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    Using Words Their Way
    By Amie

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    I've used Words Their Way off and on for the last five years. (Sometimes I like to put all the kids back together for a change, usually working on commonly misspelled words for a few weeks.)
    Yes, I do still give weekly spelling tests.
    Generally, I assign spelling homework for the week. On Monday, I introduce the word sorts and give a list of practice activities, sorted by difficulty. (These include everything from typing the words three times each to hiding the words in a picture.) By Friday, the students have to turn in one activity from each category. This allows them three nights for activities and one night for specific studying.
    As for the single student who is too far below the other students, that can be a problem. First of all , check his/her daily writing. Is there any chance that he/she is not as far behind as the inventory showed? It's really difficult to run a group with only one member! Perhaps you could group this student with a couple of members of your lower group who would benefit from some review lessons.
    Remember, the groups need not remain the same all year long. Students can be moved for a single lesson or for a series of lessons. I often find that some of my higher students need to review a specific spelling rule, even though they generally spell accurately.
    I generally spend one week on each set of words, but if the students just don't "get" a certain pattern, I just create a second week's list to reinforce the lesson.
    Good luck! It's definitely worth the effort.


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