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Kincumber Public School

Kincumber Public School

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Words Their Way 2018


Words Their Way  (WTW) is a developmental spelling, phonics, and vocabulary program.  It was developed by  Invernizzi, Johnston, Bear, and Temple-on. 


WTW is an approach to spelling and word knowledge that is based on extensive research of  literature and includes stages of development and instructional levels that are critical to the way students learn to read.


A word study program allows teachers to provide differentiated efficient, effective instruction in phonics, spelling, and vocabulary.


Words their Way is:


•Word study that occurs in hands-on activities that mimic basic cognitive learning processes; comparing and contrasting categories of word features and discovering similarities and differences within and between categories.


•For example, students often misspell words that end with the /k/ sound, spelling the word snake as snack or even snacke. By sorting words that end in ck and ke into two groups by sound, students discover the invariant pattern that goes with each (ck only follows a short vowel).


•During word study, words and pictures are sorted in routines that require children to examine, discriminate, and make critical judgments about speech sounds, word structures, spelling patterns, and meanings. The activities build on what students do on their own.
WTW does not teach spelling "rules" which we all know have so many exceptions in English. It instead offers opportunities for hands-on, developmentally appropriate word work which leads to a greater understanding of our spelling system.
Why "WORD STUDY" instead of a "TRADITIONAL" spelling program?


Research clearly indicates that memorisation of lists of "spelling words" does not promote the development of spelling skills.


In the past the traditional approach of "everyone gets a weekly list and test on Friday", many students who passed the spelling test were not able to transfer the knowledge to their writing!


Memorising a list of words and getting 100% on weekly tests does not necessarily mean a child is a good speller. It may just mean they are good at memorising words for a test.