Word Study Tips, Procedures And Organization

Today I want to share some of my “insider knowledge” about word study with some tips, procedures and organization ideas!  
Question 1:  When do you start word study?
We start word study in September.  We do it whole group for 2-3 weeks (depending on the class and how well we’re getting it!).   We do one sort, as a whole group.  This helps us get the sorting procedure down and helps us have an understanding of what we’re doing.
After those 2-3 weeks we move to independent sorting BUT we’re all doing the exact same sort.  Again, this is helping us work on the procedures and not so much focus on the sorts.  We start with beginning sound sorts!
After 2 weeks of this we take our first assessment and differentiate the groups!
We start our word study journals in January!
Question 2:  Where did you find the pocket charts?
TARGET DOLLAR SPOT!  They have them during back to school so stock up!
Procedure 1:  Cutting the word study!  Monday is when we cut the word study so we play beat the clock.  I set the timer for 3 minutes.  If they finish cutting before the timer goes off  they can get a piece of candy.  Usually Skittles or a sucker.  This eliminates the issue of the cutting taking forever!
Procedure 2:  Timing!  
We have about 15 minutes for word study.  I give them a 10 minute reminder and a 5 minute reminder!   After 15 minutes we clean up.  Done or not, we clean up and start writer’s workshop.
Organization tips:
We have 3 groups for word study so I color code our sorts.  This helps the kids keep up with their sorts and helps me when pulling sorts.
Speaking of sorts and keeping them organized, I copy my sorts for 6 weeks out.  This eliminates the copier dash every Monday.  I also copy 2 extras in case we lose them or get a new student!  I keep them in a drawer behind my desk and pull them out each Monday!  I already have them sorted and clipped together so I can just grab the next set of sorts and we’re good to go!
Print a bunch (that’s a scientific amount people…a bunch) of label sheets with student names!  This makes labeling the bags easier.  Teach students to peel and stick their own labels to their bags.
Yeah, those bags are color coded too!   Red group…red sort…red bag… The colored baggies are from Wal-Mart and Target has them somtimes!
Store the word study in colored drawers.  See, I told you!  Color code EVERYTHING!
On Friday, we take our word sorts home!
If you have any other questions, please let me know!
You can see the entire word study series by clicking on the image!

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