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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Word Sorts--Use them to teach spelling!

How are you going to address the Reading Foundations Standards RF K.3, 1.3, 2.3, 3.3, etc???  Here are my thoughts...

Let me start off by saying that I have always used picture sorts or word sorts to teach spelling patterns and sounds.  I am almost 18 years strong in that. 

However, I have never completely 'relied' on them as my total 'spelling' teaching tool.

At this point, if you aren't differentiating your spelling words for your students you are doing them a major disservice.  Strong words, I know, but I believe in my heart it is true.  And, believe you me, parents do NOT understand it.  Anyhoo....

Last year, we started differentiating our spelling lists using Word Matters by F/P.  They recommend that each student be introduced to a pattern or several word patterns at a time and choose the words they want on their spelling test.  I did it.  It worked.  But it was HARD.  That's not to say that it is not a good is just better to use it with a small class of 16 or 17....not a class of 23+.

In the middle of the year last year, we were introduced to Words Their Way, a book I've had in my possession for a LONG time.  I think I got a 1st edition copy about 15 years ago during some training.  As a staff, some went the F/P way and some went with WTW.  My grade level did a combination of both.

This year though, as a staff we are going full scale Words Their Way and I have just completed my testing and grouped my students. I have 4 groups so far! There are several different levels of 'word understanding' that students can be in and the testing helps figure that out.  

Since Words Their Way depends so heavily on word sorts, I have been trying to think of a way to work that is easy for me and harder for my students.  Mean aren't I!!!  There are books with picture sorts that go with the program that I am thinking about ordering a few at a time, but I also thought I might just use this sheet that I made.

Here is how I plan to use them:

I hope this helps!

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