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Hope Rowland

Dr. Sullivan

Word Study Minilesson Reflection

I worked with my CT to plan the word study lesson. She showed me the word lists for the

following week from Words Their Way. The third grade classroom where I am placed has 14

students placed into three different groups for word study: letter name, syllable juncture, and

within word. I did my word study game with one of the groups. The group I chose to make my

game for was the letter name spellers. The sort taken from Words Their Way is Sort 41: Short

Vowels A, I, E, and Initial Digraphs.

The students had cut out their words for morning work so that when they got to my

station for word study they were reading to go with their own individual set to sort. To begin the

open sort, I had my students look at all of their words and ask them if they had an idea about how

to sort these words and they came up with by the short-vowel sound and by the digraph. Once

the students had sorted their words for the short-vowel sound, I had them read aloud their words

and made sure that they had all sorted them correctly. The students sorted and read their short-

vowel sort three times and then we moved on to the digraph sort. I had the students do the same

thing, sort and read three times.

After every student had completed the sort, I explained to them that we would now be

playing a game for the features we had just sorted our words into for the digraph sort. I did a

digraph board game where students would pick a word from the pile and move their playing

piece to the digraph on the board that corresponded with their word. For example, if a student

picked the word chat, they would have to move to the –ch space on the board game. I wrote the

instructions on the game board as 1. Pick a word 2. Say the word 3. Move to space with digraph
of your word. I wanted to keep the instructions super simple and not too wordy. The sort had 4

features, -ch, -th, -sh, and –wh. I knew these were the appropriate spelling features to use based

on words their way.

The students really enjoyed this lesson. I think that they really liked it because it was

something different that they had never done before with word study. They love playing games

whether its fraction flashcard around the world or multiplication bingo. They normally do the

same thing for word study for everyday of the week so this was a nice switch up for them. I think

the students really grasped the concept of what a digraph is and the different sounds that different

digraphs make from having to say the word during their sorts as well as during the board game I


If I were to do this lesson again differently, I would introduce the words a few days prior

to doing the activity. This time, the students got their words on the same day we played the game

and I think if they had been exposed to the words a few days before hand it would help them be

more familiar with the words when playing the game.

Using multiple assessments is best when planning for word study in your classroom.

Based on your school district where you teach, there may be different assessments administered

at different times throughout the year like PALS, Ganske, and Words Their Way to make sure

that a student is getting the proper instruction for their individual level and needs. Independent

writing can also be an assessment tool for figuring out a students’ word knowledge throughout

the year, as a students’ level or needs may change. I will group my students into small groups in

order to meet the students’ instructional needs. I will split my students up into groups with

specific word study lessons for each developmental spelling level. I think this works better than
whole-group instruction because it is guaranteed that not all of your students will be on the same


I would do word study every day in my classroom and have the students do something

that progresses throughout the week to prepare them for their spelling test. For example, on the

first day cutting words and sorting and reading three times, on the second day sorting and

reading three times and then highlighting the features on the words, on the third day gluing the

words into their notebooks based on the categories of the sort, on the fourth day having them

choose six words and draw pictures and write sentences for each word and then on the fifth day

having the spelling test. Something my CT does that I really like is that on her spelling tests, she

has the 3 or 4 or however many categories in columns on the spelling test and when the students

spell their words they also have to sort them which I think is really neat.

When doing word study, I will make sure that the sorts have no more than four

categories. I will also avoid stating rules and focus more on stating patterns. Different sorts I

could do in my classroom, based on the level of the students, could be picture sorts, word sorts,

and blind sorts. In addition, students can do pattern sorts like sorting my meanings. I plan to have

my students try and come up with the categories on their own to really investigate their words

instead of me just giving them the answers. Materials I might need for word study would be

notebooks, word lists, scissors, highlighters, glue, and pencils.