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Words Their Way Homework Schedule

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Words Their Way

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Words Their Way


Words Their Way is a differentiated spelling program that identifies, groups and then meets students at their developmentally appropriate spelling stage.

5 Spelling Stages
  • Letter Name Alphabetic

  • Word Within Word Pattern

  • Syllables and Affixes

    * Each stage divided into early, middle & late

    (Program has a collection of lists/word sorts for each stage)

    • In the main WTW book
  • Administered in Sept. Jan. and May

  • In 4th grade we begin with the Elementary Spelling Inventory.

  • Assessment can be hand scored or entered into computer.

  • If students correctly spell 20 or more words Upper-Level Spelling Inventory can be administered.

    Assessments (Cont.)
    • Words on inventories contain features such as short/long vowels, digraphs, blends etc…
  • Students are credited with spelling whole word correctly and also earn “feature points” if they misspell a word, but include a feature such as the correct short vowel sound or digraph. For example, in a word like “marched”

    students get credit for including “ch”,

    “ar” and “ed” even if they don’t spell

    the rest of the word correctly.

    Forming Spelling Groups
    • If assessment is scored with CD, program will automatically identify spelling stage.
  • Otherwise stage can be identified by looking at the last feature point that student missed on feature guide.

  • Usually 4-5 spelling groups per class depending on grade level and abilities of students.

    Scheduling & Organization
    • Once groups have been formed and stages have been identified pacing guide at beginning of each book tells which sort to introduce first.

    Scheduling & Organization
    • Teacher needs to decide how to incorporate WTW into daily schedule.
  • Some prefer to introduce/test on same day while others prefer staggered approach.

  • Sort can be used for a week or two weeks depending on needs of students.

    Small Group Lessons
    • Teacher meets with groups of 4-5 students.
  • Introduce sort by placing boldface headers and sample words.

  • Then divide up remaining words among students for them to sort.

  • When they finish sorting review with them and correct any misplaced words.

  • Check to make sure they know meaning of words.

  • Distribute paper copy of sort for them to work with at home/school.

    • Incorporated into ELA in
  • Word Study Packet

    • Spelling City https://www.spellingcity.com/
  • WTW Notebook with different activity for each night.

  • Regardless of how homework is done, words should be sorted each night in order to fully understand and then apply spelling pattern.

  • Alternate ways to sort words- speed sort, blind sort or other sort that is different from one done with teacher.

    • WTW is definitely a differentiated program.
  • Helpful as intervention, especially for students with phonics gaps identified on CORE Assessment.

    Things to Consider
    • Initial set up is time consuming.
  • How are you going to fit WTW into your day?

    (It takes about a ½ hour between tests and

    word sort introductions.)

  • Will you spend 1 or 2 weeks on a sort?

  • If children do not pass tests will you carry on or repeat word sort?

  • Will you administer tests or use Spelling City?

    Things to Consider (cont.)
    • If you do not have a phonics background it is a good idea to preview sort before introducing it to each group.
  • Requires several copies, especially when you first set up sorts for small group instruction.

    Closing Thoughts
    • This is the first year using WTW for most of our team.
  • We are still learning about program and what we do is a compilation of what other colleagues have used.

  • Would have been beneficial to have brief explanation of program to see how it looks in classroom.

  • There are many resources online for WTW management and activities.

    Thank you for attending our session!
    • Information available on Innovation Showcase Wiki
  • Feel free to contact us at Lake Norman Elementary if you have further questions or would like copies of resources.

  • Other articles

    Words Their Way - Miss Kruzil s Third Grade Class

    This year, the students will be using the spelling program called "Words Their Way ." This sequential word study program challenges each individual student by having them focus on the spelling words appropriate for their own level and also allows students to progress through the spelling levels at their own speed. New words are practiced every week through a variety of fun sorting and writing activities and are then reviewed each Friday with a weekly test.


    Word study is just what it sounds like – a study of words. Students are assessed throughout the year and placed into groups based on their current spelling ability. Students move through weekly word study patterns and activities during the week with a word sort test on Fridays. Students lists will be on a word study PATTERN (example – how prefixes uni-, mono-, -bi change the meaning of a word OR how to add suffixes such as -ion and -ian to base words ending in -t and -ic.) The quiz on Fridays will be on the pattern from that week with 10 -20 words being called aloud as students write them. Word Sorts focus mainly on prefixes and suffixes and root words, what they mean, how they affect the meaning and the spelling of words. They become very complex.


