I have developed the plan that the words are current for 2 weeks. Students complete activities for me and do activities on their own with the same set of words before I assess their ability to spell them. (Spelling is still a grade, and it still matters to parents, so while I try to encourage the concept of word study, the kids still think of it as spelling.)
I have four different word groups. Two groups are at different points in the Within Word stage, one is in the Syllable Juncture stage, and the last group is in the Derivational Constancy stage. Most of my direct instruction time is with the groups in the Within Words stage. My time with the other groups is spent making sure that they know the meanings of the words.
Here is what I have found so far: The students in the Within Word stage are not having great carryover into their every day spelling. Even though we have student CVCe since the beginning of the year, they still do not put that rule to use on their own. When prompted, they might know what to do, but they rarely do it independently. The other two groups are growing in their knowledge of word structure and vocabulary. They were already good spellers, and their daily writing shows this.
I am working to put more into my Within Words groups to help them move along. Do you have any ideas? Are you seeing progress with your students? Certainly, I don't believe that these students are being harmed by WtW, but it is also not having the effect that I had hoped for either. What do you think? Do you have something that you are finding to be more effective? I would love to hear your ideas!