As most of you know, I got engaged last week (you can read more about it here) Ekkk! Still can't contain my excitement about it but since then I have been wedding planing/researching nonstop! It is so hard to pull myself away from browsing wedding websites and get back to my long to-do list for the start of the school year. But I did manage to pull myself away for a little while to work on a few aspects of the Daily 5.
Onto Word Work:
For my spelling, I use Words Their Way spelling sorts. I give a spelling inventory at the beginning of the year (and each quarter there after) and put students in groups based on their spelling needs.
Mondays I'll be giving students their new spelling sorts. The sorts will be right on their desks so when they enter class Monday morning their morning work will be to cut up their words. Their words go in a basic envelope that are kept inside their word work spiral notebook. Also another spelling sort is on their desk to take home to use for homework.
During the Daily 5 on Monday I will be meeting with each spelling group and talking about their new words. The words will already be cut up and we will be ready to work. On this day student's will NOT be choosing word work as a Daily 5 choice since that is what they will be doing with me! When we check in as a class and students make their Daily 5 choices I'll just simply call on the students who will meet with me and they will forgo making a choice.
Note, I'm not with them for the entire rotation. I meet with them and deliver a short mini-less on their word pattern then leave them to sort the words on their own and write them in their notebook for the remaining time (expect at the beginning of the year I'll stay with them).They will begin working on their 'Work Work Menu' at this time. I sometimes check back in with them to see how it is going and if they have questions. Student will be in a group though to help each other if questions do arise and I'm busy.
After I'm finished with the mini word work lesson I'll check my conferring notebook for appointments I have with other student. These appointments are on the student's reading goals (read more about my conferring notebook and appointments here).
I will use a Must Do and Can Do 'Word Work Menu' to help students focus on what to do for Word Work Monday and the rest of the week.
I know there are 6 'must do' items which seems like a lot to do in 5 days however students figure out how to pace themselves. Also some activities don't take up the entire 15-20 minute rotation so student's can finish 2-3 in one day. If it is too much for some students then it can be adjusted (complete 4/6 must do's) but want to start with high expectations!
All of the 'must do' items go in the student's word work notebooks so no worksheets needed. The ideas I have are taken right from Words Their Way. I will be checking their notebooks weekly, when I meet with them to take their spelling tests. On student's spelling tests they will also rate and reflect how well they did in their word work notebook.
The 'Can Do' items are just extra practice therefore no need to check them and some of the items don't require paper anyway like sign language and white boards.
As the year progresses the 'Can Do' items might change depending on my resources. For example, I might add Boggle or using Scrabble Tiles then adding up how much the words are worth. I'd recommend use what you have available first then see what might work with your class.
Fridays are when I'll administer their spelling tests. I'll do it during Daily 5 and pull groups just as I do on Monday. I would LOVE to have a parent volunteer do this but we will see if I can recruit one (not too likely). As I said above, I'll also check and/or collect the student's word work notebooks to check if I don't finish.
I don't particularly love taking two days of small group to do Work Work but I won't be doing any whole group lessons on their word patterns since students have different lists. You always have to sacrifice some time as a teacher! Also if students are having a rough time with a pattern then I can round up the group again and meet with them another time during the week. It is totally based on the student's needs. I will be checking in with them through out the week to see how things are going during our one-on-one conferences.
Download a copy of my word work menu with directions for Secret Code Spelling, Sign Language Picture to assist in student's practicing, and cursive guide for student's to practice their spelling words HERE.