This past summer, my sweet friend, Amy, and I decided we needed to revamp our spelling. We were using the spelling lists that came with our reading program, and really, I feel like many of the kids were just memorizing for the test-not really learning the spelling patterns. This year we are doing word chunks and I am LOVING it! We structured our spelling based on this book:
Each week, we have a focus poem. We find helpful chunk words from the poem, and focus on 3 to 4 a week. My kids are doing GREAT! And they are actually using the chunks in their writing! They always point out old chunks and underline chunks in their work. LOVE IT!
For the spelling test, I give the kids 10 chunk words to study (most are 2 syllable words, some just have blends and digraphs). Then I add anywhere from 1-5 extra words (sight words, old chunks we need to review). On test day I give them 5 secret words that they don't get to study. They have to apply what they have learned.
It is very easy for all students to work on the same chunks, but you can modify the words for your struggling students, as well as your gifted students :)
Here is what our poetry and word work journal looks like. Our poem goes on the left, and we sort chunk words on the right. **Sidebar-this poem is also a great one to teach blends and adjectives!**
Here is what our Word Chunk Wall looks like currently. (I cut off the "U" and "Other" chunks, sorry!)
So this is kind of what our week looks like currently...
Monday: Introduce new poem at morning meeting (written on chart paper). Ask kids what they think would be helpful chunks. Pick out 3-4 (pre-selected) chunking words. Underline chunks in poem with highlighting tape (so I can reuse the poems on chart paper year after year :). Then I write the chunk words on construction paper in front of them. I do not have these pre-made, although I realllllly wanted to! I think they are more meaningful since we write them together. I give the students a copy of the poem and we read it again and circle our chunk words. Then they cut it out and glue it in their journal. We also go over our spelling words for the week.
Tuesday: We reread our poem. Review the chunks. Brainstorm words that have our chunks on the whiteboard. Then the students sort their spelling words on the right side of their journals. They will add other words at their own pace throughout the week.
Wednesday: I have a cut and paste word sort for my kiddos to do.
Thursday: We play our word chunk race! My kids get their marker boards. I give them one minute. They write as many words as they can think of for the first chunk. Then, I give them another minute, and I call on students to tell me as many chunk words as they can! I write them all on the board. Then it's my turn! Except I only get 30 seconds and I have to do it alone! (I don't win very often!) We repeat this for each chunk. They love playing against Mrs. Lynes :)
Friday: We play Sparkle and take our test.
When we have extra time throughout the day, I let them get out Word Work materials (magnets, pipe cleaners, stamps, etc). Once I get it up and running, it will be a rotation as part of Daily 5.
TGI (almost) F!