Thursday, May 5, 2016

Word Study: Day 4: Word Study In Action



Word Study days 4 and 5 are very similar to word study day 3.   I work with groups who need additional help and I work one on one with individual students who need extra help.  After the students independently sort their words they write and illustrate 5 words!

In this video you see the 'staches working on their word sorts and you'll see me working with some students giving them support as needed!



To see the rest of my series on word study, check out this post!



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Word Study Day 3: Writing 5 Words



Day 3 of word study looks a little different from days 1 and 2 because now the 'staches are writing and illustrating their words after they sort the words.

I will see groups as needed on days 3-5.  I almost always see group who needs the most help.   The other two groups I will see as needed, depending on how they're handling their sorts.

On days 3-5 (Wednesday-Friday),  we choose 5 words and write them in our word study notebook.  We also draw a quick sketch of the words.  

Our word study notebooks are just simple composition books!


The 'staches do their sort independently just like on days 1 and 2.




After the sort, they choose 5 of their words (or pictures, depending on the sort).  They write the word and illustrate the word.

This is where you see the benefits of word study show up in their writing.  This is where you really see them working with the sounds and words.  Writing the 5 words also gives you some valuable insight into how they are working with the sounds and what areas you need to focus on!


Below are some examples of what the 5 words might look like.  These are just random notebooks that I grabbed!



Here is a video of two students writing their 5 words!  One student is doing the words independently and the other is getting a little assist from Mr. Greg!








To see days 1 and 2 of word study, you can check out this post:




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Word Study Day 2


My series on Word Study/Developmental Spelling analysis continues.  

Day 1 is all about cutting the word sorts and the 'staches doing their sorts as a cold sort so I can observe and see how they do.

Day 2 is all about working with the groups.  On day 2 I see all three of my groups.  We work through the sort together while the other students are working on their sorts!  

I call each group to my table and have a student bring their sort with them.  We do the sort and briefly discuss the feature and they return to their sort while I call the next group!






To see what Day 1 looks like check out my post on Word Study Day 1!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Developmental Spelling Analysis and Word Study: Day 1



If you've read my blog for long you know I'm not a rule follower and I'm not a fan of mandates, especially when those mandates are things that aren't in the best interest of my kids.  I mean, I'm a teacher and it's my job to give my kids the best education and do what is right and what's best for them.    So when our district decided we weren't going to teach spelling but use Developmental Spelling Analysis and word study...I wasn't happy.  BUT I gave it a shot.  And here I am 9 years later and I am a HUGE advocate of word study in the classroom.

So what is this word study/DSA you speak of?

Instead of a traditional spelling list and test, word study offers feature inventories where students get repeated exposures to letter/sound correspondences which develops spelling ability.  

HUH?   Basically it's word sorts.  Students are doing word sorts that are focused on a certain feature.  Beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, blends, digraphs, long and short vowels...etc, etc.

Word study is differentiated so it meets the needs of the student and builds on their previous knowledge of letters and sounds and words.

There is a writing component where the students have to write the words (in older grades they do a lot more writing of the words...) which helps them spell words and that leads to a noticeable improvement in their writing.  Why writing?  Because they're getting dedicated practice at hearing the sounds and writing the sounds of words.

So....what does this look like and how does it work in kindergarten?   Well you're in luck.  This week I am going to show you what word study looks like in our classroom day by day!  

So here we go...Day 1.

Word study is differentiated so I color code our word sorts.  3 groups.  3 colors.  

To place students in the correct groups we use the DSA as our screening tool.  After scoring the assessment we can group students so they're working with the features that they're ready for.


In our classroom there is a color coded list of names so the students can easily see what color their word study is and they know which sort to grab.

On Monday, we have to cut apart our word study.  Now, we all know with kindergarten this could take all day.  So we play a game.  Beat the bomb!  I set the timer for 3 minutes.  If you have your word study cut part before the bomb explodes, you get a treat.  Usually some Skittles or a sucker.  This means we're not wasting our time cutting and we're actually sorting!



