August 21, 2016
Your child brought home their first Words Their Way spelling words. The Words Their Way program teaches students the importance of word study through phonics, vocabulary and the study of word patterns and their meaning. The main benefit of Words Their Way is that it differentiates instruction, allowing each child to work at their appropriate instructional level.
Your student will been given an initial spelling inventory to help guide us in placing them into a group of words. Students will begin working with a different group of words each week. Word work will include sorting their words into categories, and noticing similarities and differences between words that sound alike. They will also write sentences.
Students will continue to have weekly spelling homework, and spelling tests. Spelling tests will be on Fridays. For each spelling test, we will ask students to spell a random group of 10 of their words for the week. The main purpose of these spelling tests will be to help guide each student’s instruction, versus memorization of the words.
Words Their Way focuses less on memorization and more on allowing students to have a more hands-on approach to their learning. The Words Their Way program encourages family support at home. Weekly homework expectations is below this letter.
I am excited about the opportunity to work with your child using Words Their Way. If you have any questions about Words Their Way, please feel free to contact me.
Each night of the week your child is expected to do a different activity to ensure that the words on their list and the word pattern of the week is mastered. These activities have been modeled and practiced in school, so your child can teach you how to do them. One sentence per word is due on Friday. The sentences should be written in the word work journal.
– Your child will sort their words into categories like the ones we did in school. Your child should read each word aloud during this activity. Ask your child to explain to you why the words are sorted in a particular way; what does the sort reveal about spelling in general? Ask the student to sort them again as fast as possible. You may want to time them.
– Do a “Write Sort”
– Your child should lay down the header (bolded) words or letters to help distinguish each rule.
– Child reads the word out loud and puts into the correct category.
-Adult will check to see if the word is in the correct category.
– Child will write down the sort in the word work journal.
– Do a “Blind Sort” with your child.
-Lay down the header (bolded) words to help distinguish each rule.
-Adult will read the word aloud and the child will point to the category it belongs to. Adult will put down the word after the child has pointed to the correct category and the child will move the word under the appropriate heading.
-If your child makes an error without seeing the word, show the word and have them sort it, but then try the blind sort again with words that they miss with their initial try.
-Do a “ blind write sort”.
-Use the list of spelling words from Monday.
-As you call out the words in a random order, students should write them in categories, identifying the similarities between the words.
-Call out any words your child misspells a second or even a third time.
-Do a “Speed Sort” 3 times
– Lay out the headings
– Students sort the words as fast as they can three times
– Write down how long each sort took