Is it just me or does anybody else lose sleep at night contemplating and changing the way they run their phonics and word study programs? Ok...seriously I am not THAT bad. Although I have a strong foundation in phonics instruction, I have just never really implemented/tried a program that I have loved and found completely effective for my students. Honestly, I feel guilty when I see my higher-level learners completely bored and my challenged kiddos feeling completely overwhelmed. Then I am unsure of whether or not to make the lesson harder/easier, not to mention the fact that some of the students (no matter how hard they try) never really seem to master all of those high frequency words. I mean, you can only SPIRAL so much! Needless to say I feel like my phonics instruction is a ticking time bomb and I just knew that it was only a matter of time before an explosion occurred (not by the students, of course)! So to prevent that crazy disaster from happening, I spent time reading and researching this summer to see what other teachers have found effective in their classrooms.
Well....I came across the amazingly awesome Beth Newingham's post on Scholastic. Ok, I know I have been hiding under a rock because I have honestly NEVER seen her blog before! WHAT?!? I know, I know...I was truly missing out. She is quite possibly one of the most talented and innovative teachers that I have seen! Honestly...amazing! If her classroom decorations, reading strategies and integration of technology were not enough...what do you know...of course she had a brilliant idea and solution for people like me...struggling to find that "perfect fit" phonics and word study program. Check out Beth's word study tutorial HERE! (You really want to see this...trust me!)
I think I spent several hours really digesting the new information and deciding upon how I would try and modify/implement her 3rd grade program into my 2nd grade classroom. After much revision, I think I really like what I have come up with. I have created a Second Grade Word Work Program which includes 28 units to build letter/sound relationships and word skills. Each unit contains a weekly list and a challenge list which is perfect to challenge and reach every learner and provide them with opportunities to excel at their own level. Talk about a stress reliever! Second Grade Word Work is packed with 248 pages (no joke...whew!) of multiple resources to get your kids on the move in spelling. These resources include parent letters that strives to explain the new skill for the week while building that home to school connection, individual student dictionaries, spelling menus to encourage spelling practice while having fun and over 300 word cards that can be incorporated onto any word wall. It was truly my desire to have my word study program a completed resource that was ready to be printed, put into a notebook and copied for student use. Easy as 1...2...3...right?!?
I just can't wait to give this new strategy a little try. I just have that "feelin" that it is going to work like a charm and really develop my students knowledge in sounds and word skills to become fluent spellers!
If you too have not found that "perfect fit" phonics or word study program, go check out my Second Grade Word Study Unit on TPT. Click on the picture below to get a direct flight out of that spelling slump! This item is currently 20% of, along with all other items in my TPT store!