Sunday, July 14, 2013

Susan Hardin's Small Group Word Study Plan


I am loving my summer vacation!  Like many of you, I have had taken care of many duties that are much easier to do once we are out of school.  My “chores” have included:  dentist appointments, car maintenance appointments, children’s physicals, pet vaccinations, clearing up insurance issues, and I’m about to start what my husband has been waiting months for... “cleaning out”. 

  However I’ve enjoyed some great activities too:  our school’s book mobile, working with my flowers, weekly swim parties with friends, sleeping in (here and there = anything past 6:30 is sleeping in for me), having lunch with friends in real restaurants, reading with my youngest child (and not being pressed for time), and of course designing new products for use in my classroom. 

One of my most popular products is called A Treasure of Word Sorts: Spelling for the Whole Year...more than you can actually use in a whole year = 40 sets of word sorts! I’ve complied many of the most common word sorts that I use in my 3rd grade classroom, into an easy to manage skill list set. 


These sorts have feature words which act as examples of the spelling pattern for that lesson.  They are underlined for identification.  I introduce these words in small group and teach the phonics rules of spelling there.  When I teach a word with a CVC spelling pattern, I tell students that this pattern makes the vowel have a short sound.  I record the feature words and the rules of the spelling pattern (the sort) on my copy of a “Treasure Chest of Sorting Sheet”.  See the picture below.


On my copy, I record the feature word in the pirate’s hat, and then write a brief rule below in the waves.  I have students record the same thing on their sorting sheets as I write.  They can refer to my sheet if they find they make a mistake or lose theirs before the assessment. I do not record the word sorts.  I leave this for my students to do independently or with their parent help.  However, I do choose a word or two from each sort (spelling pattern) to ask the group which treasure chest it belongs in (which sort it belongs to).  In the beginning, I do allow them to go ahead and record those words.  As the year goes on, I have them save that to do on their own, for time’s sake.

Whole class, in centers, or with a peer, I have the students cut their word lists apart and practice sorting them under the correct underlined feature word (on the floor or at their desk).  My students do this several times during the week. 

For homework or as independent work, have students write their sorts on their Treasure Chest Sorting Sheet.   It is important that you check it for accuracy prior to the assessment, then hand it back for students to study.

Included in this packet, is a poster of word sort activities for display in the classroom, and there are also directions on how to assess the sorts.

You can get this product at my stores on either TPT or TN.



Susan Hardin © 2013




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