybe I shouldn't ask, but where did you get the cockroaches?

(And try working in a field with vocabulary like "organum" and "mensural". It gets interesting.)

Linda said...

Gee, Jaya, I thought you would mention your math teacher who put notes on the board for your analysis math by cutting analysis is half, leaving you all to do anal math. While I am sure that you were all overly conscientious, it still seems excessive.

The joys of misspellings by children are always wonderful. It is tricky, though, to have to correct gently, especially with high school students. As ELL, it may be that the new word is one that may need translationg. Enjoy that part.