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Word Study

Compiled By: Jennypie

Word study is an important component to a well-balanced classroom. Here are activities and resources to use in your classroom for word study/ word work activities.

Word Study Activities
Posted by: Belia

Make portable word walls or have the students make them for you. Use either the Dolch word lists for the appropriate grade level, theme words from a unit of study or grammar lists such as proper nouns.

You give the title. Say, Proper Nouns by writing it on an 8 X 5 index and have the students find words that belong to that category from their assigned source (book reading at present, Science book, Newspaper, etc.). Have them work in pairs, write the words on index cards and tape in a column below your heading. Limit the number to approximately 10 of their best words. With proper nouns insist on both genders being represented along with professional titles. Hang them from the ceiling for spelling aids and review. Any words hanging from the ceiling MUST always be spelled correctly when used in any writing activity. After you have three or four hanging lists, you can then do quick whole class "on the back" reviews where the students write the numbers 1 -5 on the back of any of their papers and you give clues (while they write words). Clues: "1. It's a word wall word !(this is always the first clue), 2.It is a person. 3.It names a professional. 4.The man's title tells you something about his profession. 5. His title is not Professor. He is,...Dr.Jim Jones!"

This is an adaptation of Word Wall Activities which I do with my first grade students. We make word walls for every subject, theme, story, etc. And after a while we begin to remove them. Storage is easy because the cards are taped one below the other on both sides leaving about 1/8' space for accordion folding. Store in a see-through shoe box labeled "Science", "Books", etc.

Another thing we do is to give a ditto with the instructions: "Find 5 word wall words which are nouns." Space is provide for the students to write the words and below that area is the next directive: "Use your nouns to write descriptive sentences." Lines are provided and below that is the final instruction: "Circle one of the numbers and illustrate that sentence on the back."

Or give a list of words for students to write on index cards. They look up the meaning in the dictionary and write it on another card. Cards are then labeled on the right hand corner by color and number (Student number 1 might label both of his sets with a red 1). Cards are used to play "Word Concentraion" with a reading buddy anytime both finish work early. Terrific voc. review.

Good luck! Hope this helps to get your creativity going! I'm sure you'll come up with some neat ideas.

Our Guess the Covered Word
Posted by: KcK

I do "Guess the Covered Word" and the kids LOVE it!! I use my overhead projector and project it onto my dry erase board and many of my GTCW activities come from the Four Blocks books. It is a bit tedious to cover them with little post its, but once you get the hang of it, it is super easy! I have the kids set a goal of how many words they think they should be able to get.

I put it up and we read the piece sentence by sentence. I have the kids give me three guesses and a scribe records them on the board next to the piece. We learn to look at the space provided and the context of the sentence before we make any guesses. Then I uncover the first part of the word. You really should cover to the first vowel as one group (the onset) and then cover the rest of the word as the second group. After I uncover the first part, we see if any of our guesses would work. If they do, then the scribe writes it write on the board on the piece itself (if that makes sense, they are not writing on the overhead, but on the board which I projected it onto...I am confusing myself here!) and we move on to the next sentence. If none of the 3 guesses works, then they can come up with 2 more and we vote which one works best.

When we are done we read it again together and give a drumroll before I pull off the remaining post it. If the kids are correct, they get a point toward their goal. If they were not, we talk about it and work the reasoning together.

The whole lesson takes about 25-30 minutes when you used to it. The kids just love it and want to "play" all the time!!

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Spelling Dictionaries & Word Study Notebooks
Posted by: Jane

I use a marble covered notebook for Word Study. The first 13 pages we make an individual dictionary, a letter of the alphabet on the front and back (xyz on one page).

The middle of the notebook is for vocabulary words. Sometimes we work on Greek and Latin roots. Sometimes we have content vocabulary and sometimes we work with 5 new interesting verbs, nouns, etc. Essentially the middle of the notebook is to learn new words and their definitions with less of a stress on spelling.

The last 5 pages I use for individual spelling lists which the children study and work with each week. I only use a 10 word list so the students put 4 lists on a page.

As I look over weekly written work, I highlight misspelled words which the student enters into their personal dictionary. I also have a "Lexicon Line" hanging across the classroom (my version of a word wall for 5th grade). As I hang new words on the line each week, these words are also written into the personal dictionary.

