Words Their Way the Montessori Way

Those of you who have been following this blog for some time, might be familiar with the Words Their Way spelling curriculum we use.  In short, Words Their Way is a developmental spelling program founded in helping students make sense of spelling using picture and word sorts.  The program starts with pre readers, in the Emergent book through advanced readers (late middle school or beyond) in the Derivational Relations book.

Even 2 years after first starting with this program, we remain quite happy with it.  Kylee recently began working in the Emergent book.  What I like about this program, is that in the beginning it starts with concept sorts much like many of the sorts we use with our science and early language Montessori works.  The emergent level also covers many of the print awareness concepts that can be found as benchmarks in other language curriculums and state standards.  I truly believe that the emergent level is an excellent outline as a beginning preschool curriculum.   Here are some photos and explanations of the things we have done to organize our lessons and materials around the outline of the Words Their Way Emergent curriculum.

We read, memorize, color, and put into a folder to make a book of poems Kylee knows.
Some of the poems are familiar and some of them are made up for the curriculum.



The sorts are all included in the book with unlimited copying permission.  We repeat the sort several times during a week (how long we generally spend on one "unit").  Sometimes we will practice gluing and glue the sort onto paper.  Some units have more than one sort to enforce the idea of sorting by different criteria.


With Caleb I copied, colored, & laminated some of the later sorts as shelf work!

Extending With Montessori- Fruit

Fruit Cutting (Kylee was only ready for bananas, apples would be appropriate for an older child)


Fruit Pattern Making (Fall Cutting Strips, Free at Montessori Print Shop)


Transferring wooden apples


Extending WIth Montessori- Shapes

Beginning Inset Work and/or Pin Punching


Shape scavenger hunt


Geometric solids could also be incorporated to this unit.

With the addition of some related books from the library (titles suggested), you could quickly turn this one $15 book into an entire preschool unit study style curriculum.  There are also additional suggested extensions and activities at the end of each unit for further practice.  After the chapter with concept sorts, it moves into phonological awareness (rhyming), alphabetical awareness and consonant sounds (letter sounds), and then the concept of word.  There is plenty of material here to cover over 1-2 years of preschool.  Had I known about this program when I last taught preschool I would have built much of my curriculum around it.  With Kylee I am using this as a guideline to keep us moving through various pre language topics in a way that nicely blends with the Montessori approach.

Montessori Monday


Anonymous said...

These activities look like something my little girl would find fun and engaging. I love the shape scavenger hunt!

Deb Chitwood said...

I love the way you added a Montessori orientation to the curriculum! I've always found it amazing how popular pin punching is with kids ... definitely a great work to have out! Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow