Words Their Way Improvements

Word Work, Words Their Way

I’ve previously written about our Words Their Way routines and shared several resources.  This year we made a few changes that I wanted to share. Changes 1-6: Organization and Routine Don’t Cut Inside Envelop Add a Crayon Color Label Add Student Number to Baggie Display Notebooks Batch Prep Sorts Store Sorts Conveniently Have you ever wondered why it took you so long to figure something out?  I’m in my 20th year of teaching and every year it amazes me the number…

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Gingerbread Man App Smash

Apps, iPad, Technology

We created a class gingerbread story this week.  We used our iPads and app smashed our way through the process. Step 1: Students were greeted with a pile of craft materials.  They were asked to create gingerbread people. Many students wanted a template to cut out, but I didn’t provide one and simply encouraged to them to do their best!  We used: construction paper glue sticks, wet glue, and hot glue yarn pipe cleaners pom poms buttons beads feathers foam…

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Finding Small Moment Stories


My first grade writers have been working to find small moment stories.  We’ve had success using the watermelon analogy, when paired with our own story ideas.  To introduce the concept, we took a walk in the woods.  Our “big idea” was the walk in the woods, and we worked to identify the smaller stories within that story. I modeled this a few times with my students before asking them to find their own small moments to write about.  We’re using…

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Stop the Revolving Door at your Small Group Table

Behavior, Daily 5, Math Workshop, PBIS

Interruptions during guided writing, math, or reading are inevitable — no matter how many times you’ve practiced and practiced working independently!  We’ve done the “IF, THEN” problem solving chart.  While these types of lists help, they are not inclusive of all types of problems and challenges that your students may encounter during their 15-20 minutes of independent work time. To alleviate interruptions, I teach my students strategies for working through problems on their own.  We create an IF, THEN chart…

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