Balanced Literacy: Word Work

 

Word work for us consists of VOCABULARY, SPELLING, PHONEMIC AWARENESS, and PHONICS.  Each day I try to have three separate minilessons whole group.  We also do a lot of word work during Guided Reading/Writing, Modeled Reading/Writing, Shared Reading/Writing, and Independent Reading/Writing.  We use the White Board, SMART Board, and Pocket Chart.  We use magnet letters and letter cards.  We use books, poetry, notebooks, and charts.  Word work helps us become better writers and readers.  Click on the check mark below to advance to that particular section on this page.

Curriculum Resources Independent Word Work Activities
Sight Words High Interest Word Sheets
Word Walls Start with Blank Walls!
Assorted Sorts Student Word Work Notebooks and Folders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curriculum Resources

I use a combination of resources to address these four areas areas: VOCABULARY, SPELLING, PHONEMIC AWARENESS, and PHONICS. 

Sitton Fountas & Pinnell Heggerty Journeys
Phonemic Awareness
Unit 11 (sample)

Unit 11 (template)

Scope/Sequence

On the Back Assessment

Sitton Spelling Site
More Sitton Activities
 F&P Phonics Site Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Site 

SMART Board Files:

- Heggerty

- Directions

- Components
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Site Journeys Virtual Sampling Site

 

Definitions

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics:

This is a great little piece on Phonics and Phonemic Awareness.  It will give you the definitions, examples, and classroom implications.

 

Start with Blank Walls!

What is on your walls?  Click here, to find out why my walls are BARE the first day of school.

Word Walls

Color and Number Word Wall (Kindergarten, 2005-2006)- Based on T.L.C. Style Art

I decided to create a dual word wall that focus on both numbers and colors, because my kinders were also working on shapes, I wanted to incorporate "TLC-style" art projects.  

 

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Color Word Wall (First Grade, 2004 - 2005) - Based on Jane Cabrera's Book Cat Colors

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Before creating our color word wall "book" we read the book Cat's Colors and then created a class book using 12x18 size construction for the background.  The children then worked in teams to draw an object to depict each color (using black permanent markers).  We then used various art supplies (rocks, glitter, colored sand, yarn, paint, feathers, beads, puff balls, etc, to decorate the objects.  It was a fun project!  The children enjoyed "reading it" during Read-Around-The-Room. 

Number Word Wall (First Grade, 2004 - 2005) - Based on Donald Crew's Book 10 Black Dots

  

We read the book Ten Black Dots and then created a class book using 12x18 size construction paper (black - - for the background).  The children then choose a number and we made a predictable chart, where students shared their sentence for the story:  "_____ black dots for _________________."    We received many good comments about our wall story (number line).  I wish I had better pictures of this!  I only found ONE picture, but it was of our art teacher, so I had to cut out the parts of the number wall that could be seen.  They are blurry, but you get the gist.  I hope!  :o)

Color Word Wall (Kindergarten, 2003 - 2004) - Based on Donald Crew's Book Freight Train

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We read the book Freight Train by Donald Crews, and then created our own "Colors Train."  Each box car depicts a color and houses a variety of objects that are "that" color.  Students were asked to bring things from home.  We also searched the classroom for items of various colors.  

Alphabet Frieze & Sight Word Wall (First Grade, 2007 - 2008)

Alphabet Frieze & Sight Word Wall (First Grade, 2008 - 2009)

For our word wall words, I printed them on blank sentence strip type paper using a laser printer.  I then laminated the words.  I have well over 150 words that are laminated.  I only use a fraction of these for Kindergarten, but used them all for 1st grade.  Words are not placed on the Sight Word Wall until they are introduced.  Words are introduced for the first time during or after a shared reading selection that contains the word.  We then make a big deal of adding it to our Sight Word Wall.  Our words are attached to the wall using Velcro because the wall is carpeted (don't ask...!).  

