Sunday, January 18, 2015

Word study

Hi, all! Hope you're having a happy, fun, and relaxing weekend!

Do you do word study at your school? My third-grade teams alternates it with morphology every week and the Interactive Vocabulary Notebook that I created. 

 My team changed the format of word study this year. We used to change classrooms for each of our differentiated groups... well, no more. It always was a big waste of time, and I dreaded doing it every other Monday. By the time the kids got to their differentiated classroom and settled in, it was an extra ten to fifteen minutes wasted. Not efficiency at its finest.

We still differentiate for word study. Now, each of my teammates is responsible for two of the color groups. I am in charge of photocopying and making the quizzes for the pink and yellow groups. I photocopy these onto yellow or pink paper, and give out however many needed to each of my teammates. They give me the colors they photocopy as well, and I organize by putting each sort into the specific color folder.

Sidenote...I DETEST photocopying out of books (does anyone have this aversion? Or am I just weird??). Thankfully I have a fantastic copy mom who comes in once a week to help me out with my copying.



I meet with each of my four groups on the rug with the easel. Together, we sort their words into the correct categories on the easel, and they copy it down on their word study sort paper shown below. The pink and yellow groups mainly work with prefixes and suffixes... so there's not much to this. The purple and blue do mostly word sounds, so their sorts can be more frustrating. We sort the words, and the kids copy them down into their Word Study Sort sheet, fold it, and glue into their Word Study Notebook.



 Here is their word study schedule for the week. The students' Monday night homework is to cut, sort, and glue words into notebook. On Tuesday and Wednesday they complete one menu choice. Thursday they study words. Finally, Friday is the word study quiz.




 The word study notebooks are a spiral notebook instead of a composition book this year.  We decided to do it this way this year because it's much easier for the kids to turn their word study homework into our classroom outbox. It used to be such a pain to walk around and look at their composition books. To be honest, I frequently forgot to check these. My kids from last year and the year before realized this, and many stopped even doing the homework assignment, hence ultimately suffering on their word memorization and practice and getting lower grades on their quizzes. Now the students rip out their menu choice every day and turn it into the Outbox. Apparently it was a pretty steep learning curve for me to figure that out!

Fridays are the word study testing days. Testing isn't too much of a time waster either. An IA pulls the two highest groups (which have the least amount of kids in them) to test for about ten minutes in the hallway, and I test the other two groups on the rug. I prefer not to have the highest and lowest group in the same room during testing, since the words are very different from each other (such as magician compared to fir). Students in the past have gotten very into figuring out who is the "smart and dumb group," so I think separating the groups helps the kids not care as much which group they think is which.

How do you do word study? I know the way we do it probably isn't the best, but over the last three years, it truly is what works best for us.


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