HELP! I'm not ready for Words Their Way!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by mdee, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Hi everyone,
    I will be piloting Words Their Way for the first time this year. I have this book http://www.amazon.com/Words-Their-Way-Vocabulary-Instruction/dp/013223968X and I have read it completely. What I'm worried about is that it looks like a lot of prep time to get this up and going. It looks like I will need to make word lists for sorts for all of my groups each week (I'm thinking I'll have 3 or 4 groups). I also want to make some of the games that are shown in the book, but this also seems like a huge task. I'll need several copies of each game for each group. And they all have to me made by hand! Holy moly!
    Does anyone have some advice on how to get everything ready quickly?

    Is this book a good resource? http://literacyconnections.com/0_0131113380.html

    Are there any web sites that give free resources? I've seen the Words Their Way site that gives one word sort for each level.

    Any ideas and/or help would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. shouts

    shouts Companion

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Didn't they buy you the classroom kit with workbooks, teacher's guide, and resource cd (invaluable)? You can print out the word lists and games, and the workbooks have an activity or two for each sort.

    I'm starting it this year, too.
     
  4. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Your CD that comes with your black WTW book has tons of resources for you. Utilize that. It will be a great tool. The workbooks (red-Letter & Picture Sorts; blue-Letter Name; green-Within Word; etc.. for Syllable Juncture and Derivational Relations stages).

    Initially the prep time seems like a lot, but it's really not. You'll start off by giving the DSA and scoring. The scoring will take place on your computer with the CD-Rom. After you enter the data, it will sort your kids by level and much more. Then you'll begin teaching your group (whole class) the basics of how Word Study will operate. Once they have that down, you'll begin to split into groups that meet the students needs.

    The games do take a little prep time to set up, but I've found file folder games and board games that do the same thing. I suggest that if you can, you laminate all your created games. That way you can use them again and again.

    Another suggestion is to color code your games and sorts to match the level. For example, any thing that has to do with the Within Word level put on a background of green. I've done this by putting the games on green construction paper. You can copy the sorts on green printer paper. It really doesn't matter what colors. I just made them to match the resource books. This is our 5th year using WTW in our district, and we've seen results.

    I know I'm a 2nd grade teacher, but if you have any questions about the logistics please ask. I've gone through the training, and updates, so I might be able to help.
     
  5. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Oh, your 2nd link is the same book as your black WTW book. Your black WTW book is just the updated version.

    Looking at the other resources, it seems that they've changed the colors on the new books (i.e., the Within Words book is now yellow instead of green). Not a big deal. They're essentially the same books, but all of that information is on your CD-Rom that comes with your black WTW book.
     
  6. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    No materials

    I was told that the students would have a workbook, which I have yet to see. Other than that, we were only given the book I refered to in the original post. So, that means I am very short on materials. Do any of your Classroom Kit materials include the games? Perhaps I should order the Classroom kit to save me a lot of time!
     
  7. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Great suggestions!
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
     
  8. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Miss W,
    When you say, "The games do take a little prep time to set up, but I've found file folder games and board games that do the same thing." What board games do you use? Are there certain ones that work well with Words Their Way?
    Thanks
     
  9. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Miss W,
    You said, "I've gone through the training, and updates, so I might be able to help." We are not getting any training. We're just supposed to figure this out on our own. So far I have read the book, watched the tutorial video, and looked at the resource cd. So, I really appreciate any help you can give me. Thanks.
     
  10. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Not really anything specific. I've found some games from Lakeshore and ReallyGoodStuff that match patterns that the kids come across in WTW. Most of my kids are in the Within Word section, and a few in the Syllable Juncture. So the games deal will things such as consanant blends, long & other vowel patterns, complext consonants, prefixes, & suffixes. In your book should be a list of all the types of patterns you may have. You may come across prefixes & suffixes, unaccented final syllables, reduced & altered vowels, bases, roots, & derivatives. That's the list that I can see. The patterns are also called "features" in the book.

