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Laurie Wangerin

WT1A Spring Conference 2015

April 9-10 2015

Words Their Way with Struggling Readers 4-8


By Shane Templeton
My student that I have selected to work with is a second grader. He is a
struggling reader but has made huge gains this year. He is currently in the Leveled
Literacy Intervention (LLI) program with me. We do word work every day, but it
not as extensive as Words Their Way. Because of the limited time I have with
him, I am currently not able to incorporate Words Their Way into my lesson. I will
be sharing this with his teacher in hopes that she can bring it to the classroom.
I started testing with the Primary Spelling Inventory. The student is almost in
third grade, but is a struggling reader so I wanted to start out easy for him. I did
move him into the elementary list to compare results between the two inventories.
The inventories were given on two separate days.
Primary Spelling Inventory:
Word given
1. fan
2. pet
3. dig
4. rob
5. hope
6. wait
7. gum
8. sled
9. stick
10. shine
11. dream
12. blade
13. coach

Written Result
fan
pet
dig
rob
hope
wate
gum
sled
stick
shine
dreme
blade
coech

Word given
14. fright
15. chewed
16. crawl
17. wishes
18. thorn
19. shouted
20. spoil
21. growl
22. third
23. camped
24. tries
25. clapping
26. riding

Written Result
fright
chood
crol
wishes
thorn
shoted
spoeol
growold
thrd
capt
trise
claping
riding

The results of this Inventory tell me that my student should be at the Within
Word Spelling stage and we should be working on the Common Long Vowels. He
understands the CVCe long vowel concept and is ready to move into the other
common long vowels like ai, ea, oa and igh and eventually the other vowels like oi, er,
ew, ar and ow.

Laurie Wangerin

WT1A Spring Conference 2015

April 9-10 2015

Elementary Spelling Inventory


Word given
1. bed
2. ship
3. when
4. lump
5. float
6. train
7. place
8. drive

Written Result
bed
ship
when
lump
flote
tran
plase
drive

Word given
9. bright
10. shopping
11. spoil
12. serving
13. chewed
14. carries
15. marched

Written Result
brite
shoping
spoeol
srving
chood
carese
micht

I stopped the Elementary Spelling Inventory because the words were getting too
hard for him and I could see the frustration. His spelling is consistent in that the
patterns of the misspelled words were the same each day. The results from this
Inventory told me the same thing as the Primary Spelling Inventory. He needs to
start understanding the other Common Long Vowels before we move into the other
vowel sounds like oi, er, ew, ar and ow.
THE PLAN
To help my student move forward, I would utilize the Words Their Way Within
Word Pattern book and start with the Common Long Vowel section. As I was
reading Chapter 4, the sample given with Zach is so much like my student that I am
working with. I was surprised at the similarities!
I dont think I would create a contract with my student as he is only a second
grader and it may be too overwhelming and stressful for him. I would share the
big picture of what we want to accomplish together and establish the steps to get
there.
The first sort I would start with would be to review the combined CVC vs. CVCe
sort to learn the program with something he is comfortable and familiar with.
Working with this sort, I would model each step and he would practice them. We
would establish a routine for each day of the week, spending 15 minutes a day on
word work. I would have a variety of options to practice the sorts each day (see
next page). At the end of the week, I would have a sort and writing assessment to

Laurie Wangerin

WT1A Spring Conference 2015

April 9-10 2015

see if we are ready to move forward. This assessment would have some of the
words from the sort but also other words with the similar sort pattern we are
working on. When we compete the Common Long Vowel patterns, we would review
all the sorts we have worked on and have another assessment to see if the
concepts were retained or if practicing it again would be necessary. This would let
me know if the student was ready to move forward. I would do the Spelling
Inventory in the beginning of the year, middle of the year and end of the school
year. This would show me the progress the student is making. Adjustments can be
made mid year if the student is understanding the concepts of spelling quicker
than expected.
Below is an activity sheet that gives the student options of what he could do to
change things up to practice each week. These activities would be modeled and
practice before the student would be on their own. It will work with all students
with all sorts.

REFLECTION
It is surprising how spelling truly correlates to the reading levels of the students
in the younger levels. By having the students participate in a word study, it helps
them with spelling, reading and vocabulary. I also see it improving their reading
because they will be able to decode many words they were unable to decode in the

Laurie Wangerin

WT1A Spring Conference 2015

April 9-10 2015

past. I like it because the whole class can be taught the same methods and it is
still differentiated by the individuals spelling stage. Before hearing Shane speak,
I felt that this was a program for the elementary students, but now I believe that
it would be so beneficial for middle school and high school students to really learn
the meaning behind the words and how they originated.
A fourth grade teacher that I work with came to the conference with me and she
is incorporating it in her teaching for the rest of the year. It is a good thing that
I have all the books for her to use. I am hoping that next year, we will get more
teachers on board and do the same thing.