Thursday, September 8, 2011

Word Study in 5th grade

I have carved out 15-20 minutes each day for word study in my 5th grade classroom. I assessed the class using the Elementary Spelling Inventory from Words Their Way and we have now settled on a schedule with the help of Words Their Way and another wonderful book about spelling instruction called Word Crafting. The assessment helps determine where the developmental level is for a particular student.

Our schedule is listed below:
Monday: Open Sort - I give the students a sheet of about 20 words for them to cut out and decide how to sort. After a few minutes, we discuss the categories that the students generated. Students place their cut words in an envelope for future sorting. The words come from the list of sorts in the back of Words Their Way, which is probably the leading resource for word study instruction.

Tuesday: Closed Sort - I give students the categories and they sort their words accordingly. Then they record them in their word study notebook.

Wednesday: Blind Sort - Students partner together and are given the headings for their sorts. Then they need to sort the words without seeing them.

Thursday: Word Games - One of the games we play is Spelling Spree which comes from Word Crafting. Students start with a simple word like "cat". Then, they try to make another word by making only one move which could be adding a letter or deleting a letter. For example, I could replace the "t" in cat with a "p" and make "cap". The players continue making words in this fashion in a seven minute time period. Other activities you could use for this day include word hunts where students search text for words that fit the categories for the week.

Friday: Blind Writing Sort - I give the students the categories and then call out words for them to write and place in the categories. This is a great formative assessment to check their knowledge of the featured patterns for the week.

We'll see how this works out, but we're off to a promising start.

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