    In the appendix of the book is the initial DSA test list. I have the 3rd edition (you have the 4th) so it's on page 312. You'll give the test and then score it. Word lists are also in the back of the book. After you score the test you'll find which "features" your kids will need to work on. Those are the features you will focus on throughout the year. The word lists are seperated by feature (which it makes easier on you).

    A basic week for me (after teaching WS procedures) looks something like this:
    Monday: Cut and Free Sort Feature Cards (write down in WS notebook)
    Tuesday: Review patterns with each group; while I'm meeting with one group the others will be doing WS games.
    Wednesday: Brainstorm (whole class)-After the 1st 9 weeks I begin picking words off their brainstorm lists to add to their tests.
    Thursday: Review pattern, Pattern search in Guided Reading Book
    Friday: WS group tests-While I'm testing one group another is reviewing by sorting their word cards (we have them glue them in their WS notebook).
     
  11. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Really, WS shouldn't take more than 15-20 minutes each day. I would have no more than 3 groups total.
     
  12. mdee

    mdee Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2008

    Thanks for all of your help, Miss W. Everything you say makes sense. I just need to figure it all out. I think I need to reread some of the book and begin making those games!
     
  13. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 29, 2008

    I stumbled upon this thread, and I'm glad I did! Last year I used the WTW book more for a resource for lists and cards. I want to use it more, but I was also thinking about using Systematic Sequential Phonics (related to the Month-by-Month books.... both are Four Blocks).

    Has anyone done this? How do you figure out the scope and sequence you'll follow for WTW?
     
  14. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    Aug 29, 2008

    We also use SSP! What we've done is try to correspond the same patterned lessons with the patterns that the students are using for the week. For example: My kids will be doing a whole class ap & it patterns (I'm teaching Word Study procedures with this). So I will use lessons 7 & 9 for that week out of SSP.

    We also use the Word Wall lessons from SSP. Our kids start with all the WW words from Lesson 55. Those are words that our 1st grade classrooms have up at the end of the year. When it's time to do new WW words, we use the corresponding lesson. We introduce a lesson every 2 weeks, and use our other WW resources to do other activities with the WW words.

    We also try to use several of the MBMP books for various lessons throughout the month. These lessons are also great for test prep. I especially love doing "Guess the Covered Word". You can do that with any poem you may be using, not just the ones that they have in the book. We've made transparencies to do these, and some of us have made posters (we have a poster maker here at school).

    In the past, some of us used SSP on top of our spelling program (before we implimented WTW). It was just an extra 5 minute lesson every day. Since there are 140 lessons, that gave us 40 days out of the school year not to do a lesson (our kids go 180 days).

    The Scope & Sequence for WTW should really depend on what your students need at the time. Usually I start out with a week of whole class practice, so my kids can learn the procedures. I will be doing 2 weeks of whole class practice this year, since I will be gone for 3 days of the 2nd week that we will be doing Word Study. I want to be there when we break up into groups.
    As a grade level, we've tried to come up with base word lists. These are lists of 10 words that fit each pattern. We used this list to create materials for word work (like the word shape worksheet here on AtoZ-go to tools up above). This meant we weren't recreating the wheel 13 times (there are 13 of us in our grade level). We simply put the resources in folders in a filing cabinet that is in our 2nd grade workroom. Teachers can modify the lists to fit their students if needed. After the 1st 9 weeks, we will add brainstorming words to the students' lists. Our literacy coach is helping us create more resources this year. We're trying to stay away from too many worksheets.
     
  15. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 29, 2008

    I'm glad I found someone who uses both! I like the very sequential order of SSP, but how do you correspond the SSP lessons when you might have three different WTW groups? I was thinking I'd do high-frequency practice daily using the SSP words and a schedule for use (Guess the Covered Word like you mentioned, WORDO, etc). Then I'd do more sort-based work like WTW with the pattern words appropriate for each group of the students. Does that make sense?

    Do you test on WTW/SSP words weekly?


     

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