Word Study Program: An Overview
- Grades: 3–5
My teaching partner and I evaluated many different spelling programs and resources looking for the "perfect" word study model, but nothing provided us with a totally comprehensive curriculum. And so we decided to create our own word study program that would incorporate word recognition, vocabulary, and phonics, as well as spelling.
Our program introduces students to new spelling patterns each week. They take part in literacy activities in which they gain more exposure to the patterns, and practice making and sorting words.
Parents were very used to the weekly spelling tests that our school favored, but research shows students often memorize words for a test and then promptly forget them. Assigned spelling lists often require students to study isolated words rather than the phonics, the sounds that letters make within the words. Therefore, we tried to create a program that does not completely abandon weekly lists, but emphasizes opportunities for students to investigate and understand the patterns in words and build word knowledge that can be applied to both reading and spelling. (While I teach 3rd grade, this program is not specific to a particular grade level.)