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Phone: 720-886-8500
Fax: 720-886-8588
Attendance: 720-886-8595

5400 South Waco Street
Centennial, CO 80015
Words Their Way

Cherry Creek School District Guidelines for Effective Word Study Instruction:

  • happens routinely
  • is grounded in inquiry and authenticity
  • is followed by multiple opportunities to practice in the context of authentic reading and writing
  • provides access for all students to instruction and practice with grade level standards
  • is supported by multiple professional resources
  • increases students' curiosity about words

 

Definition of Word Study:

"Word Study has become an umbrella term used to refer to describe teaching practices related to word knowledge.  Teaching this knowledge supports students as they develop fluency and understanding in their reading as well as their ability to craft thoughtful writing.  An effective word study system helps students develop an understanding of orthography, vocabulary, word recognition, and decoding strategies." –Max Brand, Word Savvy, Integrated Vocabulary, Spelling, and Vocabulary and Word Study, Grades 3-6.

 

Word Study is taught using Words Their Way at Trails West.  Below is information about Words Their Way and resources that can be used to support students at home.

 

Words Their Way is a hands-on, developmentally-driven approach to word study that illustrates how to integrate and teach children phonics, vocabulary, and spelling skills.

 

Why use a Word Study program? 

Research studies indicate that memorization of lists of "spelling words" does not promote the development of spelling skills. In the past when we've used this traditional approach, many students who received a 100% on their spelling test could not spell most of the words in their writing.  The goal of spelling instruction is for students to be able to transfer words into their writing, and memorizing a list of words and getting 100% on weekly tests does not necessarily mean a child is a good speller.  Using the Words Their Way word study program also allows us to differentiate spelling instruction more than a traditional spelling program. 

 

Developmental Stages for Word Study

Stage of SpellingCharacteristicsAge/Grade Ranges
EmergentStudents spell words with random marks, representational drawing, mock linear or letter-like writing, random letters, and numbers.

Ages: 1-7

Grades: pre-K to mid first

Letter NameStudents generally spell with initial and final consonants.  They may use some vowels when spelling.

Ages:  4-9

Grades:  Kindergarten to early third

Within WordStudents spell most single-syllable words correctly and may use some long and short vowel combinations.

Ages:  6-12

Grades:  1-4

Syllables & AffixesStudents spell using inflected endings, compound words, consonant doubling, and common suffixes.

Ages:  8-18

Grades:  3-8

DerivationalStudents make meaning connections through the study of words derived from shared roots and bases.  They sort words  by Greek and Latin roots.

Ages: 10+

Grades:  5-12

Words Their Way by (Invernizzi, Johnson, Bear, Templeton)

 

The video below has additional information about Words Their Way.  The video discusses typical 3rd grade expectations and would look slightly different for other grade levels.

 

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Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

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