Why do I need to teach word study? That’s a fair question that many reading and writing teachers ask – even in upper elementary grades. Here are five reasons your students need daily word study, and a simple, free solution to make word study easier to teach!
Word study is a teaching activity that can make or break reluctant readers and struggling learners. Great reading curricula integrate word study into the lessons daily. (Read more on Research-based Word Study)
In this post, you will discover:
- 5 reasons why word study must occur daily, and
- tips on how to integrate spiraling word study when there’s so much pressing into your classroom time.
5 Reasons for Daily Word Study
We often teach it when we get to it, put it in a center, send it home, or do buddy study once or twice a week. At some time, you know the struggle of working word study into your already crammed lesson plans.
Unfortunately, your students could increase reading levels much faster if comprehensive word study was in your daily routine. The problems for struggling readers are many:
- Lack word skills, so they rely on context and guessing.
- Have a slower reading rate.
- Often miscue when decoding longer words.
- Focus on decoding rather than comprehension.
- Skip complex words and some portions of text.
- Lack the resources to monitor their own comprehension.
All of these struggles do one thing – they stunt reading comprehension!
However, spiraling word study – even small amounts – will address these problems and boost reading comprehension. It will even raise reading levels much quicker than a class where word study is hit or miss. Here’s why.
- Readers develop decoding fluency, which frees cognitive resources for comprehension.
- Confidence in decoding empowers students to attack multiple syllable words and monitor their own understandings.
- Spelling patterns help readers see the connections between words. This multiplies the rate at which readers improve!
- Readers who know word parts can find meaning within words, not just in the surrounding context.
- Word study builds confident writers, which reciprocates into confident readers.
Tips for Integrating Daily Word Study
Let’s keep it simple. You already have so much pressed on you with state testing, other curricula, individualized plans, and so forth. In upper elementary and middle school, word study can be integrated into a daily warm-up. That’s right. A quick warm-up can give you a great return on time! The key is doing it daily.
In lower elementary levels, daily warm-ups can be used to practice previously taught word study concepts and skills. Your direct instruction doesn’t need to be as long, because students will deepen their understandings in the daily spiral review.
You only need 3-6 minutes each day to cover the key components of word study: letter-sound relationships, spelling patterns, word meanings, word parts, and root words. Here are some activities that make word study easy to teach and simple to learn:
- word sorts
- timed pattern recognition
- video-based direct instruction
Does your curriculum provide these types of instructional activities?
If your curriculum is designed effectively, you don’t have to make decisions on what you are teaching. A quality curriculum will spiral from basic skills to advanced in a systematic manner. It will then spiral review previously learned skills until they are mastered!
If you need a high-quality, no-prep spiraling word study program, consider signing up for our free warm-ups below or learn more here.
Click or Tap Here to Get Free Word Study Warm-Ups!