Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It can be difficult to organize all of the materials you need for Words Their Way. I started out storing everything inside of the manila file folders, but as I took out papers so the kids could play the games and laid them on my desk things slowly got mixed up or misplaced. I really like binders so I decided to use those. In 1st Grade my students are either in the Letter-Name-Alphabetic or Within-Word-Pattern level. Words Their Way makes two paperback books that have the sorts already done for you and the covers are red and yellow so I tried to find those colored binders. 
The first 2 pages inside of each binder is a list of possible sorts (which can also be found in the appendix of the Words Their Way textbook). I use little strips of Post-It notes to mark what sort my students are currently on. 
After that I store copies of each word sort, recording sheets, phonics poems, word searches and other things that correlate with each sort. 

"Game Day" is a recommended activity in the Words Their Way textbook. It allows the students to practice their spelling patterns with other members in the group while having loads of fun! I purchased all of the game boards for my classroom from TPT, printed, glued on to manila folders, labeled and laminated for durability. All your students need to play are dice, game pieces (we used donut erasers on this day) and sometimes their word cards.  Below is a picture of what one looks like:
I store all of my game boards in order inside of a filing crate. This makes it easy to find and pull one out as needed.

Each student has a blue word sorts folder that contains a small tan envelope to store their word sort cards for the week, a choice board for activities to do during center time, and a Word Sorts Journal from Really Good Stuff. On the day of the "spelling check" my students glue their word sort cards into the journal and write a reflection about what they learned as a result of studying their spelling patterns. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

After you score the Spelling Inventory, put your students in MANAGABLE groups by need. I do 3 groups in my classroom, which I call Reptiles, Fish and Mammals. I chose these because the colors coordinated to the 3 Reading Street levels (green-strategic intervention, yellow-on level, and blue-advanced). The baskets on the top shelf contain word searches, phonics poems and gameboards on manila folders that go with their spelling pattern (details to follow). The bottom shelf holds each child's word study folders (which I'll also get into deeper detail later). 

Give your students the Primary or Elementary Spelling Inventory, which can be found in the Appendix of the Words Their Way textbook. Then, use a scoring sheet for grading each child and deciding where their instructional level is. When they miss 2 or more in one column, that is where you begin instruction. Below is an example:

My school district has adopted the Words Their Way program and is making it mandatory for all teachers to use next school year. I know that a lot of my fellow teachers are still unsure how to organize and utilize this program in their classrooms so I thought I'd share some helpful tips with everyone. :-)

Monday, June 9, 2014

My students actually pick this Can Do! Science Kit - Magnets as a Friday Free Center every week! It has little task cards and all of the materials needed inside of the can, so all they do is open it up and they're busy learning for a long time.
I have 2 of these Build A Word activity boards in my classroom. They are perfect for students who are learning to decode/recode CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words!">Build-A-Word! Magnet Board - 3-Letter Words</a><
These Sight Word Practice Cards are great for my K-1 students. Sight words are words that are most often seen in print such as books and newspapers. The more sight words kids can recognize, the quicker they'll be able to read.">Write & Wipe Sight-Words Practice Cards</a>