Friday, October 4, 2013

Word Work

Searching for the definitions.
We’re a month into school, routine has been established and after all of the required fall testing, I can finally breathe. It’s that time of year, the air is crisp and I want to begin challenging my students. Pushing them to begin learning at a higher level, setting expectations so they know that this year there will be challenges, but we’re all a team and everyone will win.

If you read my blog often you know that I love words!  I tell my students that I am a wordsmith at heart and constantly thinking about vocabulary.  As our first mini unit ended with word observations, I realized I have a wide span of word learners.  According to our district spelling assessment, skills ranges from short vowel sounds, blends, long vowel patterns, and multi-syllabic words. I automatically had to adjust my thinking as well as my lesson plans. I want to continue whole group focus lessons, but I needed to find time for small group instruction. I know a common problem for all teachers.

I struggle with assigning buddy partners (high/low) groups. I prefer to have my students work with a wide variety of partners. Occasionally I assign partners but more based on relationships and not leveled learning.  One of the ways that I have already had success after whole group learning is using stickers to differentiate the skills. Students are able to work on the focus skills at their own levels.  Students who need additional help after I work with them I place their sticker in their word study spiral.  Another light bulb moment happened, I now have my students who complete their work early record their answers on our WS anchor chart.  Why did it take me 25 years to realize that there is power in having the students complete the anchor chart for our wall? 

Creating our anchor chart


  1. I need to get on the "stickers to differentiate" bandwagon! SO SMART!!

  2. I love the idea of having student complete/create anchor charts! I always learn something new when I visit your blog, Maria.