When children make their own individualized list each week, they may use their personal dictionaries for words. After each spelling test, any words not mastered are highlighted in the list in the spelling section and then also entered in the personal dictionary also highlighted. The students are encouraged to try these words again at a later time and when they are mastered they are circled.

On Fridays I send home a stapled work packet for the week and I give the children time to find those highlighted misspelled words and to enter them in their dictionary.

"Word Rings"
Posted by: Louanne

I teach 5th grade. I created a "word ring" for each of my students. I typed out a list of all the basic words I really felt it was necessary for 5th graders to always spell correctly when writing, words like get, work, very, about, and so on. I got my word ideas from lots and lots of lists that I had collected. There are actually a total of 475 words on the word ring, but they are all very basic words that upper elementary students should always use correctly. The "word rings" are an alphabetical list of these words, and they are typed on 2 inches by 8 1/2 inch strips. There are 15 separate strips, each on a different color, which I laminated. I punched one hole in the upper left-hand corner, then attached a book ring to hold the 15 strips together. Students keep these word rings handy in their desks, so whenever they are writing, they can easily flip through to find a word. When I correct papers and a student has not spelled a "word ring" word correctly, I circle it, write "sp" above it, and they need to redo the answer, not just the word, on that paper (usually at recess time). They very quickly get in the habit of using the word ring, which is a great tool for them, and it also encourages the less motivated student to make more of an effort to spell correctly.

word work
Posted by: Lynn H.

I highly recommend "Month by Month Phonics for (whatever) Grade." It's published by Carson Dellosa and has many different activities. Every week, I did Guess the Covered Word, Making Words, and then one or two other activities. It takes a little while for the kids to get the routine down, but once they know it you can go pretty quickly. I was able to do my Word Work block in 30-35 minutes. My advice is don't try to start it all at once. Start by doing the Word Wall (chant, clap, snap, stomp) and writing the words, then add one activity a week until you're comfortable. Let me know if you have any other questions.

word study
Posted by: Ilvtching

We do a lot of word study activities. I am teaching first grade and we work on phonics. We don't have spelling tests per say. We have word wall words and they must be spelled correctly in their daily writings. We also incorporate our words from Rebecca Sitton. We have our phonics set up for the entire year. We have phonics lessons for each day (from the book Sequencial Phonics that they use), our word wall words go with those. We also have something called my books that we put in categories with our phonics. We focus on word families in our guided reading groups also.

We "test" the kids by having them read the words to us. We have the new word wall words for the week and then two weeks worth of reveiw words on the test as well. I really like this system as I am not a fan of weekly spelling tests. I don't feel that kids learn the words for anything other than the tests...

There is a program from Rebecca Sitton that doesn't use weekly tests in the traditional sense...I wasn't crazy about the program, but in its defense, I only used it for one year! It may be something for your principal to look in to.

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word study
Posted by: love2read

One of the things the kids like best is speed sorting. I get out my stopwatch and they sort their words as fast as they can. We do it once to practice, again to see how fast they can go and finally a last super-speed round. I always emphasize that no one is competing with anyone else. They are trying to improve on their own performance.

They also love to do word study art. I have them write their words and then draw a picture around them so they are "hidden". Then they switch with someone else in their group and find the words. Sometimes they make shapes (flowers, stars, circles) and write their words along the edges of the shape (like a shape poem). These are good for early in the week when they are getting used to the words.

Be sure you include some work on the vocabulary side of word study, like writing the words in sentences or a story. Sometimes kids just memorize these lists so to work against that I always ask for a challenge word for each column on my test so they have to remember and use the sort rule.

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Word Study
Posted by: scrapnteache

Word Study is huge in our area, my Master's Program had a course on it. I've used it for awhile now.

Sorting is a huge piece, children need to be able to compare and contrast spelling features and explain why they are sorting the way they do (I put 'skate' in the a_e column because the e at the end makes the a say "a")- make sense?

Time- it only takes a long time on the day you introduce the sort to the groups (it really does work better for the kids to have groups). Typical week for me is on Mondays everyone cuts and sorts their words, they meet with me and then complete a writing sort. (2nd grade, younger may want to just sort on Monday). Tuesday through Thursday I pick on activity that all students complete after sorting their words. For example, Draw and Label is in the book, the whole class can do it at the same time, just each child uses their own sort. On Friday, they test (you don't have to test, it's a bit of the 'old' I wasn't ready to part with)

Another good book is Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske, we used both when I was trained and I like the assessment piece of Word Journeys.