    Research studies clearly indicate that memorization of lists of "spelling words" does not promote the development of spelling skills. In the past when we`ve used this traditional approach of "everyone gets the same weekly list and test on Friday", many students who got a 100% on their spelling test could not spell most of the words in their writing! Memorizing a list of words and getting 100% on weekly tests does not necessarily mean your child is a good speller. It may just mean they are good at memorizing words for a test.


    Students will compare and contrast words by sound to categorize similar sounds. This helps them associate certain sounds with letters, syllable patterns, and spelling conventions. Spelling patterns help students to recognize similar patterns in related words in their reading. This increases their ability to identify and understand more complex words in their independent reading. Students learn to categorize words and word parts by meaning and parts of speech.


    They will be taking their words and sorts home for some additional practice. Here are some suggestions for practicing the words at home.

    • Sort the words - Your child should read each word aloud during this activity. Have your child explain why the words are sorted in those particular categories. Have your child sort the words again, but his time it should be done quickly.
    • No Peeking Sort - Lay down a word from each category as a header and then read the rest of the words aloud to your child. Have your child tell you what category the word belongs in without SEEING the word. Lay down the word in the category your child identifies, but give them a chance to change their mind. Repeat if needed for more difficult words.
    • Word Hunt - Assist your child in doing a word hunt. This involves your child looking for words in a familiar book, magazine, newspaper that have the same sound, pattern, or both. Try to find 2-3 words for each category.
    • Blind Writing Sort - As you call out the words in a random order, your child should place them in the correct sorting category. For misspelled words, you should repeat as needed until they are spelled correctly.

    Words Their Way - Ms

    Letter Sound Matching Game

    Smartboard Notebooks to use when introducing Words Their Way to your Students

    These SmartBoard Notebooks were created to use when introducing Words Their Way to students for the first time. I usually introduce Words Their Way whole class the first time, meaning everyone uses the same list. I choose a list that will not be too complicated for the kids who are the most spelling challenged. I want the first time to be about the why for the sorts and the how of the routine. I do not want anyone so caught up on the sort itself that everything else is lost.

    The thought process behind these Notebooks was to introduce the differences between a traditional spelling list and word study, to introduce the process of sorting words, learning the routine for cutting out words, and the importance of knowing what a vowel and a consonant is for understanding patterns in words. Even when doing all picture sorts it is important for children to understand the focus is really on letters and letter sounds. So, please feel free to use these in your classroom and happy word working!!

    This Notebook includes Sort #1 of the Word Sorts for Letter Name-Alphabetic Spellers book. It is an all picture sort focusing on beginning letter sounds.

    This Notebook includes Sort #38 of the Word Sorts for Letter Name-Alphabetic Spellers book. The focus is on short "a" and short "o" sounds in easy CVC words.

    This Notebook includes Sort #13 in the Word Sorts for Within Word Pattern Spellers. The sort focuses on long and short "A" word patterns. I have used this lesson as an introductory lesson for fourth and sixth graders.

    Click on the image to go to SpellingCity.com Homepage.

    Several teachers have created lists on SpellingCity.com from the Words Their Way sorts. Even if you have a free account you are able to search for these lists and share them with your students. Popular search terms are "WTW", "Words Their Way", "Emergent","Within Word Pattern", "Alphabetic Spellers", "Syllables and Affixes", "Derivational Relations", or "Sorts". Also if you find a teacher who has done several lists that you find useful, there is a feature that allows you to copy (Import) their lists to your lists.

    Websites with Cool WTW STuff

    Words Their Way Presentation by Jennifer O - Connor on Prezi

    Words Their Way Presentation Transcript of Words Their Way Presentation

    Words Their Way
    Word Study
    In Action
    Words Their Way
    Orland School District 135

    Presented by:
    Carita Hall, Jen O'Connor & Amy Vosler
    What is Word Study?
    A student-centered, active approach to teaching phonics, vocabulary, and spelling
    Differentiated instruction based on developmental or instructional levels
    The categorization of words that encourage students to develop generalizations about how words “do” and “do not” work

    Is teaching traditional spelling relevant for the 21st century learner in the 21st century classroom?
    What does word study look like?
    Letter-name Alphabetic Stage
    Represent beginning and ending sounds
    Have rudimentary/functional concept of word
    Read word by word in beginning reading materials
    Uses letter names to spell vowel sounds
    Omits most silent letters
    Finger points and reads aloud

    Let's "DO" a sort.
    Spell most single-syllable short-vowel words correctly
    Spell most beginning consonant diagraphs and two-letter consonant blends
    Attempt to use silent long-vowel markets
    Read silently and with more fluency and expressions
    Write more fluently and in extended fashion
    Can revise and edit writing

