Word Study, sometimes referred to as, "Skyscraper" in other Montessori schools is a direct way to teach language concepts. This is an established "scope and sequence," that most often follows a three year timeline. Respectfully, there are times when certain students over a course of your teaching career might need something before or after the sequence, or more instruction on one of the concepts. A scope and sequence should never be the only steps you feel that you have to follow! Follow the child and the class that changes every three years.
The most important aspect of our classroom, is our prepared environment. We want to encourage independence and motivation within our students. The Word Study scope and sequence is set up in drawers, similar to what you could find in a tool garage sorting nails. This drawer sequence helps students navigate what to do next and how to keep themselves moving forward. Student conferences take place to move students around the sequence, especially when they come in our program late. Some students need multiple opportunities to practice a drawer, so you might have a different strategy for encouraging them to locate their own drawers. The drawer bundle should be color coordinated, neat in appearance and easily accessible to both the teacher and students.
If you are interested in purchasing a Language Arts (Word Study) Scope and Sequence, you can find that on our website here. This is one we have adapted for our classroom, to accommodate lower level readers.
We monitor student progress through record keeping. Right now we have a paper copy of the scope and sequence and all larger concepts, for each student. We tried using Montessori Workspace but did not find it worked for our needs.
Students have standard "booklets" to write down the information from their lesson or drawer. They turn in their booklets into a file holder for the teacher to check and mail back into their designated Word Study slot.
Each year I have been the Language Arts teacher I have came up with new ideas and worked on new drawers. Never stop thinking and creating materials that could help your students connect the dots!
Any worksheet you ever see floating online could essentially be turned into a manipulative and moveable "drawer" for students to learn with. Using their hands will increase self-motivation! Not to mention all of the paper you will save by creating one laminated drawer, compared to one worksheet page per student!
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