Words Their Way
One aspect of District 47’s multidimensional approach to reading and writing instruction involves helping students develop as skillful spellers. Beginning with the 2018-2019 school year, Words Their Way was implemented for students in grades 1-5 Monolingual classrooms. The program is used as a supplemental resource in the Dual Language. During the 2019-2020 school year, we will begin integrating the program into our Kindergarten classrooms. Words Their Way integrates phonics, vocabulary, and spelling in a developmental, hands-on approach. The program is designed to help students grow their knowledge of language by analyzing patterns in words. This will help students become stronger readers and writers.
Below are some possible activities your child may bring home:
Word Sort: Remind your child to sort the 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 your child to sort them a second time as fast as possible.
Blind Sort: Do a blind sort with your child. Lay down a word from each category as a header and then read the rest of the words aloud. Your child must indicate where the word goes without seeing it. Lay it down, and let your child move it if he or she is wrong. Repeat if your child makes more than one error.
Word Hunt: Assist your child in doing a word hunt, looking for words in a book they have already read that have the same sound, pattern, or both. Try to find two or three words for each category.
Writing Sort: Do a writing sort to prepare for the assessment. As you call out the words in a random order, your child should write them into categories. Call out any words your child misspells a second or even a third time.
Spelling instruction is also woven into reading and writing instruction in ways that are natural and authentic. As students engage in the revising and editing portions of the writing process, teachers work alongside them to help them with their specific spelling needs. In addition, grades K-2 have a list of high-frequency words that students are expected to master.