Word study... and a FREEBIE!

Last year, I would consider myself anti-word-study. Don't get me wrong, I think every individual should be a perfect speller. However, the word study programs that my team did every year simply did not seem effective for my group of kids.

You may notice that the title of the post includes "upper elementary classroom." Third-grade can really go either way. Because my entire classroom is gifted, I tend to academically see them as upper elementary, and socially/emotionally see them still as primary.

 I have made a big change of heart this year. I think my biggest dislike toward word study was the amount of time it took me to make copies and organize all the different pages for the kids. In the end, the information learned never seemed to make up for the time commitment.

We continue to alternate between a week of word study, and a week of morphology (more about that here in this post... it is one of my favorite things we do in my third-grade classroom!).


Here is our typical word study schedule:

  • Monday: Kids glue in their words to their agendas when they enter the room in the morning. Also, their literacy center activity is to put their words in alphabetical order.
  • Tuesday: Students pick three of their words to look up in the dictionary, using those vital guide word skills.
  • Wednesday: Rainbow words! Kids write their words twice in different colors
  • Thursday: This is a student choice center. Kids can look their words up in the thesaurus, or practice typing them in on the computer. 
  • Friday: Call students to the carpet for their quick quiz. I use the quiz as a literacy station. Kids that are not with me are independently reading or doing a reading comprehension & passage.

I use Words Their Way for my word study lists each week. Studies show that kids learn the words better when they are understanding the patterns behind the words. All my kids tested into the DC or SJ sections of the book. I have two DC groups in different parts of the book, and two SJ books. The majority of the spelling lists each week revolve around prefixes, roots, or suffixes. These groups do not need to sort their words because it would take about half a minute to sort words according to prefix! However, my lowest SJ group I sort their words with them, since they usually revolve around vowels and consonants.

Since my group's spelling words generally revolve around prefixes or suffixes, we skip the sorting. Each student glues their group's words into their agendas on Monday. It's nice having it in their agenda so that they can study a little bit each day, or look over the words. Plus all the kids take home their agendas daily, so no one forgets to take home their word study words for studying!

Interested in the word study packet FREEBIE? Check it out below and download for use in your classroom!

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