Saturday, March 15, 2014

Word Study Notebooks in K

I've always done word study with my kiddos -- sorts based on beginning sound, ryhming and word families -- but until this year, I never had them use a notebook.  I've seen other grade levels tote their word study journals between class/home and from desk to reading group, but that seemed like a lot of responsibility for little kinders.

We usually work with one sort all week.  On Monday, students in group watch me complete the sort. On Tuesday, they can partner sort.  On Wednesday, they sort on their own.  Thursday and Friday depend on the level of the students.  Some students will sort again on their own on Thursday, checking for mistakes! Then they will glue on Friday.  Higher ability students may glue their sort on Thursday so that on Friday, they can choose some of the words to write.

I'll be honest, I never used to have them glue the sort anywhere. I spent a great deal of time copying sorts from Words Their Way onto cardstock, putting them in snack baggies, and labeling the outer gallon bag with the type of sort inside.  Typically I'd just grab the sort we were working on ("Beginning Sound S, R" for example) and have them sort on the reading table.

The only problem with this (it still teaches word study just fine!) is that the kiddos don't have anything to look back on.  And as the teacher, you can't go back to see how much growth they've made.  Sure, you can write down that they initially got 1/10 and now they've got 10/10, but it helps to see where they were putting the pictures.

Now, students can use their Word Study notebooks as a tool in the writing process.  They can look back and see words that they've spelled, or review a list of rhyming words in a word family sort.

It's new (as in, we just started this week!)  But so far the kids have been really excited about it.  They enjoy sorts, but now they have an artifact to prove their hard work.  They can revisit mistakes and better understand what they did incorrectly.  Do you use notebooks for your word study in kindergarten?!

P.S. You may notice in the pictures that the sorts being used aren't Words Their Way. While I use Words Their Way sorts with some of my students, it's easier for other students to make a direct connection to the alphabet chart we use, which is Houghton Mifflin Alphafriends. The sorts being completed in the photos are beginning sound sorts with Alphafriends included in the headers.

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