I'm Lovin' Daily 5!

I'm linking up with First Grade in Foxwell Forest today to talk to you about the Daily 5!  This month's linky is all about word work.

If you are new to The Daily Five {affiliate link}, make sure to get the book and read it first.  These blog hops are great for getting ideas of how teachers implement the structure in their rooms, but without the foundations that are explained in the book, you may get confused.  The book is short and is an easy read.  You won't regret it!

On to Word Work!

Like I shared last week, I use Ladybug's Teacher Files free Daily 5 choice signs.  When I call student names off my list to see which choice they want, almost all of them look at the signs to help them make a decision.  I am so glad I put them up! 

In my old school in Portland, my classroom had this big shelf unit.  The bottom cubbies were full of word work activities.

The kids who chose Word Work would choose their materials and practice making their weekly spelling words.  The available materials were:
  • Magnetic letters
  • Bend-a-roos (like wiki sticks)
  • Letter stamps
  • Black beans
The thing I did not like about this set up was that these activities were very open, so my large class (33) or third graders would often get off task and end up playing with the materials.  And since there was not a recording sheet or anything to turn in, I didn't feel that there was urgency to complete the task.

Last year I decided to make my Word Work activities a bit more intentional and less open ended.  I bought 3 shallow tubs from the dollar section at Target, then made some chalkboard labels with contact paper (get the DIY tutorial here).

I decided to have 3 centers up for 2 weeks each.  I only allow 6 students to choose Word Work each day, just to keep the area as crazy-free as possible.  With 3 centers, there can be 2 kids per center each round.  With keeping the centers there for 2 weeks, this ensures that each kid does each activity a couple of times.  

The activities I use are usually from my blogging friends.  Sometimes they are freebies, sometimes parts of paid products.  Sometimes they go with the phonics skill we are working on, and sometimes they have a comprehension component.  I don't just stick to words, I use Word Work to kind of encompass any reading skill that my kids as a whole need to work on.  

Right now, I am using my Halloween Compound Words.  This addresses standard L.2.4d.

The Bubbly Blonde's vowel center that is a part of her It's Birthday Time literacy center pack.  This addresses standard RF.2.3a.

And Surfin' Through Second's main idea center that is a part of her Sunshine and Rainbows literacy pack.  It addresses standard RL.2.2.

I'd love to hear how you have adapted Word Work to make it useful for you and your students!


  1. I'm just getting started on re-developing my word work activities. In fact, last year was so open, I don't even remember what I did! So, what I did this year was create boxes with labels: High Frequency Words, Short Vowels, Blends & Digraphs, VCE Vowels, Other Vowels, and Prefixes-Suffixes & Roots. Each box has activities that goes with that spelling level. On the box is a sticky note with student names of students who can use that box. I'm still in the process of developing / copying activities for each box; they each have at least one at this point. I'll blog about it, soon.

  2. You know, I think I need to do this with word work. Monday and Tuesday they practice their spelling words, and Wed-Thus they practice the grammar skill! I SO need to buy your Halloween compound word pack!

    Tonya’s Treats for Teachers

  3. Hi there! I am so glad you linked up with Becca for her monthly Daily 5 linky!
    Thanks for sharing all of your Word Work ideas!
    It is so nice to see what is happening in other classrooms!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe