Phonics and Spelling Worksheets Part 3


The last section of this text describes what research has shown DOES work when it comes to phonics and spelling instruction.  Here is what was suggested:

  • Step ONE:  ASSESS students using a strong diagnostic tool
  • Step TWO:  Create Groups
  • Step THREE:  Maintain a consistent routine
    • Set up:
      • work stations (students move among 4 stations) OR…
      • Daily structured routine (everyone does the same activity with different words)

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!  HA!  What are the recommended activities that support word study?   Here are the activities mentioned in this text:

  • Word Sorts:
    • Open Sort – No headers given (good formative assessment)
    • Closed Sort – Headers and example given (always ask students to explain the sort to you or a classmate)
    • Blind Sort – Students hear the word and try to write it in the correct category
      • allow students to check their spelling
      • add words not previously sorted
    • Speed Sort – students set a personal goal and try to beat it
  • Word Study Notebooks: to record their thinking (Trail of Learning)
  • Poems:  Highlight words that follow pattern
  • Games:  Dominos, Blank Boards, Show Me
  • Anchor Charts Students can add to these as they work and find others words that fit
  • Word Wall (color code words by groups)
  • Interactive Writing: At the end of the day one important thing worth remembering is written in a class journal
  • Independent Writing: students need to write on their own EVERY day…students need to be accountable for applying what they have learned.

This book is a first step in changing one’s practice away from the traditional Monday to Friday spelling routine.  It does a good job of convincing the reader of WHY this practice should be changed.  HOW to change one’s practice (the hard part) is only lightly touched upon in this text though.  I like that the authors acknowledge the challenge in shifting to a Word Study approach and suggest teachers embrace the challenge and take things slowly.  I will end with a quote from the beginning of the section:

How do you as a teacher use this research regarding effective phonics and spelling instruction?  You’ll change and grow as I did, one step at a time.  Set a goal.  Try one or two of the practices outlined in this section.  When you feel ready, try some more.  Take time to study, think, and experiment (p. 53).


One thought on “Phonics and Spelling Worksheets Part 3

  1. Laura B says:

    I like the idea of a word study journal, but I need to find some new (and exciting) activities for word study that appeal to 5th graders. I hope our school-wide focus on word study this year will yield some fresh ideas.


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