I generally keep the words up all year.  Although recently, I've begun to take down our "no excuse" words.  "No Excuses" Words are those which students are expected to spell correctly in all of their everyday writing. 

Portable Word Walls

The Scholastic Big book of Word Walls

Portable File Folder Word Walls

 

A teacher friend, Ashley M. emailed these to me to add to the web site in order that they may be shared with other teachers.  I've added the titles to two books that I have about Portable Word Walls above.  They are both great books.  It's always been my goal to create Portable Word Walls like these, and hopefully it will get done this year...!  THANKS Ashley!!  
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November December Book Emotions Family
Sports Fun School 1 1

 

Below you will find several High Interest Word Sheets.  They are in a zip file that contains both the word and pdf versions for each file you see below.  If you click on the images below, they will enlarge.  I've also included a template (blank).  Please use the files as you wish.  You may create your own and/or adapt mine! 

    High Interest Word Sheets (Zip File):

     

Word Lists from Visitors:



  by Tamra Myers
     
       

 

 

 

 

 

Sight Words

I challenged my students to learn the first 150 sight words on the Dolch sight word list.  Many went beyond the initial 150.  

Star Words:    

Students learn sight words through various activities.  We look for sight words during Shared Reading, Morning Message, Guided Reading, etc.  We work with sight words during Independent Reading/Writing time.  Sight words can also be worked on during the "Word Wall Routine" and other games and activities (#1 by Cherry Carl) (#2 by Marie Rice) (#3 by Cherry Carl)!  I'd also highly recommend "The School Bell's Dolch List" site for independent student practice and progress tracking.

I send sight words home in my students' BEE BOOKS.  You can download the sight word cards in individual files (one at a time) or at one time in a zip file:  .

Sight Word Cards
a b c d e f
a
after
again
all
am
an
and
animal
any
are
around
as
ask
at
ate
away
be
because
best
big
but
by
came
can
can't
come
could
day
do
don't
down
eat
every
favorite
find
for
from
funny
g h i j k l
get
give
go
going
good
had
have
he
help
her
here
him
his
how
I
in
into
is
it
jump
just
kick
knew
know
let
like
little
live
look
love
m n o p q r
made
make
may
me
must
my
new
nice
night
no
now
of
off
old
on
once
one
open
or
our
out
over
play
please
pretty
put
quiet
quit
quite
rain
ran
ride
right
run
s t u v w x, y, z
said
saw
say
see
she
so
some
soon
stop
talk
tell
thank
that
the
them
then
there
they
thing
think
this
through
to
too
two
under
up
us
very walk
want
was
we
well
went
were
what
when
where
who
why
will
with
won't
would
yes
yet
you
your


zoo


Word Work Student Folders

I created student labeled Working With Word notebooks and folders before  the 2007-2008 school year.

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The pocket charts were $1 at Target. 

I cut them down to size (I got 2 pocket charts out of one), and then sewed up the cut sides.

The letter cards are printed back to back on cardstock (lowercase/uppercase) and then laminated and cut.

I inserted the letter cards into "9-Pocket Baseball Card Holders)" that are labeled.

Everything is put into a 3-pronged folder.

Below are two types of activities that can be used with the notebooks/folders.

In both cases, students get their letter cards based on the letters I write on the board.

They then listen to a series of directions that I call out and then make and write the word.

My students will help assemble their notebooks/folders (sorting letter cards, labeling letter pockets).

Word Family Word Work: Sample Lesson

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Making Words out of Words: Sample Lesson

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Assorted Sorts


Initial Letter Picture Sort: Teacher Cards (D'Nealian)
Initial Letter Picture Sort: Teacher Cards (Manuscript)
Initial Letter Picture Sort: Student Cards (D'Nealian)
Initial Letter Picture Sort: Student Cards (Manuscript)
  Rhyming Words Picture Sort: Teacher Cards
  Rhyming Words Picture Sort: Student Cards
  Syllables Picture Sort: Teacher Cards
  Syllables Picture Sort: Student Cards
Alphabet Sort by Font  
Alphabet Sort by Feature: Mats
Alphabet Sort by Feature: Letter Cards
  Word Family Picture Sort: Teacher Cards
Word Family Picture Sort: Student Cards
  Word Family Word Sort: Teacher Cards
  Word Family Word Sort: Student Cards
  Blends Picture Sort: Teacher Cards
  Blends Picture Sort: Student Cards
  Blends Word Sort: Teacher Cards
  Blends Word Sort: Student Cards



