At the beginning of the year I do the spelling assessment from Words Their Way. I usually do the primary test at the beginning of the year.
Then, I group my kids based on where they fall with what they need to work on- Consonants, Short Vowels, Digraphs/Blends, Long Vowel Patterns.
(On the left is the assessment sheet- I highlight each part they get right. On the right is a child’s test.)
I differentiate my spelling homework and the kids all practice whatever spelling pattern they are on for the week. Then on Fridays, I give 4-5 different tests, depending on the # of groups.
I use the book Essential Word Sorts to get my spelling words for the week.
It’s definitely a great system that I have down pat now! :)
My kids’ absolute favorite choice for the Daily Five is Word Work. I don’t know why, but they just love practicing their spelling words for the week!
I really like my word work set up too, mainly because it stays the same all year! The words change weekly for the kids, but the prep for me is minimal. I might take an activity away for a couple of weeks and then bring it back to create some excitement, but really it’s as easy as pulling a box away and putting it out of reach.
My kids have word work journals that they keep in their desks. So when they choose word work, they get their journal and a box, and then find a bubble space on the floor or at their desk.
On the 1st day of word work, students always have to sort their words. When I put the lists out, they look like this:
After that, they can choose one of these:
1. magnetic letters (make the word, write the word)
2. ink stamps (stamp the word, write the word)
3. letter beads/pipe cleaners (make the word, write the word)
4. Magna-doodles (write the word on the magna doodle, write the word in journal)
5. Keyboards (type the word, write the word)
6. Letter tiles (make the word, write the word)
7. Play-doh stamps (stamp the word, write the word)
If they do ALL their words using one of the above choices, THEN they write their words 3 times each. If they finish that, then they can use each word in a sentence (not many kids get to that step because my rotations are only 12-15 minutes, depending on the group I am seeing).
What I like about this setup/why I choose to do it this way:
-it is differentiated: every kid has their own list of words with the skill they are working on
-there are so many choices, they don’t get bored
-I can easily check 5-6 journals quickly during clean up and pull the ones that I don’t think did their best & they do it later (this really cuts down on playing when they find out they have to do it during recess or computer lab)
-there is hardly any prep work for me, other than getting lists ready
-minimal paper usage
-minimal paper usage
-all their word work is in 1 place for the whole year
What do you think? How do you run word work? What do you like about it? What do you not like about it?