I was wondering about those of you who have tried word work for intermediate students.  When I say word work, I am referring to intensive teaching of word patterns and rules about how words work.  This is often focused on a group of students, based on observable areas of their needs. 


I wanted to know of how you attempt word work.  How it has worked for you?  Any resources you use?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I use Word Journeys and Mindful of Words: Spelling and Vocabulary Explorations 4-8 by Kathy Ganske. My students do a variety of sorts with their words each week (blind, sound, pattern etc.) and must sort and spell them correctly on the weekly spelling test. This approach works very well for my class of 4th graders. We have 5th grade classes in my school that also use this approach. It's developmental, inquiry-based and students are thoroughly assessed for placement in a stage. This resource works on derivational meaning and spellings (Greek & Latin) at the upper end and letter-sound relationships with picture cards at the lower end. It is appropriate for K-8 students. To supplement our work in class, students also practice spelling and meanings of weekly words using Spellingcity.com. It doesn't help with sorting, but we sort all week in class and for homework, so Spellingcity is a nice compliment. I post each group's words each week on Spellingcity.com. It's free and easy to use! I have all my lists saved and will reuse most of them this year.
Thanks, Aimee! I am currently looking through these resources. I really appreciate the links! :)
I work for a school dedicated to serving gifted, dyslexic, and gifted-dyslexic students. That means we spend a lot of time on helping students understand how the language works! The focus of instruction is on all three layers of the language - sounds, syllables, and morphemes - along with the rules and generalizations for spelling choices. The intensity of instruction in any one area is dependent on student need.

This is probably more than you want to get into! But there are great resources available from the International Dyslexia Association - (there are branches in every state, I think). The resources are helpful for understanding the issues many students face with decoding/encoding the language and are not limited to those diagnosed with dyslexia. IDA also often provides information about training in the various multi-sensory approaches if you decide you might want to delve deeper. Some of these approaches are designed for classroom implementation (not clinical/tutorial practices) and provide structured, sequential teacher instructions for lesson presentation.

Hope that helps!



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