What were we talking about on St. Patrick's Day 1998?
Well, it started with a question about teaching spelling, but it became a conversation about teaching approaches, the relationship between expectations and evaluations and about the proper role of technology.
Russell Moore started things off, and a number of once-frequent talkers joined in, including Leaf Fearn, Reinhold Schlieper, Nancy Patterson, Kim Ballard, John Larner, Lind Williams, Edna Earney, Yvette McManus, and Kathy Tyler.
From: "Russell Moore"
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 98 10:53:56 CST
I seek your help with a spelling issue.
When I teach writing classes, almost all of the writing activities are ones in which students can use dictionaries/spell checkers to check their work.
However, for one in-class writing activity in which students write sentences demonstrating their knowledge of punctuation marks and confusing word pairs, I do not allow use of dictionaries/spell checkers. I do penalize spelling errors ("recieve," etc.) on this activity.
Recently, some students have questioned the fairness of penalties for spelling errors on an activity in which they are not allowed to use the aids (esp. technological ones) that are normally available to them.
What do you do, or what would you do in this situation? Can you help me formulate a defense for penalizing spelling in this situation, or would you advise me to change my policy?
I will appreciate your responses.