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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Word Journeys with Daily 5

My class took a short break from Daily 5, a couple of weeks tops.  We just had to with all of the county required assessments, holidays, etc.  My kiddos started asking – “when are we doing stamina stations?”  I have NEVER called it that so I was quite impressed w/ them!  Needless to say, when children are BEGGING to read and write in stations - I deliver!  I pulled the bags back out & let go of the reins a little.  I LOVE that they LOVE it!  They have grown as self managers and it's really working! 
We have added working with words and my kids are TRULY engaged.  My school uses Word Journeys (Differentiated spelling/phonics) and it's perfect w/ the Daily 5.  
Word Journeys   Words their way
I've created a menu for our Working with Words that I'm attaching.  It does take a few times of doing it with your kids for them to really get it.  Each one of my kiddos have a folder with the menu stapled inside the front cover.  It's a requirement that they complete all four activities.  They can choose to do one a day and then a word game when finished or they may complete them on the same day and have word games for the remainder of the week. Word Work Menu
I've also tinkered with our spelling contract so that it contains some of the same activities.   I'm attaching that as well.  Spelling Contract
If you haven't tried Word Journeys (or Words their Way) - research it and try it.  It takes a little more work but it's also very impressive the way my babies are actually STUDYING words rather than memorizing. 
This has been a big concern of mine.  I come from a kindergarten background, it’s my first year in 2nd grade.  Letters/Phonics/Words were our life!  What do you do for word work in 2nd grade?  I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts!  Please leave a comment.
Marcie :)

Here is the WTW assessment that we do weekly.  It takes more time & a little work but it's worth it.  My kiddos are recognizing and understanding the spelling/phonics pattern rather than just memorizing.


  1. What an inspiring post! I'd love to see these documents, but cannot seem to access them. Anyone else open them successfully?

  2. Sorry about that! Try again - I changed a setting on it. :) Apparently my brain doesn't function as well after 9pm.

  3. Thank you for the fix! I especially love your Word Work Menu Station. It's concrete and not overly complicated. Sometimes I feel like with Words Their Way, I'm as confused with the routines as they are. I still have kids saying, "What is a blind sort again?"
    I'm going to try yours this week.
    Also, I've never seen the book "Word Journeys." I'm ordering it!
    Thank you!

  4. Hi Marcie,
    I was wondering if you do Friday tests with your Word Journeys program. If you don't mind sharing, I would appreciate it.


  5. Yes, I do assess the words. I have four separate word groups and will call one group to my table at a time. I don't give it as a normal spelling test. I have a blank table that I created in Word. My kiddos have to fill in the headers which I give them. As I call out the words, they have to sort them and spell them correctly to get full credit. I count off one point for miscategory and all points for mispelling. I like knowing that they actually understand the sort. I've also considered creating creating assessments with 3 words listed but only one is spelled correctly and they have to identify it. Exampe - chase, chas, chaes. Assessing Words Their Way/Word Journeys is definitely a work in progress for me. I hope this helps! I can email you the table if you'd like. It's nothing special. :)

  6. Thanks, that would be great. I began using Word Journeys this year and got a bit overwhelmed because I was trying to implement Reading Workshop at the same time. I ended up going back to our old Spelling program, but I really don't like it at all. My biggest question was how do you make a spelling list for the students...What words do you use so that they are all following the same spelling pattern that you are teaching, but are also on their own spelling stage from the Word journey's assessment. I have found that some of the kids just memorize the words for Friday tests and cannot apply them into their writing later on in the year.

  7. We were told not to teach the spelling pattern from the reading program - to only focus on the WTW. Have you given the baseline tests to see where your kids should start? After I did that, I used the ordering form in Word Journeys to find each child's starting point. I grouped them as best as I could - thankfully I came up with four groups. I did have to get my instructional coach's help. It was overwhelming! I meet w/ my spelling groups on Mondays & Fridays. On Mondays I teach the spelling pattern. During our Daily 5, my kids go to Work on Words and use the Word Work Menu with their spelling words. They may work independently or with a buddy. Then on Fridays I call each group to my table and we do our assessment. I've edited the post so that it is included. Seriously, there's not much to it. It does take a while to give the assessment - especially four different times! Does this help at all? I hope so...if not, please let me know! :)

  8. It does help, thank you!
    I gave the assessment to put them in their groups and had mostly WW's and SJ's. After I gave them the assessment, I became a little lost on where to go from there. I saw the words lists in the back of the book, but didn't know where to start when it came to giving them their weekly spelling words. My frustration with not understanding/seeing how to use Word Journeys effectively (and having just started Reading Workshop) got the best of me. No one else in our school uses the program, but I have heard wonderful things about its success.
    I have decided that next year I am going to dive back in and try again. Once I have a full understanding of how to choose their spelling list after the initial assessment that puts them in their groups should make the program easier for me to run. Do you use Words Their Way to give you their Spelling List and sorts once they are in their groups?

  9. My email is Email me and I'll send you more details. I can scan a copy of the page I use to decide which groups go where.
    I DEFINITELY understand the frustration. I've been very frustrated this year too. I feel like I haven't been able to get my feet under me before they're swept off the floor again!

  10. I love the way you set up the word study homework! I struggled with how to get kids to do this at home last year. Great idea! Thank you for sharing. I plan to try this with my 3rd graders this year.