First Grade Words Their Way

Words Their Way at Home!

Your child has been assessed and assigned a series of spelling patterns that he/she is developmentally ready to learn. The pattern was taught and is being practiced in class. The activities below will continue to reinforce the learning we are doing in class. The goal of these activities is to help your child understand what the spelling patterns mean and read other words with similar patterns, increasing writing and reading skills, along with improved spelling overall. Each week, your child will be bringing home a collection of spelling words that have been introduced in class. Your child is encouraged to engage in activities (both in and out of school) to ensure that these word and the spelling principles they represent are a work-in-progress.

Below are several suggested activities. Please choose the amount and type according to your child’s needs.

Category sort: Your child should read each word aloud during this activity. Ask your child to explain to you why the words are sorted in a particular way – what does the sort reveal about spelling in general? Do a Speed Sort- Ask your child to sort them a second time as fast as possible (to improve automaticity). You may want to time them and they could try to improve their times.

Blind sort: Lay down a word from each category as a header  (or the category cards if your sort has them) and then read the rest of the words aloud. Your child must indicate where the word goes without seeing it. Lay it down and let your child move it if he/she is wrong. Repeat if your child makes more than one error.

Word hunt: Look for words in a book that your child has already read that have the same sound, pattern, or both. Try to find two or three for each category.

Writing sort: This can help prepare for the Friday Spelling Pattern Assessment. As you call out the words in a random order, your child should write them in categories. Bonus! Add words that fit the pattern, but aren’t in the sort!

These are the activities we’re practicing in school; as you and your Champion get more familiar with the process, we will add more activities to the list! You do not need to send the words or the written work back to school!

A quick note about weekly Spelling Pattern Assessments:

We are focusing on a specific spelling pattern with each group. For example, if your Champion works with words with c, h, or ch at the beginning they will take an assessment on Friday with words like: cat, hill, and chick. When grading it, we will look for the correct beginning sound, not that the entire word is spelled correctly. All 10 words on our Friday Assessments will be “new.” Meaning, they will fit the pattern your child has been studying, but will NOT be words that were in their sort. The rubric for Spelling Pattern Assessments looks like this:


  • No spelling patterns correct, 2- Fewer than 8 spelling patterns correct, 3- 8 or more spelling patterns correct, 4- More than 8 spelling patterns correct and 8 or more words spelled correctly.

Thank you for all of your help and support! Please let us know how we can support you and your Champion!

– IC Imagine First Grade Collegiate Leaders