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|
I use a combination of resources to address these four areas areas: VOCABULARY, SPELLING, 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.
What is on your walls? Click here, to find out why my walls are BARE the first day of school.
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.
Color Word Wall (First Grade, 2004 - 2005) - Based on Jane Cabrera's Book Cat Colors
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
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.
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!!|
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!
by Tamra Myers
I challenged my students to learn the first 150 sight words on the Dolch sight word list. Many went beyond the initial 150.
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
|s||t||u||v||w||x, y, z|
I created student labeled Working With Word notebooks and folders before the 2007-2008 school year.
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
Making Words out of Words: Sample Lesson
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 Tasks Bins or Tubs Storage
Word Work Student Notebooks
Word Work Word Lists
Word Work Downloads and Links: