Working with Words

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I love using Daily 5 in the classroom! If you haven’t read that book— I highly recommend it!

One of my favorite aspects of Daily 5 (other than “Read to Self”– who doesn’t love the sound of children reading?!?) is “Word Work”. I have tried Word Work in many different ways, but my favorite way is by using tubs.

Here is how Word Work works in my classroom:

I have 6 tubs (those 6 qt. shoebox tubs with lids from a store like Walmart). Inside of the tubs I include all types of word work materials. Here is an idea list:

  • markers
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • chalk
  • letter stamps/stamp pad
  • letter stickers
  • letter magnets
  • colored pencils
  • Play-Doh
  • sight word flash cards or games
  • a choice chart (this is one of my favorites!)
  • pipe cleaners
  • beads
  • snap cubes

You also have to decide what kinds of “words” will your students work on. I have mine work with spelling words (because it’s not something we usually make time for during the day) or vocabulary words. Younger students might work with sight words.

You can always trade materials out on a weekly or monthly basis. Here is an example of a planning guide that I made:I like it because it insures that I don’t let my kids do the same activities over and over again. If I rotate items in & out then they never get old! (Plus it helps you maintain their quality!)

I color code items to match their tub label. So if something is in the “red” box– I put a red sticker on it. For this I use the colored stickers you can find in the yard sale/boxing area of Walmart. Here are my boxes all labeled and ready to be filled!

You also need to train your students to use the boxes. Go through the right and wrong way to use boxes. Let students model. Observe them the first couple of times they use it. If you hold them accountable, then they will be more responsible.

Here is a picture of some of the items I might leave in the box year-round. These all came from my “blue” box– so I tried to find a blue expo marker and pencil!How do you do word work with your kids? I would love to learn about other strategies and styles!
If you want a FREE word work planning guide— click the picture below!

Lastly, if you want the labels that are on my tubs– you can find them in my TPT store. I have also added purple, light blue, black, and rainbow labels!

Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Hi Anna! I'm so happy I found your blog through the #littlefishteacherblogger linky! I just put a call out on Facebook asking if anyone would be willing to be my Daily 5 mentor this year because I am SO NERVOUS about implementing it for the first time with my thirdies this year. This post has already helped calm my nerves a bit, especially your planner! I look forward to following along with your third grade adventures.


    1. Hey Dawn! Thanks so much for reading! I love Daily 5– I reread the book every year before I teach it again! Hope you love it too!

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