Words their way

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pencil Monkey, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 16, 2010

    I am going to be using words their way this school year. I have never used this system of spelling/phonics before but I am excited to try this approach.
    How do you make it manageable and easy for you? I have only used basal spelling or spelling words that I made up for the class based on what they needed. I haven't done individual spelling lists and the idea seems daunting for me to manage. :help:
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I give the spelling inventory (back of WTW book). Based on the results, I group my class into about 4 spelling groups. Each group will have a list of words for the week- I get the lists from the WTW spelling sort books. Kids get their lists on Mondays, do a sort every day in class as well as for homework. In addition they have a choice of spelling HW (sentences, ABC order...I have a choice board-PM me if you want a copy). Also on Mondays, I sit with each group as they sort for the first time and explore the patterns, 'rules' of their sort. In addition to their sort word lists, each student chooses 2 or 3 independent study words- these can come from their writing, from content area, words from their reading. On Fridays I give 4 spelling tests simultaneously.
     
  4. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Czacza- would you mind explaining more about how you give the spelling tests on Friday? I'm also interested in trying WTW next year, but I'm concerned about the management of it all.
     
  5. Mrs Ski

    Mrs Ski Companion

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    I am also concerned about giving a number of test each week.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I don't give the whole list as a test- I choose about 12 words from their sort. So I'll have each group's list, the kids have out their test booklets. I say 'Green group' and read the green group's first word , then orange group's first word, then red group's first word, then blue group..then go on to second word for each group through end of list. For independent words, the kids pass their spelling list to their neighbor and their neighbor reads them those words or you could have the kids responsible for remembering what their independent words are. Takes less than 15 minutes. (I did this with second graders- 4th and 5th graders should be able to handle it!!;) )
     
  7. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Jul 16, 2010

    czacza, may I ask what WTW book do you use. I am not 100% familiar with WTW. My district has no spelling program, and honestly does not want us focusing on spelling (complete disaster). I wanted to start using something of my own. I'm in 4th grade. I'd say most of my students are at the 3rd grade level, and I'm sure some 2nd.

    Do you use multiple books for the 4 lists you give. How do you compile the different lists?
     
  8. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    Is the WTW 4th edition.......... all 4 - 2nd edition books combined with some updates?

    In other words.... rather than buy all 4-2nd edition books, just buy the 1 - 4th edition?
     
  9. Touchthefuture

    Touchthefuture Comrade

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    I love words your way as well. I have a similar system to czacza. I give them the test at the beginning of the year to see where they need help. Then I take the words from the word lists in the back of the book. I end up with about 3-4 groups usually. I give tests on Fridays. I just call each group up to my table and give them their tests. I manage it through an excel spread sheet. If they do not get the word correct it goes on their list for the next week.

    czacza - I an going to PM you for your choice board. I am interested in that as well as how you teach them to do the sorts.
     
  10. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    I found spellingcity.com to be a lifesaver. I had a total of 6 groups between 2 classes and it could be a nightmare sometimes.

    I also have a 20-block homework contract if anyone would like a copy. The kid's homework got sooooo much better once I gave them choices.

    I hate to admit I rarely did sorts :( I just could never figure out a way to manage all those loose papers with 2 classes. How do you do it? And the copies!! I don't have enough per month! The only time I did sorts was in a center, laminated on colored paper.
     
  11. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I would like a copy. Do you mean that you give them a 20 block paper with 20 choices of what they want to do for HW?
     
  12. UVAgrl928

    UVAgrl928 Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2010

    We started WTW this year, but we aren't doing it exactly how you should be (with giving different lists the way that czacza did). It was our first year, and we had some heated debates on some things. First, we were afraid that it would be very difficult to manage our weekly spelling tests for 4 different groups. So we had just bought enough grade 2 workbooks for our whole class.

    It was nice because the sorts are already prepared (no making copies!), but it's not addressing the needs of our students. Many of our students come in below grade level, and need simpler sorts to start. Some weeks there are 4 skills, which we found to be too much for our kids!

    This year, I would like to use it a little more appropriately (I have a 1st grade blackline master that I would like to use), but since I will still have to give the grade level test, would it be too much for the kids to do both every week? I would consider doing this in my reading group, but my group times are already so limited (20 minutes for each group), I don't think I would have time for both! I don't want it to take away from their reading time.

    Any suggestions? I would like to give it a try, but I know some of my teammates are not as flexible, and I wouldn't want it to be something that they all had to do too if they didn't want to. It's just hard because we submit data from our spelling tests to our P weekly.
     
  13. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I pm'd everyone who has responded so far. There should be 2 attachments in what I sent you. Let me know if either is missing. One is called 'spellling choice board', the other is 'spellling homework'.

    I have the fat black WTW book and the WTW sort books:

    http://www.amazon.com/Words-Their-Way-Vocabulary-Instruction/dp/013223968X/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

    (the above comes with a video dvd)

    Also the sort books (I have the yellow, red, green and blue ones- my spelling group colors do not correspond with the book colors as I might have 2 groups in the same book!):
    http://www.amazon.com/Words-Their-Way-Pattern-Spellers/dp/013514843X/ref=dp_cp_ob_b_title_1

    I print out a sort for each kid in each group. They cut up the sorts, put their initials on the back of each word strip and keep in zip bags for the week.
     
  14. njteach41

    njteach41 Middle School Social Studies Teacher

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    can I ask, what is the difference between the black WTW book, and the different color ones?
     
  15. S Dubb

    S Dubb Comrade

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    Thanks for the documents!
     
  16. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Czacza- I would love to receive a copy of your choice board as well. Thanks!

    Also, how much time do you spend on Monday with each group?
     
  17. NewNCTeach

    NewNCTeach Rookie

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    Czacza, I did my Wordstudy (WTW) very similar to what you describe, however I am looking to make it more effective with the spelling tests corresponding to words from their sorts. Could you also send me a copy of your choice board and HW as well? Thanks so much!
     
  18. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    If anyone wants my contract, just PM me with your email.
     
  19. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jul 16, 2010

    PM me with your email addresses.

    On Mondays I spend 'as long as I need to' with each group...I like them to discover the patterns on their own so I check in and spend time as needed....(not a great answer, I know!!) Some sorts are 'easier' than others so it just depends. I'm contemplating some kind of word study notebook for this year as I'm going from 2nd to 3rd...Anyone have ideas on this?
     
  20. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The black book outlines the program, suggests activities, has the assessments for grouping kids/determining their spelling stages. The different color books are basically 'word lists' but each section in each book focuses on different skills/patterns and has reproducible word strip sorts.
     
  21. Deeena

    Deeena Cohort

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    Does anyone have their word lists actually typed out for their groups? I was thinking of making word lists for each spelling group, but was wondering if someone has already done this.
     
  22. carrieSAtoUSA

    carrieSAtoUSA Rookie

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