Friday, August 29, 2014

Words Their Way - Spelling - 1:1 Classroom

Our district adopted a new reading/language arts curriculum and for spelling we are now using Words Their Way.  My fourth grade team is helping to decide the best apps to "Show What They Know" in spelling.  We will continue to revise and edit as the school year continues. 

Even though my four groups have a different set of words each week, the work and expectations of the students are the same. Below is the task board we decided to start the year with.  We realize we will be making changes and modifications as we continue our journey together. 

Words Their Way Task Board 

 Here is link where you can view and then edit the
Words Their Way Task Board as needed.

Stick Around
Tips for using Stick Around by iPad Educators
 One of our favorite apps to use with Words Their Way is Stick Around.  We just finished our third week of school, and my fourth graders have created puzzles that tie in with their weekly word pattern. They send their puzzles to Google Drive to share with classmates. Students can then solve and play each others' puzzles.

 Student Created Puzzles

                Kaitlyn's Puzzle                                                                  Brie's Puzzle


There are so many possibilities with Educreations, which is a free app.  Students can write their words, or come up with a creative way to put their words under the correct word pattern.  They then record themselves reading their word list or the presentation they created.  After they have saved their recording, each student listens to him/herself.  It is a powerful way for students to self-assess.  Another great feature is the recording shows the amount of time it takes.  One thing students get frustrated with is that they cannot go back and re-record after they have already saved their video.  A neat feature to the app is that students have the ability to ask each other questions.  If you have an Educreation account you can view what others have created. 
Educreations - Students Can Teach What they Know

Below is a screen shot of what one of my fourth graders created.

Popplet is an app that works as a mind map, which helps students think and learn visually. We are using the free version of  Popplet Lite is our classroom.
Students create word maps of each spelling pattern.  They can also write the definition and part of speech to each word.  Popplet is a great app for students to visually learn their word patterns.


 Dream-X is similar to Popplet. Students are using  Dream-X to create a mind map for their word patterns.

Gavyn's Word Map

3D Avatar Creator by Buddy Poke

One of our favorite apps that we recently discovered is 3D Avatar Creator. It is very similar to Tellagami, but it has so many more choices for students. Students have the ability to create one or two avatars.   Students use the  avatars to create a recording and show the understanding of their spelling word patterns.  Students then app smash and send it to iMovie from their camera roll to edit.  After the movies are created they can send it to YouTube.  Students can use the videos to practice their words for the week.

Explain Everything
Explain Everything from MorrisCooke
Explain Everything is an app we use in all curricular areas, but there are endless possibilities in using it with Words Their Way.  This week, students wrote spelling sentences using Explain Everything.  They recorded themselves reading each sentences. Students can send their work directly to YouTube, or they can app smash it to iMovie and create a movie video.  
Here is an example on how students can create spelling sentences using Explain Everything and app smash to iMovie.
Tutorial for Explain Everything

Sian's Video


Doceri is a free interactive whiteboard for the iPad.  There are so many possibilities in using this app with Words Their Way.  Students can "Show What They Know" and practice placing their words in the correct word pattern.  After they have saved their recording, students can view their video from their camera roll, send it directly to YouTube, or app smash it to iMovie to create their spelling video.  Each student listens to him/herself to critique their fluency and understanding of their spelling words and patterns.  This is another powerful way for students to self-assess. 
Here is one example on how a student shared their word pattern for the week.

Quizlet is a great learning tool to use in all curricular areas.  You can create flashcards, tests, and study games for each word list of the week. You have the option of having questions be a Written Response, Matching, Multiple Choice, or True or False.
My students love Speed Sort- Quizlet creates a scatter game that is timed, so students can match each word with the correct definition. It gives students their high score and the option to play again.  They are also challenged with the Race Game.

I recently upgraded to the Premium Membership of SpellingCity, and I love it.  Since I have different groups in Words Their Way, I am able to create specific groups and assign their weekly words.  You are able to search for word lists already created to import to your class.  Another great feature is the vocabulary component that reinforces and helps teach the meaning of each spelling word.  It is a great tool to use to differentiate spelling instruction and students are 100% engaged.  You can get test results for each child, and it also has a writing component.  Students can also use it at home.


Thanks to my friend and colleague +Terrie Brown for her post last year on Words Their Way.  It  gave me awesome ideas to help me create an iTunesU course for my students.

Students go to our Words Their Way iTunesU course and find the activity they will complete. They send their work to Notability to complete on their iPads.  Below are examples of the Word Sort and Speed Sort that students will complete in Notability.

You can also use these apps with the reading vocabulary and the amazing words from the language arts curriculum.

I would love to hear how other teachers are implementing Words Their Way in a 1:1 classroom.  

A. A. Milne

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