She has inspired me in so many ways, but more recently has been the way she teaches and assesses her spelling and word work. Here is a link to her explanation of her word work program: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top_teaching/2010/10/my-november-top-ten-list-word-study-in-action. I have always been discouraged by just handing students a list on Monday for them to memorize for a test on Friday. Does this show they have mastered the spelling pattern? Can they apply the rule in their own writing? Something needed to change. This new "method" I have adopted pleases those parents who love to see that weekly spelling list and allows me to truly assess whether or not they can use the rule. I have created a 40 word list for each of the spelling list in our curriculum, Reading Street. The first 10 words is for a Pre-Test, the next 10 are for a "regular list", the next 10 are for a "challenge list" and finally the last 10 are words that use the pattern but my students will not see these words until the day of the test. These final words are how they will truly show me they understand the pattern.
So here is how I use these lists in my classroom.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->On Monday, I give a pre-test. I use the first 10 “pre-test words” for this test. If students get 9 or 10 correct they receive the “challenge” list (which I call Star list because the list I give them has a star at the top) to study for the week. If they miss 8 or more they receive the regular list.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. <!--[endif]-->Throughout the week we study and practice the list through word sorts and various games. They are also responsible for studying the list they received on Monday.
<!--[if !supportLists]-->3. <!--[endif]-->On Friday, I call out the first 10 words on each list. (ie. Number 1 – happen, Did you happen to see the game on TV last night?, happen Star list number 1 – collar, The collar on my shirt feels tight around my neck., collar, etc.) Then, I call out the “new pattern words” to the whole class. These are words they have not studied, but follow the pattern we have practiced all week. This will show me if they truly understand and can apply the pattern to their own writing.
I have created a product for the first 6 spelling lists in the Reading Street series. Here is a link to where they can be purchased in my TPT store.