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 kreeves 08-12-2007 09:27 AM

Word Study/Words Their Way Question

I have a question about something with Word Study and am hoping that someone can help clear up my confusion. I am confused about how it works when kids move from one group to another.

If a student moves from his/her group to the next group, then they have missed out on the early sorts that that group has participated in. Isn't this a problem for them as they work on developing within the next stage?

Perhaps I am seeing the sorts incorrectly in thinking there is some sort of linear progression with the sorts such that the students need to work through systematically week by week. Could someone help me out with this confusion?

 Me too 08-12-2007 12:56 PM

You test the kids

and place them on the continuum, which shows you where to start them with their sorts. You should not need to worry about them not doing the sorts previous to their level, as their placement test showed you that they have a pretty reasonable mastery of the easier sorts. We don't want children continuing to practice what they already know. Go ahead and start them where they land on the continuum. Consider having them do all the sorts in say, Letter Name/Alphabetic before moving them up to the next level.

 kreeves 08-13-2007 08:09 PM

Re: Word Study/Words Their Way Question

How do you make sure that you only have, say, 3-4 groups at any given time? So that it doesn't get completely out of hand management-wise for the teacher, it seems that you need 3-4 groups in which the kids are completing the same sorts. If this is the case, how do you just place them on the continuum? I think maybe I'm being a little dense here...so any clarification anyone offers is helpful, whether it seems so or not!!! :)

 Me too 08-14-2007 04:58 AM

Re: Word Study/Words Their Way Question

Don't place them early, middle, late. Just place them in Syllables and Affixes, or whatever. Put everyone in S and A in that group, whether they're low, middle or high. Then the whole group gets the same sort. Same with the other levels. I keep it to four groups. I have 130 kids; I teach in a middle school, but I think this works anywhere:

I model a couple of sorts for the class first. I actually take a whole class period to model cutting it out, sorting it, writing it in my word study notebook, and writing the generalization I discover. Then we do it as a class, with each group working together. I do that a couple of times. Then I tell them the word sorts are now their responsibility. Every Monday, there will be a new sort on the wall, in their groups' folder, and they have until Friday to get it done. It's only a ten minute deal, usually, once they get the hang of it. It's a good thing that they can do when they finish an assignment, instead of asking for something to do.

I think also that by keeping everyone in one level doing all the sorts for that level, from beginning to end, you are solving your dilemma of kids missing what they need. I think that where they place on the continuum shows that they don't need the lower levels, but it never hurts to give them all the sorts for the level they're on.

Oh yeah, test the whole class at once. You'll get them tested in ten minutes, and you can burn through them really fast when you get a minute. Have a good kid be your "test-giver" to new kids.

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