Monday, October 7, 2013

Finally digging in to Words Their Way...

It's official.  I need to start.  We did a practice sort last week, and I know I need to tackle this thing head on so here we go!

After I did our initial assessment, I found that my students ended up in 10 different groups.  TEN. Let's be reasonable.  I am NOT doing ten groups.  I spent some time really looking at the students' writing and consolidated them into 3 groups--and my "top of the top group" will have some additional word work challenge and my "lowest of the low group" will have an additional intervention of word work tailored just to them.  They also get additional word work with their reading intervention, so I feel pretty good about teaching a little higher than their assessed level.

I ordered the "sorts" for these three groups for the first 3 weeks and I will dig in on Wednesday. While the groups are waiting for their turn with me, they will be doing choice writing and working on their realistic fiction planning.  Watch for an update on how this goes!  I plan on doing "New Word Wednesday" and "Tests on Tuesdays"  . . . it gives flexibility for families by giving a few extra days for home sorting practice.  I haven't exactly decided on my requirements for home word work, so I did create this freebie in case anyone would like it--it's just a menu of practice options.



I'm looking forward to hearing from all you experts as I navigate through my year on this new challenge.  Stay tuned for updates and improvement on my system!


11 comments:

  1. This is my first year using Words Your Way! I tested and ended up with 4 groups. I'll be interested to see how yours goes. We're still working out the kinks in our room.

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    1. I know I am going to have to split my top group...there is such a big gap. I figured I'd keep them together for the first few weeks and see how things sort out...between their word work AND the work I see in their writing. To be continued!

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  2. Thanks for the freebie! I would love to hear more from you. I have used WTW for two years at the 4th grade level and now teach 3rd. I introduce the sorts in small groups on Mondays instead of guided reading, and test on Fridays. In 4th grade I assigned a different type of sort for homework each night, but in 3rd I feel that makes for a lot of homework when you combine their reading and math. Now I'm not sure how to incorporate all the sorts during the rest of our language arts block!

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    1. I agree . . . we have to be careful how much homework we give. I am going to start slowly by teaching the different activities on my freebie in my classroom and offer them as practice suggestions at home. We shall see!

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  3. As an incentive to practice their words, I use Spellingcity.com for homework. The students look up my name and find their list or sort. There are many activities on this site for free. For the students that dont have internet, I make sure they have time at school to practice. The parents really like this.

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    1. I forgot to mention that the students practice their words during the Daily 5 rotation's word work during our school day. Thanks for the freebie!!!

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    2. Excellent! I just got Spelling City put on our new ipads!

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  4. Where did you order the sorts for your first three weeks?

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    1. Hi, Jeanine...I just meant I ordered the copies from the WtW books from our central copying place. Sorry! Those are from the books that you can buy with the word sorts in them. Does that help?

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  5. We started Words Their Way this year. This is my fifth week with it. I did four weeks whole class until all the books came in and to establish routines. This week I split into two groups. Eventually, I'll have four groups. We have the same activities in class each week and the same activities for homework. I made the homework all things that they could do independently (no buddy sorting) because not every student has home support. For HW: Mon- resort and writing sort, Tue- word ladders (operation), Wed - 8 words in sentences (not 8 sentences; can be silly), Thu - word hunt. In Class: Mon- sort, Tue- resort, timed sort, Wed- resort, blind buddy sort, Thu- resort, timed sort, blind writing sort

    It took A LOT of modeling and practice but we're finally getting the hang of it! Looking forward to next year when the kids have already been trained. Good luck!

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  6. I would love to hear more about how you use the sorts in your classroom, we have them, but I am unsure of how to implement them. Also how do you decide on your spelling lists? Do you use the Words Their Way book and type up a list? This is my first year using it, and I am kind of at a loss, thanks!

    Measuring Up

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