I've been using Words Their Way in my classroom for the last three semesters with my first graders. While I like this program, there are somethings that I cannot stand:
For those that have used Words Their Way and teach a primary grade, you know that it can take a long time for them to cut out their sort. Over the next few days you find tiny pieces of paper on the floor because students forgot to initial their pieces. When they finally glue their sort, you have students that decide to glue the whole page instead of just their pieces.
Those reasons are why I decided to digitize their Words Their Way sorts. Goodbye cutting, gluing, and making copies all the time for your sorts.
I started to digitize the sorts last spring. My students are great at giving honest feedback about trying new tools. After a week they decided that this was the way to go.
The app I used was Corkulous Pro ($4.99). There is a free version, but I use the paid to have multiple boards. For those not familiar with this app, it is a cork board-type app where you can add photos, to-do lists, stickies, note cards, and a few other features.
The process for creating the boards is a little tedious. Once you get the hang of it, it is not that bad and you can create a board in 15 minutes. The file is attached on how to create a sort and prepare it for students. I've also included an example from a sort that you can use on an iPad..
Below is an example from a student. This shows me what they know and how I can support them to better their understanding.
Part Two-Canvas Setup
If you've read my blog before, you know that I really like Canvas. More features are being added all the time and it has become an integral part of instruction in the classroom.
Here is part of my Canvas page. My WTW groups are dessert groups-brownie, cupcake, and ice cream. (Yes, not typical, but I was hungry and already used colored groups for guided reading.) Students click on their dessert picture, which is set up as a button, to find their module and then find their sort. I have video explanations of each activity that students get stuck and need directions repeated. A perk of Canvas is not having the same thing over and over again.
The sorts are set up so that they can Sort, Write, and Check.
Since students can go at their own pace, I make sure that they turn in their activity each day. They can only click on that day of the week because the other days are set up to be locked. I also provide them with a paper copy of the lists of sorts and have them write down the date when they complete an activity. An image of this paper is below.
The sorts are set up into modules based of the sections of the book and each module ends with an assignment, which is the same as the Spell Check in the book. Students have to score a minimum amount of points in order to move on in the modules. The upper modules are locked because I set them up so that the previous modules are prerequisites.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me and I can help you out if this is something that interests you. My students really enjoy it, it saves me time in the long run, and easier than looking through lots of notebooks.