Reinforcing Word Work Skills in Continuous Text
Through My Sidewalks, Level A, Unit 1
Unit 1 follows the systematic Word Work provided in “My Sidewalks LEVEL A,” a Scott Foresman, Tier III program for struggling readers. After working with this program for several years with small groups, I found that students were not easily internalizing the necessary Word Work skills and benefited by being brought back into the text to see the application of the skills and principles.
Word Work entails learning about words and how they work. Instruction guides students to understand predictable relationships and consistencies in our spelling system, while reinforcing knowledge of the alphabetic principle, spelling patterns, phonics, sight words, and print concepts. Using continuous text provides a layer of meaning to words and helps students recognize principles, patterns, and irregularities.
Follow-up activities for Word Work skills follow Days 1,2, and 3 of the “My Sidewalks” systematic Word Work instruction for Unit 1. Students are asked to go back into the text to find words that follow the Word Work of the daily lesson. Short, yet engaging activities are included allowing students to talk to their “elbow partner” to clarify and share their new understandings. Pages are labeled with the selection title and weeks are color-coded using borders.
You may wish to staple the pages together to make a unit journal, weekly journal or daily activity sheet. You will be amazed at the formative assessment information gained during these activities, so that instruction can be altered as needed.
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