Monday, October 27, 2008

Word Study 5 Ways

I have for many years included some version of word study in my program. Word study is a time when we focus on the way words work, including phonics, frequently used words, chunks that are elements of a variety of words (sometimes referred to as word families), and spelling patterns. I have drawn on resources such as Pinnell and Fountas's Word Matters. Over the years I have tried a variety of formats.

This year I am trying an approach from a book I have been reading this fall, About the Author by Katie Ray Wood with Lisa B. Cleaveland. She includes a sheet that has a checklist of ways for students to practice a group of frequently used words to help them add those words to their spelling (and reading) vocabulary. Students are to choose 5 ways to practice from the checklist. The list includes techniques I have used before. What I like is that students can choose from the list which gives them more investment. The list includes everything from rainbow words (writing the words using different colors for each letter) to play dough words to back writing. The students so far seem to be enjoying exploring the different ways and each is developing favorites. Back writing is a general favorite though initially it gave some of them pause, as they asked, "What should we use to write on people's backs?"

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