Independent Word Work Activities


Following along the framework of a balanced literacy, students should be exposed to word work activities at the (1) Modeled, (2) Shared, (3) Guided, and (4) Independent levels.  My class' [independent] WORD WORK activities are stored in pull out drawers, as seen below.  Students self-select an activity to work with.  They record their work in their word work journals/notebooks, if there is not a recording packet that goes along with the activity.  During 2nd Semester, I have students use a "Words I Worked With Today" recording sheet (just to bring something new to the Word Work area).  Students may switch out drawers if they desire.

Materials and Resources:

Word Work Task Bins or Tubs Activities ☺→☺→☺→☺→☺→

Word Work Tasks Bins or Tubs Storage

Word Work Student Notebooks

Word Work Word Lists

Word Work Downloads and Links:

Pictures of Independent Word Work Activities
Capitalization Challenge Word Work Activity
Three Letter Cards
Begins with Ends with Picture and Letter Cards
Bottled Up Words/Names Recording Sheet #1
Bottled Up Words/Names Recording Sheet #2
Bottled Up Words/Names Recording Sheet #3
Build and Spell Names "Link N Spell Magnetic Letters" from Teaching Resource
Connect 4 Blank Game Board
"Create a Story" Boards from Resources for Reading
Cube Toss Word Lists (150 Words)
Cube Toss Word List Recording Sheets (you could just use word work notebooks)
Itty Bitty Books
Puzzle Match Ups: Trend Fun-to-Know "Easy Words"
Puzzle Match Ups: Lakeshore Learning "Make-a-Word-Puzzles"
Puzzle Match Ups: Trend Fun-to-Know "Opposites"
Puzzle Match Ups: Lakeshore Learning to Read Puzzles "First Words"
Puzzle Match Ups: Basic Skills Puzzles "Rhyming"
  Puzzle Match Ups: Learning Journey Match It Puzzles "Rhymes"
Parking Lot Board Game
Phonics Windows Templates ("Flip-Overs")
Shape Sort Pictures and Words
Color Sort Pictures and Words
Letter Sounds Sort Pictures and Words
Rime Sort Pictures and Words
Seasonal Sort Pictures and Words
Trend Rhyming Pictures Flash Cards
Roll-Say-Keep Playing Mat
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 2-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 3-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 4-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 5-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 6-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: 7-Letter Words
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Word Family Words- long/short "A"
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Word Family Words- long/short "E"
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Word Family Words- long/short "I"
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Word Family Words- long/short "O"
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Word Family Words- long/short "U"
Scrabble Recording Sheet: Sight Words
Sequencing Stories by TREND
Silly Sentences SENSE Cards
Spell it 5x Direction Sheet
Spin and Write: Rimes
Spin and Write: Blank Game Board
Spin and Write: Sight Words
Sticker Recording Sheets: 3-Letter Words
Sticker Recording Sheets: 4-Letter Words
Sticker Recording Sheets: Beginning/Ending Sounds
Sticker Recording Sheets: Starts With/Ends With
Clap a Word Set 1
Clap a Word Set 2
Clap a Word Set 3
Tactile Name Plate A to Z Objects List
Which Rime? Set 1
Which Rime? Set 2
Build a Sentence
Build a Word #1
Build a Word #2
Categories Sort
Chunk Stacker
Clap a Word Recording Sheet
Connect a Sentence
Friend Spelling Phone a Word
Roll a Sentence #1
Roll a Sentence #2
Roll-Read-Graph