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.
COLOR CODE EVERYTHING!
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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I've enjoyed reading how you use WTW in kinder – I use the program in 1st grade this year. Since it was our first year using it, I made my own notebook system with daily templates – 5 day rotations like you, but staggered (with different activities each day) so I can meet with each group 2 days/5 day rotation (and get some grades, since that was made mandatory)…it's not as confusing as it sounds somehow. Anyway, I cut down on the use of baggies by having my kids clip their sorts with paperclips. There was a learning curve with using the clips, but it's been GREAT for conserving resources. They put their clipped sorts in a small manila envelope stapled inside their word work notebooks. Just another idea!
This information about “Words Their Way” has been fantastic. I am hoping to do this next year with my group. One ? for you- which book do you start in September to use with Kindergarten students? I wasn't sure but wanted to get an idea and you probably already answered this in a previous blog.
Many thanks for the organization part.
Hi Greg – I'm not a teacher but enjoy seeing what you do to try to get ideas to help my own kiddos. This series has really sparked my interest as my 1st grade daughter is really struggling with reading and spelling, and I'm having a hard time working out how she is processing the sounds. As far as I can tell, her class hasn't taught any phonics at all but we've been practicing sight words, spelling words, and doing readers with her daily. The Word Journeys book that you've used for this series appears to address how kids learn phonics and how their use of letters develop. Is this right? Do you think this book would be useful outside of the classroom for parents trying to help their struggling kids? I don't mind buying it if it would be worthwhile, but also don't expect to ever use it again. Is there something else you would recommend to parents trying to help their kids with phonics? Thanks so much!
This would be a great resource for you and your daughter! It really helps with phonics and sounds. I say definitely check it out!
Awesome post! I had no idea you get get colored baggies like that! Game changer!
Thanks so much for your reply – we'll definitely check it out!
Did I miss it, what happens on Day 5?