Monday, July 17, 2017

Managing and Organizing Your Words Their Way Classroom!

The question is, "How do I manage and organize a program that is based on the individual spelling developmental levels of my students?"

Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling Instruction from Pearson Education is a hands-on approach to word study and teaches students to look closely at words to discover spelling patterns, syllable structures, and spelling-meaning connections needed for reading and writing.  The heart of the program is the sort and the process of grouping words or pictures that represent sounds into specific categories.  

Tip #1: Color-Code Everything!

My Managing and Organizing Words Their Way product on Teachers Pay Teachers includes all of the background knowledge that you need plus sort posters, group posters, basket tags, and word study notebook templates.

Tip #2: Review the Program Assessments and Progress Monitoring

Review your grade level Spelling Inventory, the Spell Checks and the Qualitative Checklists. Familiarize yourself with the individual spelling features to assist you during observations.

Tip #3: Organize for Success

Image result for file box with colored folders

There are five developmental spelling stages.  First make a master copy of all the sorts for each of the 5 spelling stages and store them in sheet protectors in a large binder.  Next, before starting the program but after administering the first student inventory, determine which spelling stages you will be focusing on throughout the school year.  For instance, by grade 3 most of your students will not need Alphabetic Letter Name.  Then, designate one color of file folder for each stage you will be utilizing in your class.  Print a class set of each sort for every stage you will be utilizing and label each folder.  For example, WWP16 means Within Word Patterns, Sort 16.

Tip #4: Create a Words Their Way Weekly Routine


Every teacher needs to set up a 5-day weekly routine that always includes sorting, writing and reading the weekly words in context.  

Tip #5: Empower student ownership of the program and their spelling development with Student Word Study Notebooks

Students store their weekly word sorts along with with their Word Study Notebook in their Word Study Folder.  The Word Study Notebook spiral records students' sorts, and weekly reading and writing assignments.

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