October 7, 2012

Word Study and Donors Choose

I've always struggled with fitting word study into my schedule. It really hasn't been one of my favorite things to teach...until now!

My school uses Words Their Way--while some people love the program, I'm not one of them. The sorts can be complicated at times (especially if the students are in the derivational relations spelling pattern), the games are time consuming to construct, and the spelling patterns/words on the CD are more difficult than the words in the books. (The books are actually student books--those I like, but they cost a lot of money and with students changing groups frequently--they aren't cost effective.)

In any case, I have to use it, so this year, I have 3 groups! Usually I only have two, so having 3 requires a bit more management, but we're getting there!

Each student has a word study notebook, which is divided into 3 sections--word work, vocabulary, and grammar.

The schedule I created allows me to meet with all 3 groups on Monday and Wednesday. I teach a whole class vocabulary lesson on Tuesday and a whole class grammar lesson on Thursday. Friday is assessment day.

On Monday, I give the students their words and I meet with groups to give them their sorts. While I meet with the groups, the other students star the words they know and put a question mark next to the words they don't know. 

On Tuesday, it's vocabulary!! I love teaching vocabulary--I use short texts that are high interest and on level readability (the passages I use are from Great Source--the books have passages with bold words and they give the definitions!) I put the passage under the ELMO and show the students the text.

Click here to get these books

    I read the text aloud--chunking paragraphs and stopping to think about the words in the text--using context clues to figure out definitions, identifying synonyms and antonyms using a graphic organizer (and for homework, the students write a sentence or find a sentence that contains the vocabulary word AND draw a picture or make a connection to the word).

On Thursday, I do a whole class Grammar lesson and the students take notes in the Grammar section. The try-it activity is using a sheet from Scholastic or a game. In this case, I used Grammar Cop from Scholastic! (I ordered the online version of this for $1 when Scholastic had its dollar sale last year.) We had to underline the common nouns and circle the proper nouns. The text is really cute and the students enjoyed reading it!

On Friday, I give an assessment. Each group has different words that they need to spell and sort correctly (part 1). In part 2, they practice the grammar lesson (in this case, they needed to underline common nouns and circle proper nouns in the paragraph). In part 3, it's a vocabulary match for the words of the week. Sometimes I add in words from other lists as a vocab review. 

On a side note....

Laura Candler is having a DonorsChoose Linky Party where she's donating to 10 projects. The first 5 are the ones with the most votes...and I'd love it if you could go over there to vote for my project! It's #1 on the list--Success Seekers: Maintaining and Achieving our Goals (I want to have a goal binder for each student that contains work in Reading, Writing, and Math.)

Here's the link: DonorsChoose Linky Party

I'd really appreciate the vote...and while you're there, check out some of the other awesome projects that would love your vote as well :)

Sorry there's so much here...I tried to explain the shortened version as best I could!

I'd love to hear how word study works in your rooms! Let me know if you have any questions, I'd love to answer them for you :)

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