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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Words their Way: Beginning Stages

So, I have started my Words their Way journey.

Early in the week, I gave the Elementary Spelling Inventory.  The scoring did not take too long, and I think I figured out groups well.  I ended up with 4 groups:  A middle Within-Words group, a late Within-Words group, a Syllables-Affixes group, and a Derivational Relations group.  I was pleased with that, and I am hoping I can manage it okay.

The toughest part will be launching the Words part of Daily 5 with 3 different groups.  I am thinking that the first working with words activities will be pretty much the same for everyone--just using their words.  Sorts are pretty easy to start with for 3rd graders, so that is where I plan on starting.

I like the information I get from the inventory.  After listening to kids read and watching some simple writing assignments, I had a pretty good idea where students would fall, but I like the more specific details I was able to get from the inventory.  I think it will really help me to pinpoint instruction and practice for my students.

I will have students work with their words in class and at home for about two weeks on average before giving them an assessment.  My assessment will be 5 dictation sentences which the students will copy.  Each sentence will contain 2-3 of the words from their list.  This assessment will receive two scores:  a score for the correct spelling of their listed words, and a score for using capital letters and correct end punctuation in their sentences.  Each group will get a different set of sentences.

The main goal for me of this word work is for students to have carryover of correct spelling into their writing and daily work.  Let's hope it is a step in the right direction!

If you would like to learn more about Words Their Way, click on the picture below.


Victoria said...

Reading this post is an answer to my prayers. I gave the Elementary Spelling Inventory yesterday and will be scoring them in the next few days. A few of the students amazed me, but I was also able to quickly see where students spelled more basic patterns incorrectly (ie. plurals). This is my first year TRULY trying it- last year was a quick try, and then it "died out" quickly. - Victoria (

smares327 said...

I love your idea of using sentence dictations for assessments. Definitely trying that soon!