Sunday, 10 February 2013

Working with Words


It's been a while since I've talked about Word Work in my classroom.  I've written a bit about what I do in this post here. In that post, I talk about three stations with math integrations. I took these photos the other day, which inspired me to post about some other Word Work options. 

In these photos, the students are working with ten letters.  These letters are selected from a lesson from "Making Words for 4th Grade" by Cunningham and Hall.  I do a mix of Words their Way (in differentiated groups) and whole class lessons with Making Words.  The challenge here is to find as many words as you can using the ten letters given.  And, if you use them all, you'll find one big word! 

Image result for making words for fourth grade



You might wonder why we are playing with magnet letters in grade 4.  First of all, it's fun.  We all know that doing something fun increases engagement and therefore increases learning.  There is also great power in "discovering" the words as you physically move the letters around.  Students are able to see patterns in words that they create.  They typically start with 2 or 3 letter words they already know how to spell, and take risks to build new words from there.  Having a limited number of letters to choose from helps them to work with explicit clusters of letters and build onto smaller word chunks.  Even if students spell a few words incorrectly, it's okay. 



Here is a quick listing of Word Work stations I use in Grade 4 and a brief description of each:

Magnet Letters
 ...either as described above for Making Words or to build words from a list of Words their Way words

Letter tiles
...to build words by hand
 
Scrabble Spelling 
...build words with Scrabble tiles, write them and add up the value

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Scrabble-Spelling-337358

Roll and Write Rainbow Spelling
...roll a die and write the word in a colour; 1 = red, 2 = orange etc

What's your Word Worth?
...write the word and add up the value using money (real or plastic)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-Much-is-your-Word-Worth-American-and-Canadian-Coins-Math-and-Spelling-337392

Type your Words
...in a word processor in the computer lab

My Word Sort App
...enter your word list ahead of time for the kids to sort on an iPad

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-word-sort/id668333369?mt=8


Sentence Writing 
...use your words in sentences to prove you know what they mean

Alphabetical Order 
...fairly straightforward - write your words in alphabetical order

Word Search
...make a word search on graph paper, then have a friend solve it

Dictionary Search
...look your words up in the dictionary, write down the page you found it on

 Place Value Spelling
...write the word and add up the value using base ten blocks
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Place-Value-Spelling-337373

Word Chain
...this doesn't work with all sets of words... you write a word, your friend has to use the last letter of the word to write the next word; repeat, test, torch, house...

Many of these are very easy to implement in your classroom.  Most don't need anything more than you already have laying around (dice, paper, base ten blocks, etc.)  I hope this listing helps you add to your word work rotation. 

If you do something different from me - I'd love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment!

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