Saturday, September 17, 2011

After our First Week of Words Their Way

Well my fabulous students just finished their first week of our Words Their Way program.  Most of my students did a fantastic job.  Their test was comprised of the following:  Studied pattern words, New pattern words, and high frequency words.  Even on the words they spelled wrong they got the pattern right.  That gives me hope that this program might be beneficial and worth the effort.  As I start creating word work activities for Daily 5 to go along with WTW I will post them on here so everyone can see.

On another note this week has made me feel like a fabulous, well-appreciated teacher.  Our Home and School asked us to fill out wish lists on  This is great since as a parochial school teacher I cannot utilize Donor’s Choose.  My parents have gotten me almost everything on it!  I had some great items such as; beanbag chairs, Flip video camera, printer, clipboards, and twistable crayons.  I have never had a class spoil me as much as this group.  One of the dads is even building me a custom shelf to house my Daily 5 bins.  I can’t wait to see it.

Last but not least… a little pep for tomorrow.  My 9 month old finally gets to wear her cheerleader outfit and cheer….



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Words Their Way

This week First Grade is starting Words Their Way.


Our lower grades have adopted this program to replace the traditional spelling program.  The idea is that students are given a spelling inventory and given list specific to where there are in the spelling and writing scheme.  Most of my students tested in the short vowel or diagraphs range.  To keep it simple this year we are only starting with two groups.  The trick is that students will not move on until they pass their list (2 or less wrong).  So in theory we could have as many lists as we do students within a few weeks (I am praying that doesn’t happen.)

This along with Daily 5 has been a lot of work to set up this year.  We are using a model by Beth Newingham for guidance as we move forward.  Students will have various stations throughout the week that they will have to complete based on their spelling list.  It involved doing word sorts and word games to not only memorize those words but understand how they are built so that students learn spelling skills which will be great when coming up with unfamiliar words. 

Each student has their own word study folder that they use throughout the week to keep their word sorts in as well as any response sheets or worksheets they have completed throughout the week.  They will also be given a copy of the word sort to take home as well as a traditional spelling list. 

Here are some photo's of our Word Study Folder:

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The front of the folder that envelope will hold their word sort words they miss on their test so they can be tested later

As for High Frequency Words.  We took an inventory of that using Fry’s List as well.  Students will go in order on the list and add 5 words they missed on the test each week to add to their spelling test. 

We are really trying to make learning effective for each student but I am already getting a little scared of how this could all turn out.  I could end up with way more work than I ever imagined but if my students gain fabulous spelling skills I think it would be worth it!

If any of you use Words Their Way and having any advice please comment!


Monday, September 5, 2011

Sorry I have been MIA...

So sorry I have been missing. Work has been absolutely crazy! I am working on finding a balence between work and home especially now that my son is in his first year of middle school football!

So here is whats been happening in my First Grade Class. My 19 wonderful students are doing great at the Daily 5! They are finally excited about building stamina and working towards becoming better readers.

This week I will be sending home our first weekly reading log. My studnets are expected to read for 15 minutes every night. I feel this is the most important homework they can have. Now, don't get me wrong.. I do send home other homework as needed. I am just moving towards sending home projects for the students instead of weekly worksheet packets.

Here is a sample of our weekly reading log:

Fabulous First Grade Weekly Reading Log

(it looked better on my computer)

We have also been busy at work using our I WONDER statements... Here is my students board where they share their post-its with their I WONDER Statements:


(I was running low on bulletin board space. I hope to pretty it up soon!)

I am also sending out my first Scholastic Book Club letters of the year! Our class goal is $275 which would get my class 5000 bonus points! Thats alot of books. I will hopefully post more about that this week.

I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day Weekend!