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Word Study Instruction Using Words Their Way

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1 Word Study Instruction Using Words Their Way

2 How do you teach spelling words?
Drill and practice has earned traditional spelling instruction a reputation for being BORING! No big picture and no ultimate – as soon as one spelling list is tested, another list takes its place. Word Study is not based on the random memorization of words. A word study program is a cohesive approach that addresses word recognition, vocabulary, and phonics as well as spelling.

3 Getting to Know Words Their Way
What is word study? Purpose of Word Study Basics of Word Study Stages of Spelling Development How to Assess and Group Students

4 Purpose of Word Study Develop a general knowledge of English spelling.
1. Examine words through active exploration using a hands-on, manipulative approach 2. Discover generalizations about spelling, instead of just spelling rules (regularities, patterns, and conventions of English orthography needed to read and spell). Increases students’ specific knowledge of words related to the spelling AND meaning of individual words.

5 Basics of Word Study Alphabet:
Word study evolved from over three decades of research that explored the developmental aspects of spelling. These researchers examined the three layers of English orthography—alphabet, pattern, and meaning. In their research, they found that each layer builds on a previous layer. Alphabet: Based on the relationship between letters and sounds. These examples show how to create words by combining letters, either singly or in pairs, to form sounds from left to right. CAT- a single letter represents each sound. Students blend the sounds for /c/, /a/, and /t/ to read the word cat. CHIP- students still hear three sounds even though there are four letters, because the first two function as one sound

6 Basics of Word Study Pattern: Meaning:
In the English language, single sounds are sometimes spelled with more than one letter or are affected by other letters. When students look beyond single letter and sound match-ups, they must search for patterns. EX> a final e will often make the preceding vowel stand for the long vowel sound, like in the word cape (cap vs. cape, gap vs. gape). It follows a pattern of consonant-vowel-consonant-silent e (CVCe Pattern). Meaning: The meaning layer focuses on groups of letters that represent meaning directly. EX> prefixes and suffixes. Take the prefix re–. Whether students pronounce it as ree like in rethink or ruh as in remove, its spelling stays the same because it directly represents meaning.

7 Stages of Spelling Development
The stages of spelling development are Emergent Letter Name-Alphabetic Spelling Within Word Pattern Syllables and Affixes Derivational Relations These stages describe students’ spelling behavior as they move from one level of word knowledge to the next.

8 Synchrony of Literacy Development
Alphabet Pattern Meaning Pre-K to middle of 1st Emergent K to middle of 2nd Letter Name - Alphabetic Grade 1 to middle of 4th Within Word Pattern Grades 3 to 8 Syllables & Affixes Grade Range Grades 5 to 12 Spelling Stages Derivational Relations

9 Emergent Stage Emergent Stage (Pre-K to middle of 1st):
Students are not reading conventionally. Students write with scribbles, letter like forms, or random letters and numbers. Children learn to recognize and write the letters of the alphabet. They play with the sounds in letters and words. By the end of the level, students understand the concept of words and begin to match picture cards to the words that represent their names. Alphabet Sort for Different Forms of A and B Picture Sort for Initial F and T

10 Letter Name-Alphabetic Stage
LNA Stage (K to middle of 2nd): Students have been instructed formally in reading. Spellers in this stage use letter/sound matches to spell the most obvious sounds in words. Often, beginning and ending consonant sounds are in place before vowels begin to appear. At the beginning of this stage, students apply the alphabet principles to consonants. By the end of the stage, they are able to correctly represent most short-vowel patterns, consonant digraphs, and consonant blends. Picture Sort for ch, sh, and th Digraphs Word Sort for the it, ip and ill Families

11 Within Word Pattern Stage
WWP Stage (Grade 1 to middle of 4th): At the beginning of the Within Word Pattern Spelling stage students spell most single-syllable, short vowel words correctly. Throughout this stage, they move away from the sound-by-sound approach of the letter name and begin to include patterns or chunks of letter sequences that relate to both sound and meaning. Spellers in the within-word pattern stage know a great deal about short vowels and the short vowel pattern, the consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) pattern. In this stage, students begin by exploring the common long vowel patterns. Word Sort for Long-a Patterns, Compared to the Short Vowel Pattern Diphthongs and Other Vowels

12 Syllables and Affixes Stage
SA Stage (Grade 3 to 8th): Students can spell most one-syllable, short and long vowel words correctly. The focus for instruction in this stage is multisyllabic words and patterns. Students also learn to sort by specific vowel combinations, inflected endings, and vowel patterns in accented syllables. This stage begins with the study of how syllables divide in words with open syllables, such as cli/mate and re/act, and closed syllables like sup/ply and hun/dred. It ends with the study of less common prefixes and suffixes such as fore– and –ness and two-syllable homophones like cellar and seller. Word Sort for Doubling Before -ed Word Sort for Prefixes

13 Derivational Relations Stage
DA Stage (Grade 5 to 12th): Students spell most words correctly. The focus in this stage is on the meaning connection. Students how to sort words by pattern and meaning with an emphasis on meaning and related word parts. They will discover how spelling preserves meaning even when there are changes in sound. Students will also learn common prefixes and suffixes, examine the meaning of bases and roots, and learn about the classical origin of polysyllabic words. Prefix Sort for astro-, photo-, bio-, chlor-, eco-, hydro-, and hypo- Millennium Word Study and Sort Supplementary Sort: -um, -ium

14 Word Study in Action Word sorts are the heart of the program. Students use word sorts to group words into specific categories. As students complete the sorts, they compare and contrast word features, make discoveries, and form generalizations about the conventions of English orthography or spelling. Video of Word Sort:

15 5 Types of Sorts

16 Typical Week of Word Study
Monday Students receive words to cut out and write their initials. Students will complete a written “open sort” Teacher introduces words, demonstrates sort in a small group. Students explain why words are being sorted that way. Students take their own words back to their seats and independently replicate the sort. They will then write the sort in their word study notebooks. Tuesday Students re-sort words. They will pick 6 words to draw and label. Wednesday Students will sort words with a partner. They will check each other’s work and discuss any difficulties. Thursday Students sort words. They might have a speed sort against the teacher or with a classmate. Students perform a word hunt using literature currently being read. Friday Review game or activity using words of the week. Spelling Test and Word Sort Assessment.

17 Words Their Way Homework Explanation
Monday: Sort the word cards into categories (this type of sort has been taught at school).  For example you might sort out all of the words that have “short a” in them or “long a.”  Ask your child to explain to you why the words are sorted in a particular way.  Sort the cards a second time as fast as possible (you may want to time them). Tuesday Do a blind sort with your child.  Lay down the category cards in a row.  For example you would lay down the cards that indicate “long a” or “short a.”  Then read a word card aloud, without showing it to your child.  Without seeing the word, your child should point to the category that it goes in.  Lay down the card.  Your child should move it to the correct category if it is wrong. Wednesday Do a word hunt.  Look for their words or words with the same sound pattern in books, magazines, or newspapers.. Thursday Have a practice test!

18 Useful Sites Words Their Way Resources: Vocabulary Ideas and Videos:
PowerPoint Presentations for Word Sorts Companion Website for Words Their Way Words Their Way Online Tutorials Word Sorts Vocabulary Ideas and Videos: Spelling City:

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