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Working With Words. in a balanced literacy classroom. By Leigh Daley. Goals of the WWW block:. Learn to read and spell high-frequency words Learn patterns used to decode and spell lots of other words Transfer word knowledge to their own reading and writing.

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Working with words

Working With Words

in a balanced literacy classroom

By Leigh Daley


Goals of the www block
Goals of the WWW block:

  • Learn to read and spell high-frequency words

  • Learn patterns used to decode and spell lots of other words

  • Transfer word knowledge to their own reading and writing


What does the www block look like
What does the WWW block look like?

  • Segment One: Word Wall Activities

    • 10 minutes

    • Focus on five new words each week

  • Segment Two: Decoding/Spelling Activities

    • 20 minutes

    • Students learn spelling patterns


Word walls
Word Walls

  • The first ten minutes of the WWW block is spent doing the Word Wall words.

  • Teachers who DO Word Walls, rather than just HAVE Word Walls, report that all their children can learn these critical words.


Doing a word wall means
Doing a Word Wall means:

  • Adding words gradually (five a week)

  • Making words very accessible (location, bold, different colors for confusing words)

  • Being selective and “stingy” about what words go on the wall (words that should be commonly used in writing) High Frequency words or common phonograms are great lists.

  • Practicing the words by chanting and writing them

  • Doing a variety of review activities

  • Making sure that Word Wall words are spelled correctly in any writing that students do


Goals for your word wall
Goals for your word wall:

  • Support the teaching of important general principles of words and how they work.

  • Foster reading and writing.

  • Provide reference support for children during their reading and writing.


Goals cont d
Goals, cont’d…

  • Promote independence as students work with words in reading and writing.

  • Provide a visual map to help children remember patterns in words.

  • Develop a vocabulary bank for reading and writing.


How do you add the five words each week
How do you add the five words each week?

  • See the words. (Use pocket charts).

  • Say the words.

  • Chant the words.

  • Write the words.

  • Trace around the words. (Rainbow Writing).

  • On Monday, introduce new words. Practice and review previous words on Tuesday-Thursday. Assess on Friday.


Decoding and spelling activities
Decoding and Spelling Activities:

  • Making Words– manipulating letter tiles to construct words.

  • Guess the Covered Word (GTCW) - helps students cross-check meaning, visual, and syntax.

  • Rounding up the Rhymes–spelling and phonograms

  • Add an Ending- (jump, jumped, jumps, jumping)

  • Be a Mind Reader– clues help to identify the mystery WWW.

  • Rainbow Words – trace over WWW with different

    colored crayons.

  • Word Wall Chain – reinforce initial and final consonants

  • Fox to Hen

  • Spelling Instruction

  • Explicit Phonics Instruction


More decoding and spelling activities
More decoding and spelling activities…

  • Wordo - Bingo with words.

  • Word searches and crossword puzzles – www.puzzlemaker.com

  • Raise the Roof– using phonograms to build words.

  • Phonics Wheels-reinforcement of 37 common phonograms.

  • Visit our online power point presentationsfor multimedia practice with WWW.

  • Word Wall practice sheetscan be found at this site.


A typical week in the www block may look like
A typical week in the WWW block may look like…

  • Monday

    Word Wall Making Words

  • Tuesday

    Word Wall Making Words

  • Wednesday

    Word Wall Rounding up the Rhymes

  • Thursday

    Word Wall Guess the Covered Word

  • Friday

    Word Wall Using Words You Know


Teacher s checklist for the working with words block in preparing and presenting my lessons i have
Teacher’s checklist for the Working with Words Block. In preparing and presenting my lessons, I have…

  • WWW are only those words used frequently in children’s reading/writing.

  • Provided a model for correct spelling/pronunciation of each WWW.

  • Displayed Story vocabulary and Academic vocabulary apart from the high frequency words.

  • Practiced WWW by chanting and writing daily.

  • Planned Making Words activities (Make, sort, transfer)

  • Made sure On the Back Activities helped children learn patterns, transfer to reading and spelling of new words, and were multilevel.


  • The fascinating world of words gives young learners the power to decode and comprehend as they read and the ability to spell and express their thoughts as they write. In Making Words, when children touch and manipulate letters, words magically appear, and patterns and relationships are revealed. Excitement builds as children apply cross checking strategies in Guess the Covered Word. Using Words You Know and Rounding Up the Rhymes help spelling become much more than the percentage of words correctly spelled on Friday and forgotten by Monday.


  • In Word Wall practice, decoding and spelling abilities are enhanced as children chant, write, and check words. Invented spelling remains developmentally appropriate for new words and works in progress. Word Wall words provide the correct spelling for the high-frequency words students use often in their writing.

  • Through the activities in the Working with Words Block, teachers can assess, monitor, and plan for the needs of the entire group, as well as the individual students. This ensures students learn the high-frequency words and engage in activities to learn how words work.

    • Cunningham, et al, 1999


Reference
Reference: enhanced as children chant, write, and check words. Invented spelling remains developmentally appropriate for new words and works in progress. Word Wall words provide the correct spelling for the high-frequency words students use often in their writing.

Cunningham, P, Hall, D, & Sigmon, C (1999). The Teacher's Guide to the Four Blocks. Greensboro: Carson-Dellosa.


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