Words Their Way

I'm sure many of you have used this word study program for years! I'll admit that I was nervous about starting this in my class for a long time, simply because of a few teachers who said it was very time consuming. I decided to give it a try though and I'm soooo relieved that I did! It wasn't even half of the stress I'd expected it to be!

For those of you who don't use it, Words Their Way is an amazing program for differentiating your spelling instruction. I thought I'd share how I use this in my fourth grade classroom for those of you who are considering starting it!

After giving students the pre-assessment to determine their level, I placed my students in four groups. Each of my groups has a color from low to high: red, yellow, green and blue. All of my groups have different numbers of students in them, depending on how many are at that specific level. Each group is given their sort on Monday, and for organizational purposes, I color code them according to their group.

Every day students practice sorting their words according to the specific spelling patterns and rules. Here's my weekly schedule of our Words Their Way time…

Each day students spend about five minutes sorting which is followed by an activity or game, depending on the day.

I've created many student direction sheets that I either project during the activity, or print out for under my document camera.

Here are some examples of sorts, activities, and games…

I've uploaded a 25 page file of tips, how to get started, games, activities, sort ideas, and all of my student direction slides to both of my stores! It includes everything listed in the picture below. Just add your words and you are set! Click on the picture below if you'd like to check it out! I hope some of the ideas in this post are helpful for those of you considering this type of program! I highly recommend starting a word study program! It is so beneficial to your students and you will be easily differentiating on a daily basis!

What kind of spelling program do you use? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I just posted about word study today too! I love Words Their Way. I find it to be very beneficial for my students.

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  2. I love Words Their Way! You have some great new ideas for activities I haven't tried yet...thanks!

    Craft of Teaching