September 15, 2015

Words Their Way....

The first few weeks of school are not only filled with lots of practicing with rules and procedures but also lots of assessments. Let's be real we pretty much know who can and can't and who needs to sit where and all that good stuff by 8:30 am on the first day. As teachers we can assess our students without any formal tools. We just have that teacher instinct. So as an educator I have seen lots of fads come and go but the basics stay the same. Young learners needs a good phonics/spelling program or plan. Our county gives each school a choice as to what they will use. My school choose to adopt Words Their Way. This is our third year using this approach and I must say by far this has been the most successful program for our students. During the first week of school my students are given a spelling inventory. After "grading" these assessments students are placed on differentiated spelling list. The majority of my students are on the grade level list which is the Word Sorts for Letter Name book. Most students within this stage can identify initial and final sounds and most vowel sounds. A few high flyers are placed in the word within a word stage. These learners already have a good phonetic foundation and are ready for blends and word endings. Students who do not score well are placed on letter naming and beginning sounds sorts. This is the best program for differentiation. Each 1-2 weeks students receive a new spelling list. Students cut a part the sorts and begin their spelling practice. I try to meet with each spelling group once a week to check for understanding. However during word work time, I monitor students as they sort their words and match to pictures or sort words with headers. I so wish I had pictures. I will definitely take some post this week. I love walking around during word work and hearing students actually sounding out their words. It amazes me, even kiddos that I think know the words will still sound them out! As the week progresses, we do different activities in our literacy stations with our words. At the end of the week students glue the sort into their word work notebook and use that to practice for our spelling test. Another reason  I love this approach is I have watched students all week sort their words, so when I assess I can give an actual test or  can use their word work notebook as an assessment. One of the reasons I decided to join the TPT world was to make different activities using the sorts as the words. I love that my students have authentic activities to go along with their spelling instruction.

No comments:

Post a Comment