Word Study Brochure for Parents-English .pub by Caesura


									  What should parents
 do when children make

If your child makes a mistake, you
could prompt him or her by saying,
“I see a word in this column that
does not look right to me!” Encour-
age the child to identify the mis-
take independently. If there is still
confusion, help the child make the

                                                         A Parents’
Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabu-
lary and Spelling Instruction by Donald Bear, Marcia
Invernizzi, Francine Johnston, and Shane Templeton
Word Journeys: Assessment-Guided Phonics, Spelling     Arlington Public Schools
and Vocabulary Instruction by Kathy Ganske
        What is Word Study?

Word study is a learner-centered, conceptual           Speed Sorts
approach to instruction in phonics, spelling,          The speed sort is
word recognition, and vocabulary. This                 exactly the same as a regular
program has been developed through over                sort except that the students
thirty years of ongoing educational research.          sort as fast as they can. Students will
“Through active exploration, word study                check their work, then sort again to try to
teaches students to increase general word              beat their own time.
knowledge by examining words to discover
the regularities, patterns, and conventions of
English spelling needed to read and write.
                                                       Writing Sorts
Word study also increases specific word
                                                       Before this activity begins the students
knowledge—the spelling and meaning of
                                                       label their paper with the features they
individual words.” “A word study program
                                                       are studying. The word cards are piled
that explicitly teaches students necessary
                                                       face down into a deck like
skills and engages their interest and motiva-
                                                       cards. The parent picks up one
tion to learn about how words work is a vital
                                                       card at a time and reads the
aspect of any literacy program.” Reading,
                                                       word out loud without showing
writing and spelling are all closely connected,
                                                       the child. The student writes
so utilizing word study instruction helps stu-
                                                       the word in the correct corresponding col-
dents develop overall literacy skills.
                                                       umn for that feature. This activity is useful
                                                       for reducing a student’s reliance on visual

     Bear, Invernizzi, Johnston, and Templeton, 2008
Other Activities                               How does Word Study look in
                                                     the classroom?
Word Hunts
During a word hunt,                           Word study instruction is provided in small
students search through                       groups based on students’ specific develop-
text they have already read                   mental spelling stages. Students are
to find words with similar                    taught at their instructional level—a level
patterns. “Word hunting is limited to pages   that is not too difficult or too easy and
they have read, therefore skimming to find    matches their specific needs based on as-
words is not confused with reading for        sessment. During word study instruction,
meaning” (Ganske, 2000). Students record      words and pictures are sorted in hands-on
the words they find in lists. This activity   learning activities that require children to
encourages students to extend their knowl-    examine, discriminate, and make critical
edge of the patterns being studied.           judgments about speech sounds, spelling
                                              patterns, and word meanings. Students
Draw and Label                                compare and contrast categories of word
This activity is done after stu-              features to discover similarities and dif-
dents have completed their                    ferences between categories. The word
sort. They extend their knowl-                features that students learn during sorts
edge by thinking of words on                  are then applied to new words in reading
their own that would also fit in              and writing, allowing them to generalize the
the corresponding patterns or features.       features learned to new material.
Students draw a picture and write the word
using their best spelling. This also allows
the students to see how the feature that
they are learning also applies to other
How do teachers plan for word                          How are students
     study instruction?                                 taught to sort?

Students are assessed at the beginning of     Before the Sort:
the year to determine their current level      • Review the headers (sound or pattern or
of spelling development. Teachers plan in-       both)
struction for small groups that focuses on     • Sort a few examples with the student
spelling and sound features that students
need to learn.                                During the Sort:
                                               • Ask the student to read and sort each
Most students will take a weekly spelling
                                               • Discuss unknown word meanings
test to assess understanding of the fo-
cused features. Informal assessments are      After the Sort:
conducted through students’ weekly word        • Have the student read down each

study work, as well as their writing across      column
the curriculum areas. At the end of the        • Help the student find and correct mis-

week, based on informal and formal assess-       takes
ments, new features are chosen for the         • Ask the student to explain what was the

following week.                                  same about the words in each column
                                                 (sound, pattern or both)

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