Daily 5 Series: Word Work

  1. Read to Self
  2. Read with Someone
  3. Word Work
  4. Listen to Reading
  5. Read with a Teacher/Teacher Time
Word Work is still my work in progress, so look for updates to this post as I continue to grow and add to the effectiveness of this choice :) For now, though, I will give a brief overview of how it goes in my class.

First, the anchor chart of expectations:
 All students have five independent spelling words (aside from the class list of words) that they work on each week. These are kept in their spelling folder (I'll blog about this after I get some pics) and include third grade words from the district and list of 1200 high-frequency words from Rebecca Sitton.

Students are responsible for these five words and have the chance to practice them, as well as class list words during Word Work time. Students have a variety of ways to practice these words:
  • White Boards- (a class FAVORITE!)- they can practice cursive, print, and/or sentences
  • Stamps- I purchased several of these sets and ink pads in multiple colors (be sure they are washable!) and this is a close second favorite
  • Sign Language- kids will work with a partner using these sheets to help and try to guess the words

  • Secret Code Spelling- each letter is worth its place in the alphabet (a=1, b=2, c=3, etc.) and kids will work to spell out their words in numbers, then switch with a partner and decode (This is available as a freebie HERE.)
  • Scrabble Tiles- I post more info about this center HERE.
  • Money Words- similar to secret code, but each letter is worth a coin amount. I blog more about this center HERE.

I am always on the lookout to add more individual spelling practice activities. You can keep updated on my quest here on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/3rdGrThoughts/word-work-spelling/

What I noticed was that sometimes students' stamina in practicing these words waned, especially with our 25 minute session length. Also, we don't have spelling words every week (short weeks, in particular), but we do Daily 5 every day, so what were we to do?

Enter DonorsChoose.org!! (you can read more about my love of Donors Choose here)

I found a wonderful product at Lakeshore Learning that covers all of these amazing word skills that I teach throughout the year, including:
  • synonyms & antonyms
  • context clues
  • prefixes, suffixes & root words
  • idioms
  • similes & metaphors
  • analogies
  • and more!
Their At-My-Desk Vocabulary Set was perfect- already assembled, quality pieces, directions card that is very easy for kids to understand (yay!), and full of concepts that always use extra practicing :)
The price was jaw-dropping a bit steep, so I applied to Donors Choose and ta-da! it became a part of our Word Work Center! Yippee! {happy dance}

Seriously, donors have no idea how much they make my students' and my day! <3

Now, when kiddos feel like they have had enough practice with their words, they can go to our spinny activity center and choose an envelope to work with at their desk. They LOVE them! And the best part is that, while some of them are a once-and-done activity, most of them a student can do over and over!

So that is my Word Work in a tiny nutshell. Are there any great activities that I should add? Let me know how you do Word Work- I would love to continue to tweak this to make it more perfect for my students :)


  1. You need to link up some of your word work ideas on this linky party! There are tons on there too...you can get some more ideas for your kiddos! thanks for sharing and visiting my blog!

    Word Work Linky Party

    Rockin' Teacher Materials

  2. Thanks, Hilary! I am heading over there now :)


  3. Hi Stephanie,

    I'm interested in purchasing the At-My-Desk Vocabulary Set. I noticed on the Lake shore website that it was 4th to 6th grade, did your third graders find the vocabulary sets to be difficult?


    Rose Mary

  4. Do you use your Word Work Centers (seasonal) during the Daily 5 as Word Work choices? If so, how?

  5. Hi Stephanie,
    I noticed that the Sign Language link is not working. Do you have an updated link?

  6. Thank you for all of your posts on the Daily 5! We are just starting it and they have been so helpful!