July 26, 2010

Fun Idea to Get Started

Posted in The first few weeks at 10:12 pm by svalter

I was struck by some random inspiration as I started planning things today, and I’ve decided to try something a bit different while I set up my word study routines this year.  I’ve decided that for the first few weeks of school I am going to have my students do a “name” study of both their own name and their classmates’ names. 

Prior to getting started with my kids, I’m going to make a set of word sort cards with each child’s name and copy it onto cardstock for each student.  I can then teach the routines of cutting out and storing the words.  I will also work with the kids to create an anchor chart of different ways to sort words that we can post in the classroom (beginning sound, syllables, vowel sound, ending, syllable breaks, etc.).  After that, my kids can spend a couple of days seeing how many different ways they can sort the name cards.  This will give me some good informal assessment data and it will allow me to pull back those kids who need additional testing (higher or lower).  While the kids are working with names I can also teach them how to use the word study contract, how to set up their notebooks, and go over all the procedures they will need while working independently throughout the rest of the year.  It will also help them learn how to spell all of their classmates’ names correctly!

I also want them to do some work with their own name to embed some important concepts.  During the first couple of weeks (before we really kick off Word Study), I would like to have my kids research their own names to find out where their name came from and the meaning and origin of their name.  I heard a speaker share this idea about a year ago, and I just love the thought of giving each child an opportunity to put meaning behind his/her name at the beginning of the school year, and I think this is a great way emphasize to my students that each word they work with has a meaning and an origin.

Does anyone else have an idea of something they are planning to do in their classroom this year to kick off Word Study?  If so, please share!

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