Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's Working Wednesday...and Winner Wednesday

I know I haven't posted one of this in a while..ok forever, but I have good reason. I always forget to take the pictures. Bad memory is a good reason right? So while I am sitting here on lunch, I took out my cell phone (because of course I forgot my camera on my desk at home...) and snapped a couple pictures of what is working for me. I originally found this idea at Adventures in Teaching but changed it up a bit to match my classroom and our curriculum.

Our new assistant principal is really pushing differentiation. And while I understand the importance of it and how it can really help, sometimes it is just practically impossible due to time constraints. But this is one thing that I am able to differentiate thanks to this stellar idea- Spelling. Who knew differentiating spelling could be so easy?

Now the original post (and I believe the person who trained on this) had a different plan, but like I said, I had to make this work with my class. So instead of cutting file folders into thirds (like the post suggests) I cut mine in half. One side for pretest and one side for post-test. This eliminates any chance of cheating because the word list is not attached. Here is how it works-

On Monday, I give my students a pretest on the first 15 words from our spelling list. I use our spelling that comes with our series because that is what is expected. I then grade the pretest and circle anything that students got wrong. If they got less than 10 wrong, I circle up to all of the challenge words to make up to 10 words. Now, sometimes students might ONLY have the challenge words circled because they got a 100 on the first 15 words. To them I say congratulations on a short spelling list. No child has more than 10 words a week.
As you can see, this child only has 6 spelling words this week. I don't write the challenge words in, I just circle them so they know to circle them on their newsletter.
I do this while students head to music (we have it early in the morning). When they return, their folders are on their desk along with their weekly newsletter. Students then open both flaps and circle the same numbers on their post test page as I circled on their pretest page. They circle the same numbers on their newsletters and those are the words they study for the week and the words they do their homework with for the week. It is working well so far (this is only week 2) and I have seen a lot more success out of my students when it comes to spelling.

**I have my folders laminated for durability. I stuck a sticker on the folders and labeled them with my students' numbers to help me pass them out without having to open flaps and see who the folder belongs to. They are stored on my shelf during the week and only come out on Monday and Friday for tests. I never have to worry about them being ruined or students trying to sneak and write the words in advance on the post test side.

Thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway for my Turkey Treats writing and craftivity and a HUGE thank you to everyone who follows this little blog of mine! I ended up passing my goal of 25 followers on TpT (HUGE thank you!) so I drew two winners! Congratulations to Amber and Courtney! Your emails are on their way ladies! I hope you enjoy it!

Don't worry if you didn't win... I am putting it on sale 15% off until Friday! Grab it quick!


  1. Can you explain how you use the sound boxes in your 3rd classroom? I used them when I taught K. I said a word, then students had to stretch the sound and put a marker (usually a piece of gum) on the sound boxes. I kept a tally sheet and if you had 7 out of 10 you got a piece of gum (this was an incentive for having to be at the teacher table while your friends got to go to dramatic play or a playdough station). I haven't used them in 3rd grade, but I do have a lot of kiddos who need help with hearing and writing all of the sounds in a word. I am constantly being asked how to spell a word. I never do. I sound it out slowly and if there is a trick (silent e, ie, ly or ies I remind them of a lesson we've had). Please let me know.

    Oh, if you like Starbucks and books, I'm doing a small giveaway (b/c I met some goals this year).

  2. Hey Gina! I'd love to make this a linky party. Email me and we'll figure it out!

    Success in Second Grade

  3. Omgoodness, Gina I'm soooo sorry. You must think I'm crazy. I was reading your blog in one window and another person in another window...then I typed responses in the WRONG windows! OOPS! So sorry, forgive my craziness. I put your Author's Purpose file in my TPT cart! Thanks:)


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