Words Their Way is different than the traditional spelling program model. It is much more individualized so that students are able to work on their appropriate developmental level. Not only do students learn how to spell their words, they will gain skills for decoding new words they encounter, and improve their automaticity while reading.
In the first week of school, I will give students a spelling assessment (not graded, don't worry!) that will help inform me which developmental stage they are in. I'll then place them into small groups with students on the same or similar levels. Because there are students performing at varying levels, not every group will have the same words.
When students are first given their word sorts, they are expected to record them in their planner and their Word Study Notebook. They will be working in their Word Study notebook every day at school, completing different activities and assignments so that they get ample practice with their words.
Each word study unit lasts for a week in a half. Students are given their words on Monday, work with and practice sorting them for a week and a half, and are tested the FOLLOWING Wednesday. This is the schedule we will follow all year, with a few exceptions here and there depending on the schedule and holidays.
There is only one graded homework assignment assigned per word study cycle, but they still need to be practicing with their words nightly.