Spelling & Word Work

Spelling & Word Work
This year has been a year of many firsts and our spelling was one of them.  I have been teaching first grade for 16 years and have never been satisfied with our spelling programs.  This year our team put our heads together and decided what we felt was best for our students.  We  wanted 8 words each week with a phonemic pattern.  We used research based literature to decide the order in which we would introduce spelling and phonemic patterns.  Once we mapped out the patterns, we chose our 8 words for the week.  From there, I went on to create activities to go along with each set of words.  We originally started out with 30 weeks but ended up with 32 when it was all said and done. 
Here is a peek at the binders I used to store all of the activities. 
Inside of each binder, I have folders for each week.  I put my originals in the folder.  I also have a clear sleeve where I put my laminated word cards and posters to go with the units. 
If you would like to grab these binder covers for FREE CLICK HERE!
In the front of my room, I have a focus wall.  This is where I display the 8 words for the week and the poster which we chant daily to go with the phonemic pattern.
  I LOVE sorts.  I feel they really help the children look closely at the words and find the patterns inside each one. I include some cut and glue sorts and some written sorts.  
My kids love the mix-up activities and I love the I Can Spell.  The I Can Spell again focuses on the word pattern and allows the children to make more words using the same pattern.  
Of course their favorite activity each week is the word search.  Not only is it fun but they get to use highlighters!  They LOVE highlighters.
Games are so engaging and interactive.  I like to include games each week to change it up.
 At the beginning of first grade, we do these altogether to learn the procedures and complete them correctly.  As the year progresses, they are placed in the word work areas for the students to work on independently. This is how I display them in our word work area.
In my word work area, I also display the other set of cards included in the packets.  I need the words to be easily visible to the students so they can do many of the hands-on activities we have.
To check my SPELLING BUNDLE with 32 weeks of fun, click  HERE
We practice our weekly words in word work each day. We don’t always do paper pencil activities so I will share a few of our favorite additional activities below.  These options are not all available at the same time, I pick a few each week.
 This easel and magnetic letters are out every week.  They are a tad noisy but the children enjoy building their words on the easel.

 We also have these boards and this amazing set of letters from Lakeshore Learning.  I love that they are sorted already and that the vowels are red.  This is something I pull out here and there.
 I’m not even sure what you call these boards but we love to write on them and erase our work.  These are also from Lakeshore.  I have these out all of the time as well.
 My students LOVE dry erase markers & boards.  They come in great colors now and it is fun for them to write the phonemic pattern in a different color to really highlight it.
I bought these stamps for something at home and only used them once.  They are perfect for Playdough letter stamping.  WAAAY better than ink!  I usually pull these out during the holidays when they have fun small Playdough colors out.

These little chalk boards are made for our handwriting program but we use them in word work too!  Colorful chalk is fun as well.

 My kiddos love smelly markers.  I won these Mr. Sketch goodies at a teacher conference and immediately knew where I was going to put them.  The only warning I have is that they are permanent and can make a mess on your table.
 I’m not even sure where these linking letters came from but they are fun to put together.  
Warning~ a tad on the noisy side.
 Sand trays were introduced to me as a great tactile, hands-on activity to build sound letter fluency.  The kids love working on these trays.
 Have you ever painted with a q-tip?  They are perfect because they are disposable and not messy at all.  I let the kids use the lids to make the words using a dotted pattern. These little bottles are perfect.  Plus, they are washable.
These chalkboards are perfect to do water painting as well.  Work on fine motor skills and practice you words at the same time. BONUS~no mess

These boards are super fun and a cheap tool to use in word work.  I bought them at Michaels many years ago.  If you put them under paper and write the words with crayons, it makes the words bumpy. Then you can use your finger to go over the word, which is now bumpy, and practice spelling it.

Another fun find I received at a teacher/blogger meet up are these Kwik Stix.  They are paint in a glue stick.  When we use these, we use larger paper because they write pretty large.  They dry fairly quickly so I can send them home that day.

 The classroom I moved into had tons of these Bingo dotters.  If you use large paper, students can dot out their words.
Wikki Stix are a fun way to build words.  I have a surplus of these in my room because my triplets used to make things with them.  As soon as they were done with them, I brought them to my classroom to use.  

 Highlighters are a big favorite in my room.  We use them daily during class with guided instruction.  When they get to use them independently during word work, it is a big bonus.  Simple but effective.
Word work is a favorite in my room, one other activity that is not pictured but I must share is shaving cream.  This is a great way to clean your tables too.  Just put a little dab out and they go to town.  
I would love to hear any ideas you may have, I’m always looking for new ones.  
Thanks for checking out our Spelling/Work Work activities.
As always..
Love what you do, and do what you love.



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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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