Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Words Their Way-- OUR Way PART 2: Getting Organized


If you haven't already read Words Their Way-- OUR Way PART 1: Getting Started, you may wish to start there to learn about how to administer the Spelling Inventory, analyze your data and form your differentiated Word Study groups.

If you have read Part 1, it’s now time to set things in motion! But before you do, it is important to gather and organize your resources so planning for your Word Study groups is a breeze.

Organizing Your Resources

Organizing the Words Their Way word sorts may at first seem like a daunting task. However, you most likely already have a filing system that will neatly fit right into the implementation of Words Their Way.

When I first got started I had my own filing system that consisted of resources for short vowels, consonant blends, consonant digraphs, long vowel patterns and diphthongs…etc. Guess what? Words Their Way is organized in a similar manner.

I started off by labeling a folder for each sort and then simply reorganized my existing filing system to match the sequence of Words Their Way.  I created a file for each sort and then right behind that folder I placed my own resource files that I already had accumulated that matched that sort.

I found using colored Oxford folders worked best (you can purchase them in boxes of 25). I’m slowly in the process of switching over. Not only are they more durable and hold up well, but those darn tabbed file folders always gave me nasty paper cuts. Plus the Oxford folders look much nicer. Not to mention that you can color code everything! Be still my teaching heart!

Many teachers prefer to use binders to organize their resources, but I don’t like to hole punch my originals; they don’t copy well. Also, I’m not a fan of the sheet protectors either, I find refiling my resources more time consuming if using them. Plus, you are going to need to house extra copies of each sort and resources for each Word Study group later in the year (remember you are differentiating-other Word Study groups will need these extra copies later in the year). I’ll explain this in a bit.

Once you have your resources organized you can breathe a sigh of relief. Done and done.


If you would to download a FREE copy of the filing tab dividers shown in this photograph visit my TPT store:

Recommended Resources to Enrich Each Word Sort

Other resources I have accumulated include reading passages, phonics games, flash cards (I add those to their sight word ring), matching activities, word hunts, coloring sheets, etc. You’re going to need these resources for their Anchor Activities when you meet with your Word Study groups during your morning “Tune -ups”. I’ll explain this later in Words Their Way, OUR way Part 3: Planning for Differentiated Word Study Groups.

Notice how one student is working on a Reading Comprehension activity with a focus on the CVCe spelling pattern for long o, while another classmate is working on a Secret Word Cut and Paste activity for a different spelling pattern.

In this photo one student is collecting words in their “Gumballs Notebook” with the spelling pattern for CVCe after reading a poetry resource, while another classmate is reading a passage with a focus on the consonant blend /tr/.
Some of my favorite resources to supplement the Words Their Way program include the following products (click the photo to follow the link to the source):






Now that you have organized your resources you are ready to start planning. But before you do, I have some tips to help make the planning your differentiated Word Study groups a breeze.

To learn more about planning for your Word Study groups, visit my blog post: 

If you are interested in utilizing the Data Tracking Record Keeping Sheet and the Rock Star Themed group labels, please visit my TpT store:

Differentiating Words Their Way: Organization & Routines BUNDLE




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