meeting, organizing, and assessing words Their Way

a long awaited post, but a post nonetheless! I keep coming up with things to blog about and forgetting to finish up how we run Words Their Way!

So, I have a picture of my handy dandy notebook! I found this little gem at Dollar Tree! It has four sections and I happen to have four spelling groups. I wish I’d picked up 2 more for math and reading groups!


inside each folder I have a few weeks of sorts copied, a sticky with the kids’ names, and their spelling benchmarks. I use a sticky note to mark where we are in the sort books and this is perfect because I leave it on there when I copy! See how the group name is at the top! Pisa is a very large group. It’s the “on grade level” one and I just pull half at a time when I meet with them. I wouldn’t normally have that many and some will move up soon so it all works out.


Now for assessment: Right after students finish their Early Bird books each Friday, they get out their spelling baggies {snack size Ziplocs} and do a sort with a friend. Then each student glues their sort into their word journals. These are just spirals that we use for this purpose. When I get better with Word Work they’ll record in this notebook!

I call one group at a time to the rug during read to self. They bring a clipboard and pencil-I fold their paper into columns {however many their particular sort had that week.} We label the “headers” together or I write them for some dearies.

I choose 10 random words from their list. I literally sit with the WTW sort books in my lap! I try to even out the amount in each column. There is no science to this y’all!


here’s my sweet Middle Lamb’s test. His teacher is nicer than me! I count off 10 points if the word is spelled incorrectly, spelled incorrectly and in the wrong column, or if it’s spelled correctly but in the wrong column. Here Jake has “whole” in the wrong column and spelled moist wrong.

I hope this helps a little with how the whole process works in my room.
If you missed out on the past series on WTW: check them out here!

I had a request for a little craft for Room on the Broom. Here’s a little preview. This lil’ freebie will be up tomorrow!




  1. Thank you so much for sharing how you do WTW. I am really working on doing WTW in my classroom and developing a routine. I was wondering about testing them each week to see if they are getting it. What do you do when they clearly didn't get that sort? Do you make them re-do that sort the next week or let them move on? I am looking at doing a test at the end of a particular skill-such as digraphs-and if they don't pass I'd have them do those sorts again. However, I'm not sure that's what I should do or not....any thoughts? :)

    1. I actually am in the midst of making a chart with each sort title so I can record their scores. I obviously grade the, but want a way to see the score instantly if I need to. Today I gave one group the assessment that comes at the end of each chapter. All but 2 made a 100. Those two will have a review week with 15 words from the au/aw/ou/ow/oy chapter. The rest get the week off! If these two were to keep up the way they are, I'd make a new group for them so the other 4 could move on. If the group as a whole bombs, make a new list using the "additional words" sections. I've done that before too.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Interesting how you give the spelling test in columns. I might have to try that, soon. I do use WTW to determine which words to give students, but not the activities. All of our reading instruction is done in small groups, so I don't have time to do small groups for word work, too. Love the program, though.
    What i have learned

  3. One more . . . which WTW book are you using to plan your lessons?

    1. Hi Jessica-I use the sort books for everything! And trust me they are not "lessons". They just need to sort, think, and talk about what they are doing and noticing. I use the red, yellow, and green ones now. Sorry-I am all by colors not words! hehe
      I too have to do guided reading, but on Mondays I meet and do initial word sorts with the groups and only meet with one GR group. The rest of the week we just do sorts as a class-but they use their own words. Hope that helps a little!

  4. What a great idea. I'm always looking for great organizational ideas.

    Well You have been boo'd (if you haven't already.) Come check out my link to learn more.

  5. Thanks for the ideas! WTW is not going well and I am not sure where I went wrong. I keep reading and hoping I will find the answer to my troubles :)
    My Second Sense


notes to the teacher

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