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Ms. Teacher#1's Message:

by Patricia M. Cunningham. It has several types of word activities such as: making words, Guess the covered word, Using Words You Know, activities for Word Walls, word Sorts and Hunts, and many more. I love it because it basically lays out the lessons for each month.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
Anna R. 09-09-2007 10:07 AM

Word Study is the examination of words through sound, pattern or meaning, depending which level of understanding a student is at. Basically, researchers have identified different levels of understanding of words and then formulated levels of instruction for students based on that knowledge.

Just like teachers understand that there are different levels of reading, soon, everyone will understand that there are different levels of spelling. And that would make sense, wouldn't it? Isn't reading and spelling naturally linked? The level of your understanding how to decode a word would be linked to how you spell a word, right?

Identifying a student's spelling level through looking at their errors, will give you a window into their mind. Looking at a student's results of a word study assessment I find to be very exciting, as it can tell me how a student approaches words. If I know how they are thinking about words, I can create lessons that are designed to carry them to the next level.

The first level is letter name. In letter name, students learn letters correspond to sounds. The instruction is focused on students listening for and feeling the sounds of letters in their mouth. Instruction centers around consonants, short vowels, blends, and digraphs.

The second level is within word. In this level, students focus on learning long vowel patterns and other patterns found in single syllable words.

The third level is syllable affixes. In this level, students learn how words change when endings are added. They also learn spelling patterns found within syllables. When students are able to identify syllable breaks and patterns, they can use them to quickly read and spell. I have found this level to be particularly useful in helping students become more fluent readers and advance into the intermediate reading phase.

The fourth level is derivational relations. This is when the students are able to understand relationships between a word's meaning and the spelling of that word, as well as words that are similar to it. A quick example would be the word "pleasure." Although it sounds like a short e is in the middle of the word, a student in derivational relations would be able to see that it is related to the word "please" and use that knowledge as a clue to spell the word.

This is a very "down and dirty" explanation. I use two main resources, Words Their Way by Bear, Templeton, et al., and Word Journeys by Kathy Ganske. I also use the small word sort books that are linked to Words their way. Each level has it's own word sorting book.

Management can be intimidating to teachers who are used to teaching whole group, but once you get past that, you will never go back. It is so nice really knowing how each students processes words.

I have also started a Facebook group (I am currently the only member) called "Teachers using Word Study" if anyone is interested in discussing Word Study further.

If anyone is reading this from Reno, I miss you guys!

ColoradoTeach 09-02-2007 11:19 AM

Check out the program Words Their can find it at Barnes and Nobles and most book stores I'm sure. It summarizes what it is and gives a great assessment you can give the first week of school to determine what level your kids are on. Hang in there! It will all come together!

Ms. Teacher#1 09-01-2007 05:53 PM

by Patricia M. Cunningham. It has several types of word activities such as: making words, Guess the covered word, Using Words You Know, activities for Word Walls, word Sorts and Hunts, and many more. I love it because it basically lays out the lessons for each month.

alicej 09-01-2007 05:25 PM

I use making words and for the older ones there is Making More words by P. Cunningham and different activities such as cloze activities

4strong 09-01-2007 07:58 AM

I would definitely talk with colleagues about the inservice. I am sure someone took notes or kept the handouts. I am also sure you already do "word study"....

Check with your librarian to see if there are professional development books in the teacher's section.

You didn't mention your grade level which would help more people to respond in more detail.

In fourth grade, I use Making Words by Patricia Cunningham; Word Ladders (I can't remember the author). I also agree with TeacherLisa that Fountas and Pinnell books are great. I'm going to use word sorts and word hunts this year (Words Their Way by Donald Bear).

TeacherLisa1st 09-01-2007 06:33 AM

Word Study is basically learning about what words are, how to compare them and how to build them! In our classroom during Word Study, we make spelling words (word family patterns) with magnetic letters and stamps, do "buddy tests" on the words, sort words according to beginning and ending sounds or vowels and so on. It basically involves teaching phonics and spelling so that it will carry over into children's learning of other literacy aspects: writing, reading, speaking, etc.

Look up Phonics and Word Study (I think that's the title?) by Fountas and Pinnell - that's what most schools use.

imalith 09-01-2007 06:16 AM

Word study is part of every good language arts and reading program. It depends on your grade level, but in sixth grade we break apart words by prefix and suffix and look at how the word changes when you add new prefixes and suffixes. We talk about similar words/antonyms, etc. Word study is just what it implies, you study words.

In Open Court there is a word study section in the teacher's manual. There are overheads that can be displayed. Usually there are several words in the column and sentences below that cover various skills.

Margaret916 09-01-2007 06:08 AM

I need help -- I have NO IDEA what this is. I've moved to a new school and I keep being told "We'll get to it" and I have no idea... I keep asking! But... no luck. The whole staff last year had an inservice training on it. I'm floundering!

HELP! Tell me what books to look for or find or anything! HELP!

*more information: I'm 6th grade -- and I'm told this is THE program to use. EEk. I've done a lot of word analysis with prefix, suffix, roots, part of speech, synonyms and antonyms, etc in the past, but as for "a program" to follow, they've got me confused! I hope next week after the kids come for the first week things settle and my colleagues can help me more...

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