After cutting their word study, the 'staches sort.   On Monday it's a cold sort.  Meaning they're trying to figure it out on their own.  I am offering support in identifying pictures they might not know, but I am mainly observing to see if they can determine how to sort the words and if they are reading the words on day 1.   This gives me some valuable insight into what we might need to work on the rest of the week.   (TIP:  If it's a particularly tricky feature I will give them a little help.  I might say:  "Blue group, you're sorting my the middle sound...").  






Once they finish their sort and I check it, I will pull out words or pictures that are sorted into the wrong categories and ask them to try again.  Or if someone is really struggling I might work with them one on one for a few words and get them going.

After they sort and it's all good, they put their sort away.  We use the same sort for the entire week.  The sorts go into ZipLoc bags that are the same color as their sort.  They put their name on the bag and put their sort in the drawer for their group.  Of course, the drawer is the same color as the sort!  


And that's day 1 of word study.  Takes about 15-20 minutes on Day 1.

Here is what Day 1 looks like from cutting to sorting:



Make sure to come back the rest of the week and check out all 5 posts to see who we work on our words all week.

We use Words Their Way for our word sorts:







And Word Journeys for the assessment tool and differentiation:



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Schedulin Sunday! Oceans!



Hello Schedulin Sunday!  We're down to just a few more Schedulin Sunday for this school year and then we kick Summer With Smorgie!   Ya'll...I ain't ready for this year to end.  I am having a blast with my 'staches and we still have so much to do and cover!!!!!!   EEEK!

But, it's Sunday so let's get right into all the craziness, learning, glitter, mess and fun we have planned for this insanely busy week!

As always, you can snag my lesson plans by clicking on the picture below!




So I am always excited about a new week because it's full of possibility and to be frank, I am a big dorky teaching nerd who LOVES LOVES LOVES to plan activities and lessons and see it all coming together.  HUGE TEACHER DORK!   But this week I am even more excited because we're doing a brand new unit for me....OCEAN ANIMALS!   Last year, we did a few random ocean animals, but this year, we're going all in for ocean animals.  Two weeks of exploring the deep blue sea....SO.  EXCITED!






Click the images to see the books on Amazon!


We're going to kick off our ocean research project with an ocean day where we learn about the ocean.  We'll do a schema map, read  and watch some videos and then do our ocean tree map.  

Then each day after will be a different ocean animal!  We will read a book about the animal, watch a YouTube video for each animal, make a tree map for the animal, and of course do an art project for the animal!

Here are some examples from last year:




And we're making a submarine snack!



This week we're also learning about OO words!  

We will read our spoon words, play our MOO game and make POOP words!  TRUE STORY!


Write OO words on plastic spoons.  Students choose a spoon, read the word and TEACHER GREG hot glues the spoon onto the chart!

Print the cards, place in a bag.  Pass the bag.  Choose a card.  Read the word.  If you read the word you keep it, if you can't read it, it goes back in the bag.  If you get MOO you say MOO! and put all of your pieces in the bag!

Read Everyone Poops!  True story.   Giggles.  Lots of giggles.
Make a list of OO words.
Build OO words with fruit loops and smelly markers.

Did I mean poop?  Instant engagement.

Click below for your freebies!




In math we're doing measuring weight and subtraction!  

We'll predict/estimate which object is heavier...and then we'll use the scales to measure the heavier object!

The next day we predict how many cubes the object weighs.  And then we use the scale to find out how many cubes each object weighs!

Click the pictures for your freebies!




We'll also be using  my Ocean Measurement creation to practice using rulers to measure height and width!


For subtraction, we're going to be putting subtraction IN THE BAG!

We choose a subtraction card, solve the equation and sort!

click the picture to see more about the game and snag your freebies!!




And of course, it's QU Wedding Day!

Click the pictures to see my post about our SUPER SIMPLE, SUPER CUTE and SUPER FUN QU Wedding!   Did I mean simple and easy?!





And of course...freebies!





And these resources will be used in our classroom this week:






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