    Within Word Pattern Stage
    Syllables and Affixes Stage
    Spell most single-syllable words correctly
    Make errors at syllable juncture and in unaccented syllables
    Read with good fluency and expression
    Read faster silently than orally
    Write responses that are sophisticated and critical

    Derivational Relations Stage
    Have mastered high frequency words
    Make errors on low frequency multisyllabic words derived from Latin and Greek combining forms
    Read with good fluency and expression
    Read faster silently than orally
    Write responses that are sophisticated and critical

    Primary Spelling Inventory
    (PSI) pg.315
    Elementary Spelling Inventory
    (ESI) pg. 319
    Used as early as first grade
    Upper Elementary Spelling Inventory
    (USI) pg. 322
    Upper elementary, middle school and high school
    To determine a student's developmental spelling stage
    Turn to page 19 and refer to figure 1.13 and pages 22-23 and refer to figure 1.15
    Stages of spelling
    To share enough information to begin the program with confidence
    The Mission Today.
    Systematic Instruction
    Think about the many different ways you can sort these words.
    Please sort the words that were just passed out!
    Meaning Sorts
    Words Their Way
    Program is based upon the five stages of spelling development through which all children naturally progress. Word sorts correlate to each developmental stage.
    Stage 1: Emergent Stage
    Early and Late Emergent Spellers
    Stage 3: Within Word Pattern

    (Early)Inflected endings
    (Middle) Syllable Junctures
    (Late) Unaccented Final

    (Early) Blends
    (Middle) Long Vowels
    (Late) Other Vowels
    After administering the spelling inventory, score the tests using the
    feature guide
    that correlates with your inventory
    The Spelling Inventory
    is a
    Workshop Objectives
    Each student is placed in their correct developmental stage according to the results from the diagnostic assessment
    Assess. Data Driven Instruction
    Select sorts from the companion books and teach students according to their instructional needs.
    Classroom Management/Routines.

    Plan an effective routine and schedule for word study including small group instruction, independent work, weekly tests/assessments and homework
    Data driven instruction
    spelling inventories to identify students' stages of development
    Classroom Routines
    Supplies & Record Keeping
    different ways to store weekly sort (envelopes, baggies, etc)
    WTW notebook
    Student Materials

    Teacher Organization
    sort lists
    Weekly Schedule Ideas

    Meeting in small groups
    guided reading groups
    word study groups
    weekly check-ins
    Students need weekly instruction regarding their word sort.
    How will this look in your classroom?
    Make connections
    with their word sort
    to their writing
    Concept sorts/check for content understanding
    Daily Five/Working on Words
    Word Work
    recording sort weekly (notebook)
    transfering their words
    word meaning/increase vocab
    concept sorts/practice with content
    Weekly Assessments
    How do I want to assess mastery of a sort?
    Traditional Spelling Test.
    testing during guided reading
    testing the whole class by calling different groups
    Glue and Sort
    nice for primary/emergent grades
    Questions you might be asking.
    How do I organize my room, instruction and data to successfully implement a word study program?
    Companion Books
    Assessment, Scoring &
    Sorting Activities
    Essential Question.
    Create differentiated groups based on spelling inventory data
    Approximately Grade Level:
    Pre-K to Gr. 1
    Approximate Grade Level:
    Gr. 1 to Gr. 4
    Approximate Grade Level:
    Gr. 3 to Gr. 8
    Stage 2: Letter Name Alphabetic

