WARNING: this is a long post but there are freebies!
Like I stated in yesterday's post, my district is really great about letting us use our expertise in teaching our kiddos. They give us super support with lots of resources, awesome workshops and training and then let us do what we've been educated to do-TEACH!
I have access to Literacy By Design and Words Their Way, but I use them only as a resource to teach the common core. This year we jumped into the new core with both feet. As a grade level team we decided to rewrite our curriculum map. Man, was that an under taking but a very needed one. And let me just say right here that I have an awesome bunch of ladies on my team!!! I didn't do this by myself.
The first thing we did was decide upon what words we needed our firsties to learn to read and spell. We used several different lists- Fountas and Pinnell, Dolch, Fry to name a few. Then we divided them up in what we thought were easiest to hardiest. We picked 4 words for each week and called these our spelling words. Then we looked at the most common word family lists and chose about 57 to add to our weekly spelling list. We started the year off with just one word family but increased it to 2 each week by the 4th week of school.
Click HERE if you'd like a copy of our word list.
On Monday we introduce the words and word families.
During class meeting I introduce the words on my Smart Board. Then I have little interactive things we do each day with the words.
My kiddos are totally immersed the whole week reading and writing these words through various activities. (Keep reading and I'll show you some of the things we do- plus give you some FREEBIES). Then on Friday, we have a 'spelling' test. I know there is a lot of debate out there about 'spelling tests' and I've read a lot of the research on it. Most of our parents are really good about helping their kids and feel spelling is a way they can do this. So to please parents, we do a 'spelling test' on Friday. I don't really feel this shows what my kids know or if there will be transfer and recall in a couple of weeks but it makes the parents happy. What I care about is that for 5 days my firsties are totally immersed in 4 high frequency words and 2 word families. Surely, a little practice at home with parents will help too. We also study the words in sentences through out the week and we give the kids 2 of those sentences as part of the test. I love this part because it lets the kids encode which is a very important skill and it lets me see what their strengths are and how they are progressing.
This is what our spelling test paper looks like. 'Popcorn words' are what we call their 4 spelling words because they are words that just keep 'popping up' all over in our reading and writing. We pick 4 random words from each word family for the test also. I know some will ask, "what about your high kids or the low ones who can't do these words." Sometimes I have to adjust the list for my low kids and give them less words. Occasionally, I'll have a parent say the words are too easy for their child so then I'll give them additional challenge words.
I have a focus board where the words are displayed for the week and then the word cards are added to our word walls. I have two, one for the word families and one for the sight words.
(My darling word wall is from Fredia's TpT shop over on Frogs in First)
(I got these letters and strings from Lakeshore)We also do some fun activities whole class at other times of the day like Read the Room. I love this activity because the kids are reading, writing and sorting the words as well as moving around the room.
This is the form I use. I just place the 14 words around the room and let them find and write them. This is a great self-starter.
This activity I call 'Write Here'. I adapted it from a Reading Recovery idea. It's quick, very easy preparation, fast paced and takes about 5-7 minutes to do all the words for the week. My kiddos all have a white board and I tell them to write a word some place on their board. Then we check it by spelling the word aloud. (Sometimes we even use the silly voices: cowboy talk, baby talk etc) Then I say, "Write Here" and point to a new spot on the board and they write it again, then we check it again. I do this 5 times. Then I say, "anywhere go" and they write the word over and over again until I say stop (about 10 seconds). Then they erase their boards and we do another word. I used to do this with a little white board but now I do it on the Smart Board. It's great because it's so much bigger and everyone can see it. I even have the kids come up and be the teacher.
This is another very easy game for Daily 5 wordwork or whole class called Roll and Spell.
Click HERE to download some of the activities mentioned in this post. I've included the spelling test paper, Read the Room recording sheet, Trace It, Word Family Find, and Roll & Spell.
So there you have it. That's how I do my word study. I'd love to hear your ideas and comments.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a great week!
I've had several emails about the word family charts and where you can get them- they are on my Teacher Shops. Just click the TpT or Teacher Notebook link on my side bar.