Word Wizard book {printable}

September 11, 2011

Word Wizard book {printable}

September 11, 2011
Aaaaa! I have missed talking to you all so much!! Like many others, I have been crazy busy with our first week of school. It has been the best–I just love my class!!!

But now it is my favorite part of the week…prepping for next week! And right now, the focus is on a new way to manage spelling for this year…

Sooo…last winter I started using a new spelling and vocabulary system called Word Detectives (you can read more about it by clicking the green link). It was a great hit with my ELL students and they would ask about it often. I was, of course, ecstatic about the fact they loved it. Plus, I like that it served as another reference book that could be used during writing. The only problem was it sometimes got pushed to the side, since the spelling lists were our priority.
Now that we are in a new year and not getting a new spelling series we were expecting (yay, freedom!) I am ready to merge spelling and the Word Detectives format into something new.

In previous years, I have given a pre-test to assess my students’ spelling levels, then made two or three different spelling groups using the Houghton Mifflin Spelling and Vocabulary series (I really do love those books). This would usually span from 2nd grade words all the way to 5th grade words. But I always wished there was some more cohesion between the different grade level lists, so we could discuss and learn as a class.

It was this weekend I realized I could achieve this, if I used a similar format to Word Detectives! And I couldn’t be happier!

So, here’s a breakdown of what we’ll be doing for spelling/word study:

Each student will get a Word Wizard Workbook (I’m binding them Monday!):

The books will be in landscape format, so they can have a top and bottom page that can be seen all at once.

The top page will have the brainstorming list (just like we had in Word Detectives):

Each week, a different pattern/letter combination/word feature will be introduced and recorded on this page. Then we will do a whole-group brainstorm of all words that fit this pattern (it can be anything…contractions, -tion endings, -ed endings–anything my students need to learn).

Students can continue to add words to the list as they find them in their reading (my class last year loved to do this).

The bottom page will be for the spelling list itself. And this is the exciting part! We will all be studying the same word feature each week, but the spelling lists will be differentiated. So, if the feature is -ight words, my newer spellers in English can use a more basic list (night, sight, light) while my more advanced ELLs can study more challenging words (nightmare, brighten, tightrope):

I know this may sound a bit daunting to put together, but I found the coolest website that will help in creating these lists. It’s called More Words and is actually meant to be a tool for crosswords and other puzzles, but it is fabulous for us too! You can search for words by any letter combination and even create lists that end with the letters, contain the letters, etc. Awesome, right?
I can’t wait to introduce this on Monday, I think it is going to work so well for my class! We’ve been very busy with our first year of Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop in our district–I think this will tie in so easily with my students’ reading and writing.

So, if you’re interested, this file has a choice of covers (this is the one I’m going to use!)…

The file also has the brainstorming list and spelling page shown above.

I was going to add this to my printables shop, but I was so excited to share it, I just couldn’t! I actually love reading your kind comments more than anything, so please let me know if it something you could use in class. I’d love to hear which cover you chose, what you are going to use it for–anything!!

And…stay tuned! There will be a second part to this post later this week, featuring the signs and charts to display this for the whole group! Thanks for reading 🙂

Word Wizard Book


  • Sandy Pence September 11, 2011 at 1:39 am

    Love it! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing!! Do you just bind enough pages together to last for the year?

  • Erika September 11, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I can't decide which one to use but I love the idea. My class is SO diverse I need to differentiate but love the focus being the same. Thanks for sharing!

    2B Honey Bunch

  • Ms. Morgart September 11, 2011 at 1:52 am

    I love this and what a great resource this will make for writing!! Thanks so much for sharing!! Curls and a Smile

  • Nancy Wilson September 11, 2011 at 2:31 am

    I just listed you as one of my Top Ten! I had to, even though we're supposed to choose blogs that haven't already been named…but I LOVE your blog! Thanks for sharing all of your knowledge!!
    Thanks, Nancy

    The Apple Basket Teacher

  • Mrs. Mugurussa September 11, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Great idea- too bad i'm no longer in 2nd grade.
    Have you read the book The Word Wizard? it was always my favorite first week read before we worked with word patterns and making words.

  • Beth September 11, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Adorable! I'll definitely use this in class. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kimberly September 11, 2011 at 4:29 am

    LOVE this idea! Thank you for sharing it with us. I can't wait to use it with my kiddos.
    Funky First Grade Fun

  • Ginger Snaps September 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I think this is a great idea! I had to reinvent my spelling/word block this year too. About 2/3 of my students are ELL so they struggle with a lot of those phonograms like ou and ea since they make multiple sounds. I think I may have to try this out! Thank you for sharing!

  • Lauren September 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Love it. I don't teach 2nd grade, but my campus wants to use workstations this week and science vocabulary is something my students need to learn for 5th grade. I plan on using the green/blue "Word Wizards" cover as part of a center for vocabulary puzzles. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Teaching 4th

  • Mrs. Magee September 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Love it!! Thanks so much for sharing! I am needing to differentiate my spelling words a bit and this gave me some great ideas!

  • Rachelle September 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Thank you for the SWEETEST comment on our blog! You are so sweet and you have truly made our blogging experience a fabulous one! It's so great to have blogging buddies as great as you!!!!! Thanks again Kristen!!!!

  • Tara September 11, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    This is awesome as usual:) You make the greatest stuff:)) Thanks for sharing:) I have 3 ELL students this year so am always looking for things to use with them:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  • A. Kate September 12, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Hi! I used your word wizards today and the kids LOVED it!

    Thank you!

  • nomadatheart January 15, 2012 at 2:04 am

    Hi. I just discovered some of your printables on pinterest! Wow!! I'm a homeschool mom, schooling 5 kids, ages 6, 8, 10, almost 12 and 13. I've already printed off the blends charts am nosing about to see what else I can use! Thanks so much!

  • Susan Rodriguez March 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I love that your clipart has kids of color. Thanks! I teach 100% ELL and am frustrated by not finding enough clipart with different ethnicities. I love the "hocus pocus, this week's focus". So creative. I want to start this, but am wondering, do you make enough copies for the whole year? Quarterly? What do you do if a student loses it?
    Rodriguez Rock Stars

  • Becca May 13, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Thanks so much. I have been trying to think of a way to combine our weekly phonics skill and our spelling words.

  • Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

    I love your blog!!!

  • jcarnagey September 3, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    I recently started following your blog this summer when I found a link to your CRAFT and VOICE boards on Pinterest (which I have made and am SO excited to be using with my second graders this year!). I saw your word wizard books and am planning on using these as part of my word study instruction. I have been using Words Their Way for several years now. I like how I can differentiate word lists for groups depending on where they are on the continuum. But I have been wanting to change how kids keep track of their words from week to week. I think they are going to LOVE these! Also, can't wait to check out the website you mentioned, More Words.

    Thanks again for sharing such interesting ideas!


  • Meiriwyn July 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm

    Hi Kristen,
    I'm a bit late to finding this, but I think it just might be what I've been searching for to help me pull several areas of instruction together in my class. We are an RtII school, but instead of just teaching intervention groups, I teach whole LA and Math classes to 5th and 6th graders and must get not only the core instruction but all my interventions into the time that my grade level colleagues have to just teach core. I'm always looking for ways to streamline and combine what I do to get everything in and better meet the needs of my students. Thank you for sharing these ideas and your work. I've been a follower for a while, but just found this.


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