    (Early) Beginning and ending consonant sounds
    (Middle) short vowels
    (Late) digraphs
    Approximate Grade Level:
    K to Gr 2
    Stage 5: Derivational Relations
    Stage 4:
    (Early Emergent) Pre-phonetic /Scribbles
    (Late Emergent) Initial and Ending Consonant
    Syllables and Affixes
    (Early) Harder Suffixes, Bases
    (Middle) Bases & Roots
    (Late)Assimilated Prefixes
    is the goal!
    Ask students to transfer on spelling assessments!
    Early stage
    Late Stage
    PSI pg. 316-317
    ESI pg. 320-321
    USI pg. 323-324
    The Most Important Activity Is. SORTING!
    Blind Sort
    Pattern Sort
    You Sort
    Sound Sort
    Speed Sort
    Approximate Grade Level:
    Grades 5 to 12
    Approximately Grade Levels:
    Pre-K to Gr. 1
    Companion Book with Sorts for this Stage
    Companion Book For Late Stage Emergent Spellers
    Companion Book with Sorts
    Companion Book
    Pattern Sort
    Sound Sort
    How do I score and what does that data tell me?
    Words are scored by counting the number of features that students wrote correctly in each spelling stage.
    Grading & Forming Groups
    The feature guide will enable you to "see" where each individual student falls within the stages of spelling development
    Turn to page
    Some Things to Consider.
    This chart is a guide but does not dictate your groups. Students from many different grade levels will fall along the spelling developmental continuum
    Refer to your binder for detailed instructions on the various types of sorts
    What are the skills our students need to tackle the
    Common Core
    Critical Thinking
    Comparing & Contrasting
    Problem Solving
    Strategic Thinking
    This symbol indicates a page that should be marked in the
    Words Their Way
    text for further reading and future use
    Before we get started.
    What is TRANSFER. and why is it so important?
    "Teachers test students' pattern knowledge rather than their ability to memorize single words. For example, a teacher might have students work with twenty words during a word study cycle and then randomly test students on ten of those words. For students studying the -at family, a teacher might include the word "vat" on the spelling test even though it wasn't on the initial spelling list – this allows the teacher to see if students are able
    to transfer
    their knowledge of the "at" chunk to a new word they haven't seen before."
    How do we group these students into differentiated, developmentally appropriate groups?
    Multiple templates can be found in your binder
    Please bookmark all of these pages!
    Please bookmark all of these pages. First tab in your binder.
    Using the T-Chart in your resource binder
    compare and contrast
    a word study program and a traditional spelling program
    Okay. let' check in. How are we feeling?
    Turn to page 319

    What are the values of open and closed sorts??
    Closed Sort
    Given Categories
    Open Sort
    No given categories
    Do we need a 5 minute break?

    ". research has shown that learning to spell and learning to read rely on much of the same underlying knowledge — such as the relationships between letters and sounds — and, not surprisingly, that spelling instruction can be designed to help children better understand that key knowledge, resulting in better reading."
    Is spelling really important any way?
    Page 6 in your workshop resource section
    Page 3 in your workshop resource section
    Page 10 in workshop resources section
    Sample Weekly Schedules
    See It
    Say It
    Hear It

    Blind Sorts
    You Sorts
    Sorting Should Happen Everyday!
    Important Procedures and Routines
    Introduce sorts
    Teach skill/concept
    Students write and record their sorts into their WTW notebooks
    Students cut their sort and store them in their baggies/folders
    Students "do" a sort (speed, blind, partner, etc)
    Things to consider:
    Storing words
    Writing names or #'s on the back of cut apart sort
    Tuesday Through Thursday
    Q: How do you run centers in you classroom?
    Common WTW Center Choices:

    Word Hunts (transfer)
    Draw & Label
    Synonym/Antonym Detective

    Write a Metaphor/Simile/Analogy
    Figurative Language Center
    Sorting Everyday!
    Record Keeping

    Definition Detective
    Friday/Assessment Day
    Q: How does test day look in a WTW Classroom?
    There are 1000's
    of ways to
    word study into
    your daily

    There are MANY options:
    small group testing
    whole group testing (alternate calling lists)
    glue (primary)

    Correlate centers to CC activities!
    Buddy Sorts
    Speed Sorts
    Primary Example
    How will you keep track of each child's progress?
    Remember When Grading:
    A student should recieve a point for spelling the word correctly and sorting the word into the right category

    Books and Stages
    Diagnostic Assessment
    Let's Look At Some Real Classroom Kids.
    Administer the Spelling Inventory
    Grade Inventories Using the Feature Guide
    Find Correct Developmental Level
    Find Correct Sort Using Companion Books
    Steps To Instruction
    Weekly Tests
    Refer to resources in the binder
    Words Their Way In Action
    (or 2 wrong)
    Centers, Routines, Schedules
    Fifth tab in the binder
    Last tab in the binder
    Administer the inventory
    at the beginning

    of the school year
    Things to consider:
    Age of students
    Small group/large group
    Stop at frustration level
    Remind Students:
    No one was supposed to study for this test
    To do the best they can
    Write ALL the sounds they hear (primary)

    More presentations by Jennifer O'Connor

    Words their way homework schedule


    Homework gives you an opportunity to support your child's learning. The goal of homework in grade two is mainly to strengthen the students reading and math skills, support the development of their unique learning style as well as begin to make homework a meaningful part of their school experience. I have developed a 'Homework Menu' and suggest you and your child choose several items from it every night to work on for 15 - 20 minutes. The homework binder is to help with the organization.

