Make Word Work Meaningful & Engaging
Hi again and welcome back for the third dose of the blog series, “Guided Reading Success”! In the last post, I talked about how to do a daily, meaningful warm-up with your guided reading group with the game, Pop The Balloon! Today, I’m going to talk about the next thing I do in guided reading, which is word work. Typically, word work is supposed to happen after the comprehension part of guided reading. I like to do word work before reading a new book because I try to find books that match the phonics skill we are working on. I feel that building words with that skill prior to reading helps students with their reading.
Segment & Write
For word work, I use segment & write boards. I base word work on the skill we are learning that week in our whole group lessons. However, if a group is struggling with previous phonics skills, I will differentiate and work on what they need instead.
Word Work Steps
Here are the steps I use when spelling words with students:
- Tell the word (i.e. pig)
- Ask, “How many sounds are in the word pig?”
- Students show with their fingers that there are 3 sounds. Then, pick a student to be the phonics leader.
- Ask, “What is the first sound in pig?”
- The phonics leader says ‘p’ and all students spell ‘p’ on the first sound dot on the segment & write board.
- Repeat this process until the word is spelled
- Students point to each letter and say the sound and then read the word
- Students write the word on the board with dry erase marker
Word Work Games
On Fridays, I like to change it up and do a word work game. I do because Fridays deserve something extra special. I highlighted some of our favorite games below.
Phonics Magic Game
One game that my students like to play is Phonics Magic. In Phonics Magic, each student gets a white crayon and a piece of paper. I will say a word with a skill we are working on. Students write the word somewhere on their paper and then color over it with another color crayon.
Seek And Find
Another game we played was Seek And Find. On a big piece of butcher paper or anchor chart paper, I would write different words with the phonics skill. For example, if we were learning the short a sound, I would write a bunch of different words with the short a sound. I might say to find a word in the -at word family or to find a specific word.
Word Ties is a fun way to notice similarities among words. It is just like Scrabble. Hand student the Word Ties game. Students write down the words on their game board and try to keep writing them in by connecting them all. This is a fun one where they have to really sit and think about how it will work, but they really love playing it. You can get this game for free down below!