Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Words Their Way, OUR way Part 7: Read to Self as Word Study



Why not take your Word Work one step further?  I have disguised Read to Self as a bit more... Word Work... and my firsties don't seem to mind.  Yours won't either.  It's a Win-Win!  Read on!


Read to Self Word Study Assignments

In addition to my students' Word Work during our Daily 5, one of their "Must Do" items is to Read to Self.  During this time the children are assigned a story to read from one of our decodable readers that reinforces their Word Study Goal.  (The students have the opportunity to choose what books to read later in the day during our Reader's Workshop or as a "Can Do" when they finish their Daily 5).

Since I have 5 differentiated word study groups (using the Words Their Way program), I have found it difficult to manage each group's reading assignment from the different sets of decodable readers that I have collected over the years.  I was using post-its, but that seemed like a waste of 20 post-its a day-they quickly disappear. I found it necessary to create bookmarks to mark the story to be read each day:

I currently use the decodable readers from the Journey's anthology that our district purchased for us.  I also saved the last set of readers from our previous anthology.  I have to admit, I finally have a nice supply of readers that allow for each group to have a story to read each day.  If I find I am a story short, I have several sets of reading comprehension passages that I have purchased and I provide them with a photocopy to keep.

Once I determine which decodable reader (and the story within) best matches each group's Word Study focus, I slip the bookmark right to the page and drop the books in their respective baskets!  

It takes me about 5 minutes to prep their Read to Self assignments each day...  now that I have created book marks as a management tool.  Not to mention, the kids LOVE using book marks!


Another plus...directions for the Read to Self assignment is printed on each bookmark to remind my young readers of what must be done.  You will notice that each Word Study group has a color coded bookmark with their group's name printed on it.  This makes it easy for my students to locate their Read to Self assignment for the day.


My students are also encouraged to jot down the words that contain that week's focus in a folder as they read. We call this notebook a "collection".  For example, if they are working on the long vowel sound of /ai/ they would list any words that contain that word chunk in their folder (we call word chunks  "gumballs" because we highlight them with a color coded circle). They love to see their collection of words grow.  This is their incentive. They also receive a real gumball after taking a weekly spelling test if they do well.  If you would like to learn more about our Gumballs Notebook please visit my post:



As you can see, I have disguised Read to Self as a bit more... Word Work... and my firsties don't seem to mind.  Yours won't either.  It's a Win-Win!

And there you have it!  Words Their Way--OUR Way!


If you would like to download the Read to Self Bookmarks, Bulletin Board Display, bin labels along with the data tracking forms and related resources mentioned in this article visit my TpT store:
Differentiating Words Their Way: Organization & Routines BUNDLE
If you would like to download a copy of the Read to Self Bookmarks, and related resources mentioned in this article to help motivate your differentiated Words Their Way groups, visit my TpT store:


1 comment:

  1. I really like how you incorporate word work with read to self. I can see how the kids love the bookmarks and I really love the interactive phonics notebook. The gumball strategy is now one of my favorites. Great work!

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