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!


1 comment:

  1. My district uses WTW, Dolch sight words, and a separate spelling list based on the Dolch list (but not necessarily the same words at the same time.) I am looking forward to seeing how this works for you, because I have had a tough time wrapping my brain around individualizing each of these components of word study. We have 3-4 WTW groups and this is considered phonics practice, but is not correlated to our spelling program. This is my 5th year of trying to make a go of it and I know it is confusing to me, so I think it is confusing to the kids too. Some times I think we make things so complicated for ourselves that we push away all the benefits for the kids. If you have any tips on making it work, I can't wait to hear them!