Word Study Program: Assess Students’ Spelling Development With Words Their Way Elementary Inventory
- Grades: 3–5
Before jumping into our word study program, my teaching partner and I find it important to assess our students at the beginning of the school year. In our classroom, we give two different types of spelling inventories to gain information about each student’s developmental spelling stage and also to determine where we will start with whole-class instruction.
The first assessment is Words Their Way Elementary Inventory. We administer it during the first week of school. I like this inventory because it provides specific information about each student’s knowledge and application of specific orthographic features. For example, in the inventory shown in the image, I can tell the student has mastered short vowels and consonant blends, but needs more work on "within word patterns," etc. This student falls in the "within word pattern" developmental stage of spelling.
We use the information from this assessment to plan strategy groups and also to determine where to begin with our whole class instruction/yearlong spelling program. (If we find that most students have already mastered initial consonant blends, we will skip that unit and address it in strategy groups with the few students who need more practice.)