Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Word Work Centers and a Halloween Game

      The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about word work in my classroom.  With the Common Core Standards for English-Language Arts (CCSS-ELA) out in the last year or so, I need to revamp my word work curriculum and activities to correlate with the new standards.  This will be a process, I know, but I've been wanting to get started.  Also, my school has a half hour intervention block each day where I am meeting students one on one or in a small group to do an intervention.  I wanted to incorporate some word work centers during this time.

      A couple of weeks ago I came across an old blog post by Beth Newingham on her Scholastic Top Teaching blog.  It describes in detail the word study program she created based on Words Their Way, Fountas and Pinnell phonics, and sight words.  I really like how she used assessments to guide instruction and created centers for students to practice the skills being learned each week.  This is a lot of work in the beginning and seems a little overwhelming.  So, I thought I'd take some of her ideas that I could begin with and build more things in as I go along.

     My school already uses Words Their Way and we also have the Fountas and Pinnell phonics program for each grade.  You can check them out by clicking on the pics below.

This is the program overview book with lots of printables, games, etc.

This book is one of the word sort books available.  Typical second graders work on these sorts.
       Since I have these resources and already do the assessment and word sorts that are part of the Words Their Way program, I decided an "easy" next step would be to make some games and activities that I could use as centers during the intervention block.

        I decided to have four centers:

  1. Smart board
  2. Sight Word Work
  3. Games
  4. Word Hunt
Smart Board
       For the Smart board center, I created a version of Roll a Word for kids to practice the idea.  I got the idea from Learning with Mrs. Parker.  Follow the link to her blogpost where you can download the powerpoint file for free.  I just copied and pasted it into the Notebook software for the Smart board and added an interactive die for the kids to roll.  Each week I change the sight words to match our words for the week.
Sight Word Work
      At this center, I put a paper copy of Roll a Word with a die.

     Another choice at this center is rainbow writing.  I did not create this but found it a few years ago online and it was created by Ms. Ross.  Click on the picture below to go to the google doc.

The actual sheet is much higher quality than this picture.

       I also will create games each week that go along with whatever sort we are doing.  Last week I created a short and long i racetrack game with a Halloween theme because we were learning about short i words and long i words with the CVCe pattern.  Click on the first picture below to check out the game and get your copy.

Here's one of the games before I added the title on the right side or laminated it.  But, you get the idea. :)
I don't know why the picture won't center, either.
So far the kids have loved the games center and the adorable candy corn Halloween characters in the short and long i game.

Word Hunt     
      The word hunt center is done in their word work notebooks.  Whatever patterns we are studying for the week are the focus.  For example, last week the headers for our word sort were "pig" for short i, "kite" for long i, and "oddball" (words that don't sound right or don't follow the pattern).  Students write the headers at the top of each column in their notebooks and read from their bag of books (or book box).  When they find a word with the right sound and pattern, they write it down under the correct header.  Simple.  They love it.

     So, that's where I'm at with word work centers.  I still have a separate word work time each morning when I introduce the sort, teach sight words, other word work topics, etc.  I would love to hear how you teach word work or organize your word work centers.

       Please leave me a comment and feel free to follow my blog.  :)  Happy hump day!

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