Words Their Way is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program.  Invernizzi, Johnston, Bear, and Templeton developed it. Words Their Way is intended to be a part of a balanced literacy plan that includes fluency, comprehension, and writing.  Word study is implemented as a small component of the literacy plan, but it is also interwoven into actual reading and writing texts. 

Words Their Way is an open-ended individual process. An assessment is given to determine where to begin instruction. Based on assessment results, students are given differentiated words to study to discover common attributes. In this manner, students are actively constructing their own knowledge of spelling patterns.  Students learn features by completing activities such as word sorting, word hunts, games, and drawing and labeling. Students work individually, with partners, and in small groups to encourage cooperative learning and individual responsibility. Therefore, spelling words will not be posted on our class website, but students are asked to be responsible for taking their extra set of words home. 


Different ways to practice spelling

Closed sort: Sort the words into the determined rule/pattern. For example, all words with long a, short a, or ai will be in three different columns.  

Open sort: sort the words into common categories, i.e., vowels, letters per word, alphabetically, etc. 

Spelling Word Hunt: First, do a closed sort to practice your spelling pattern. While reading a book, pay attention to the words and whether or not they follow the same pattern as the one being studied. Record new words discovered in your spelling notebook and become aware of the association. 

Speed sort: Sort the words into the closed sort as quickly as possible.

Blind Sort: Have someone call out each word randomly at home. Practice writing each word into the correct category.