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Monday, September 12, 2011

My continuing journey with Words Their Way

Last week, I gave my first spelling test with my students' Words Their Way lists.  It went remarkably well.  Over half of the students received perfect scores on spelling and conventions, and a half dozen more spelled all of their words from their list correctly.  (Just a reminder, I give dictation sentences as my spelling tests.  Students are given five sentences to copy down.  Each sentence contains about two of the students' spelling words.  They receive a spelling grade, and a grade for correct capitalization and punctuation.)

I have four different developmental lists.  I have two groups in the Within Words  stage, one in the Affixes group, and one group in Derviational Relations.

I have a word work taskboard that students use as a basis for word work.  (Thanks to my friend, Christa.  I tweaked hers.) They have also been doing sorts and playing games from the Words Their Way book.  As we begin to move into our more regular schedule for Daily Five (although mine is Dailya Three), they are given a word work task or tasks to complete each week.  They also have another list of word activities that they can choose from if they finish the one that is assigned for the week.  I am anxious to see how they do with the independence required to work on these.  I am hoping that it goes well.

With each of my groups, we meet at least once during the two week time period so that I can check their understanding of the rule associated with their words.  We work with the words for two weeks before we do the dictation assessment.  I send home little/no spelling homework. 

I hope that not only do they do well on next week's spelling tests, but that they begin to learn the rules and have some carryover into their daily writing.  That is my main goal in using this format!

How many of you are using Words Their Way?  What are you doing with it in your classroom?