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Word Study with older students
Posted by: Debbie

Fountas & Pinnell's book, Guiding Readers and Writers, has a section on this. You might also adapt procedures from their book, Word Matters. On the words and lessons, I used 'Words Their Way' and grouped according to their spelling stage of development. They had high frequency words to work on (I tested all the 500 within the first few weeks of school and highlighted what each child had on blank forms), plus those from their writing; also, word study lessons from WTW. Each child had his/her own small 40 page notebook with the weekly words inside. The last 26 pages were devoted to an A-Z list of all the words they'd mastered; a 'Personal Dictionary', if you will. In addition to the weekly routines, they each had a study buddy who was working at a similar level and gave pre and post tests to one another.

Sight Word Ideas
Posted by: Amanda Gouin

I found some things that work great to teach sight words this year. I am a first year kindergarten teacher. One idea I have is a sight word bingo game I made to use at the end of the year. My kids love anything in Bingo form. Also, I made a fishing screen for my kids to fish behind. Behind the screen I have a bunch of diecut fish with our sight words written on them. They fish with a partner. Ojne catches the fish and says the word. The other one spells the word. They check each other and it works great! I also chant and cheer the words during our morning calendar routine. We search for them in poems, books, and our daily news.

Word Study
Posted by: Erica

I am a fifth grade teacher. I spent the last 2 months thinking about and refining a Wrod Study program that works for me (management wise) and meets the needs of my students. Every Monday, I give my students a Pre-test on 5 High Frequency words (though I teach fifth, most of my students are still at a fourth grade spelling level, so most of my students get 4th grade words, while a small percentage of them get 5th grade words). After they have this pre=test, the students search through their writing (in their Writing Journal, Reading Journal, etc)to find words that I have circled because they are misspelled. They add these words to their Personal Spelling Words list (PSW's). They choose 5 of these words to add to their Spelling words for the week. Some of the activities I do during the week are dividing the words into syllables, highlighting the "tricky" part of the word, figuring out a way to remember the spelling of the "tricky" part of the word, Word Study Crossword, and the students have to write a paragraph or sentences using all 10 words. On Friday, they receive a Quiz on all 10 of these words. The way I manage this is by giving each student a manilla file folder that is divided into 6 sections on the front. Each week, they write their 10 Spelling words in one of the boxes of their folder. When the time comes for me to Quiz them, they give me their folder, I quiz all of them on the High Frequency words, and then do thie PSW's (from their folder). This system has been working for me so far. The important thing is finding something that works for you. Words Their Way is a resource for Word Study activities that are categorized by Spelling levels.
God Bless! -Erica

Word Study
Posted by: Mrs. C

Our school has been implementing Fountas & Pinnell's Word Study for our spelling program. It has been great! The basic low down: Students keep a list of words they need to know in a notebook/folder (words misspelled frequently in their writing). Then, a mini-lesson is taught on Day 1 (it's a 5 day cycle) involving a language principle, for example /ch/ sounds of /k/, /ch/, /sh/. Students do an activity to help apply and gain an understanding of the principle (such as a word sort), then choose four words from the word sort (or other source depending on their level), and four words from their Words to learn list. There are different activities to do each day to help students gain the skills needed to retain these words. Students actually give the test to their Study Buddy on Day 5. It sounds scary, but if you model and teach them specifically how to do each step, it goes great!

I check their lists on Day 1 to make sure it's at the appropriate level and that they are spelled correctly. Students write their words in a notebook each week, also, to help them remember which words have been on their lists.

Fountas & Pinnell's book "Words Their Way" gives a great introduction and description, and their "Word Study" curriculum provides great mini-lessons.

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Word Study Notebook
Posted by: Crystal

I have my class make 2 or 3 columns in their notebook. At the top of the page they write the skill we are sytudying. (Example Short a / Long a)Then after we have practice sorting the words I have them write the words into the correct place in their notebook. (I teach 3rd grade) This is used with Words Their Way. i love this book!! The kids also love to do the word sorts. ( I print the words out in chart form and the kids cut them out to sort.)