Monday, August 1, 2011

My New Word Study Program

When I found out I was teaching Reading, Language Arts, and Spelling next year, I knew I wanted to revamp my word study program.  Last year I taught spelling for two periods, then my co-teacher taught it the rest of the year (to even out our course load).  The whole fourth grade used the Word Journeys program, which we all really loved.  This year, we really want to take it a step forward, and make it more word study, rather than spelling.  Below is what I have typed up to distribute to parents explaining our word study program.  

4th Grade Spelling/Word Study program
  •   Students will be divided into spelling groups based on their needs.  They will be given an assessment during the first week of school to determine these groups.  
  •   Each spelling group will meet with Mrs. Owens once a week.  If individual students need more instruction, they may meet more than once a week.  
  •   Each spelling group will be given a feature or spelling rule to study throughout the week.  Words that fit this feature will be brainstormed during the group meeting.  Students will record the feature and words onto their Word Study recording sheet. 
  •   Throughout the week, students are to practice their feature/spelling rule at school and at home.  Students are to record new words that fit this feature whenever they come across them in print and language.  
  •   Seven days after their group meeting, students will take a written test on 10 feature words.  Students will be given one point for getting the feature correct and one point for spelling the entire word correctly.  
  For instance:  Are dogs permited on airplanes? 
The underlined word is the feature word, spelled incorrectly.  The feature is to double the consonant when adding -ed.  The student would get one point for doubling the consonant “t” and one point for correctly spelling the word “permitted.”  
**Note:  Some words on the test are already spelled correctly.  If a student recognizes that the word is correctly spelled, they would automatically get the two points.  
  •   In addition to the feature list, all students will also have five high frequency words to study each week.  All students will be given the entire high frequency word list to study at home.  The high frequency test will be given verbally to students.  Students are expected to spell these words correctly each week.  If a student does not spell their high frequency words correctly, they will be retested until they do.

I would love to hear all my bloggy friends' input and comments regarding this!  Thanks!  


  1. This sounds great. I'd love to get something like this started with my 4th graders!


  2. Wow this sounds really good! I also would love to do something like this with my 4th graders. I struggle with spelling because the way we do it seem so inauthentic.

  3. This program sounds awesome! What assessment will you use at the beginning?

  4. This sounds similar to Words Their Way. Are you familiar with that program? The explanation looks great, very parent friendly. I like the double point system for each word...very smart.

    The Teaching Thief

  5. Thanks everyone so much! Word Journeys is very similar to Words Their Way, although I've never used the latter. The reason we went with Word Journeys is because I had the book from college sitting on my shelf collecting dust! The assessment we use at the beginning also comes from the Word Journeys book.

    Go Fourth! With Mrs. Owens