    Spelling - Review most nights
    Schedule - New words go home every Wednesday in the red book
    Spelling test on the following Tuesday (test every week)
    Printing / Writing - Print the letters of the alphabet or a few lines from a book or write a short story or poem
    Math - Do several math questions - single digit or double digit addition or subtraction without regrouping (carrying or borrowing)
    Reading - Every night (if possible)
    Read from a book at home or one borrowed from the class. Record the time read on the reading graph and the name of the book read.

    To help motivate student learning and encourage successful learning experiences, we set personal and class goals. Our goal as a class homework project is to read our way around the world. I would appreciate your support by reading with your child every night and helping them graph their reading time. Using a colored pencil or marker makes it fun and makes it easy to monitor the progress. Each minute read equals one kilometer on the world map. Another activity, which will support their reading and their printing, is to print spelling words or a passage from a book every night. A sheet of printed letters is included. Their printing can go in the scribbler. Math review questions can be done on the math sheets for the first while as they help the children in lining up the numbers.

    Thanks for your support. Feel free to drop in, call or contact me by email (smcleod@staff.ednet.ns.ca) with any questions or suggestions.

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    Words their way homework schedule

    Homework Flag as Inappropriate No comments posted yet Comments Post a comment Sign In

    Homework is the out of class task given to students by their teacher to do at home. “Parents and schools have different viewpoints about homework, some schools believe that their students need a large amount of independent study work, on the other hand, some parents believe that academic work should be completed in school and home is for other leisure-type activities”, (Overall & Sangster, 2007) There are different types of homework. For example practice exercises which provide students with the opportunity to apply new knowledge, or to review, revise and reinforce newly acquired skills, such as practising words or phrase, reading, writing etc. What is Homework?

    lead to boredom with schoolwork deny students access to leisure activities that also teach important life skills Parents can get too involved in homework homework demands can limit the time available to spend on other beneficial activities, such as sport and community activities too much homework can lead to students losing interest in the subject, or even in learning parents can confuse students by using teaching methods different from those of their teachers homework may encourage cheating It can be frustrating for both parent and their their child if instructions are not clear enough The possible negative side of homework

    Homework can help students to develop good study habits (Overall et al, 2007. Homework can provide parents with the opportunity to see what's going on at school and let them be a part by expressing positive attitudes towards achievement. improving study skills, particularly time management teaching students that learning can take place outside the classroom promote responsibility and self-discipline teach good study habits and positive character Link the work to what is being learnt in class Give feedback on completion of work Try not to give finishing off as homework The suggested benefits of homework

    As educators it is very important to communicate clearly to students and their parent/s about homework policy. “Establishing, communicating, and adhering to clear policies will increase the likelihood that homework will enhance student achievement” (Marzano, Pickering, & Pollock, 2001). Below is a list of things that teachers need to communicate clear about and strategies of implementations time to be spent on the homework Ask parents to facilitate homework rather than do it Make sure the work is appropriate for the environment in which they will be working at home (Kaltman, 2006). Role of the Teacher. Homework

    Teachers should assign appropriate homework based on students‘ developmental Teachers need to give feedback on students homework Expect the work to be completed, mark if or follow up in class, this will demonstrate to students that it is valued Make sure homework is developmentally appropriate Ask parents to facilitate homework not teach content the homework schedule ( easily followed routine) Role of the Teacher: Homework

    build strong partnership with parents so that they are well informed about the academic, social and other aspects of their child’s progress in school and in the early childhood setting (Kaltman, 2006) Ways of communication include: Meetings Communication book/note A quick word when dropping or picking up child Email Newsletter ( own language) Final note

    Share presentation with a group

    Do2Learn: Educational Resources for Special Needs

    General Suggestions

    Suggestions to help students with homework

    • Maintain a consistent homework schedule.
    • Give parents a syllabus or a homework schedule that they can keep at home. Some classes have a website that post the weekly homework.
    • Review the assignment with the student. Ask the student to tell about the assignment and provide any clarification they may need.
    • Help the student to remember to bring their books home. Put a check list in their book bag. or tape a reminder in their locker or storage space at school

    Provide extra copies of instructional support charts at home, such as vertical number lines. multiplication tables. number boards. and mathematic grids.
  • Assign homework as a way to provide practice and review of previously learned skills. Establish the purpose of the assignment. State the expectation for completion of the assignment to the student. This will help to engage the student in the assignment.
  • Keep homework assignment lengths developmentally appropriate. For example, students in the first grade need to have no more that 20 minutes of work an evening. Students who have long, tedious homework assignments become frustrated and disengaged with the learning process.