Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Words Their Way, OUR way Part 4: Motivation & Goal Setting

Words Their Way-- OUR Way PART 2: Getting Organized
Words Their Way-- OUR Way Part 3: Planning for Differentiated Word Study Groups

Now that you have prepped your resources, you are ready to forge ahead with your differentiated Word Study groups. But before you do, I have some tips to help you motivate your students to achieve with goal setting!

Motivate Your Students with a Theme and Goal Setting

Our Word Work differentiated groups are organized by “rock bands” because we are “Rockin’ Readers & Super Star Spellers” (students will be able to transfer the spelling patterns they learn in their Word Work to their Writing and Reading)!

Each Word Study group’s goal is displayed under their rock band’s name. Each student’s name is clipped to the phonics goal beneath. The students truly love being part of a rock band and celebrate when each band meets their goal with a cheer: “Rock on!” because EVERYONE is a star.

If you would like to download a copy of the bulletin board graphics, planning bin labels and related resources to help make planning your differentiated Words Their Way goups a breeze, visit my TpT store:

The Phonics Goals Poster Set with “I can” statements provide the students with a visual reminder as to what their Word Study focus is. All the goals are displayed in the classroom on a clothesline. When the students are ready for a new goal we take the goal poster down and display it under their rock band’s name on our Word Study bulletin board. Their previous goal is then returned to the clothesline as a visual reminder as to what they have already accomplished. The students refer to them as they are reading and writing. The goal posters encourage students to take accountability for their learning!


If you would like to download a copy of The Phonics Goal Poster Set please click HERE.

Now that you have motivated your students and set goals, you are ready to introduce your Word Study routines. I have some tips to help you introduce these routines whole group so that later on, your students will have clear expectations as to what they are to accomplish as they work independently in the Word Study center.  To learn more, read on:

If you would like to download a copy of the bulletin board display, and related resources mentioned in this article to help motivate your differentiated Words Their Way groups, visit my TpT store:


  1. Lori,
    This is such a fabulous plan! I love how you set goals with your groups and then celebrate as a whole class when they are successful! This are such quality resources, and I'm going to be sure to head over to your tpt store to add them to my wishlist :)

    1. Thank you Bethany! The system definitely motivates my young readers to go "above and beyond" They love to cheer each other on! I have seen such growth this year! Makes my heart sing. <3

  2. I am loving your series! Amazing tips. Thank you!

  3. This is a fantastic addition to your series. I love that you are creating a series and that it builds upon one another. I also love the "rock star" idea. What a great way for students to support each other. It builds a community of learners. Your products look fantastic too. Awesome work! I'd love to be in your class!

    1. Christine, Thank you for your kind words! My firsties do love being part of a "rock band". What is great about the Rockin' Readers theme is that the children are not completely aware that they are in leveled groups. Another plus is that the children have developed strong bonds within their rock band and work nicely together. Not only that, we have a share time at the end of our Daily 5 centers and the children run the show! During this time, they "teach" their gumball (spelling rule) to the rest of the class. It's our favorite time of day!

  4. Thank you for sharing! I use Words Their Way, too! :)