Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday Word Work: Mapping the Course

With anything we teach routines are crucial for students and teachers. In our district, we have Grade Level Progressions to follow, and I am thankful for that map which helps me plan the lessons. In addition we are required to do 10-15 minutes word work a day; however, I always go over this time because I am weaving the skills into so many different content areas. 

Building excitement with words - teaching my students that words are everywhere!
Routines are established around three important principles to develop and encourage strong wordsmiths in my classroom.
  1. exploration
  2.  practice
  3. connections
  4. assessments
Exploration is my favorite part of word study. Nothing is better than when students are looking, thinking and working with new words. Several years ago I read Max Brand's book Word Savvy and it changed my word work teaching instantly. Here is the link to that post. After the students spend the first week discussing their names and practicing with them, we stretch our word learning to outside the classroom. See photo above. Our first month of word work is focused on the following:
  • assessing our students through a spelling and sentence dictation
  • word observations
  • word connections
  • word webs
  • word sorts
My goal is to encourage students to think differently about word work. One way I incorporate fun with words is collecting greeting cards all year. It's fun each month to pull out new cards and share them with the students eventually my students start to bring me their "fun" with words ideas. Here are some past blog posts about building fun in word work. 
Thanks for stopping by on Wonderful Wednesday I am excited to learn along with you as we explore word work.


  1. You have developed a great program, Maria - rich and engaging. Thanks for the ideas to try out!

    1. It's a continual learning curve that I am always reflecting on and trying to pull out the best practices.