Hello, 3-Day Weekend! I hope everyone else is enjoying an extra day off! I wanted to share with you today about how I do Word Study and Spelling in my 5th grade classroom this year.
First, I always begin with a spelling rule or principle. I get my principles from all over, but mostly from The Continuum of Literacy by Fountas and Pinnell and from my own students’ needs based on their misspellings in their writing.
Here is an example of a principle that we completed recently:
I always have a few example words already written on the chart. The students and I read and discuss the principle. Then, they help me generate some additional words to add to the list. I do have a list of words on a post-note to help me guide the students if they are struggling to brainstorm words. I put a star beside the ones that are for my ESS/ELL students. The rest of the students choose 15 words from the list based on their own spelling abilities. We spend some time at the beginning of the year discussing spelling words that are just right for each speller.
Now that the students have their chosen spelling words, we are ready to practice. I have a list of activities that span two weeks that the students complete with the same list of words. Here is my current list of daily activities:
I attempted to integrate some CCSS in some of the choices, (Day 4 and Day 6). I also left a Teacher Choice day so I could choose an activity that was better suited for the words of that week. For example, if we are doing prefixes the students could circle the prefix and underline the base word. I also added a student choice so they could complete a fun activity with their words (building words, rainbow words, etc). And the student choice is a great built in make-up day. If a student gets too far behind on their daily assignments, they lose this day. Another activity that I is not shown on this list is one of my favorite activities: Making Connections among words. You can read more about that activity here.
And that’s it! No fuss, and I love using the same words for 10 days instead of a week. It takes longer on the Monday that we first introduce a new set of spelling words, but after that, it only takes about 10 minutes of class time.
I would love to hear how you do Word Study/Spelling in your classroom.