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All About My Word Work Stations! Easy, Simple, Fun!

Some of my Instagram friends were asking me how I run and set up my word work stations, so I thought I would do a blog post about it!  I have done one before but it’s probably time for an updated version! 🙂

I have 6 word work bins in my classroom.  This means that only 6 students can go to Word Work at a time during a Daily 5 round.  All six word work bins contain the same materials. This makes it easy and fast for my students to “grab a bin and go” and immediately get to work within the room. It also eliminates any wasted time of students deciding which materials they are going to use.

I switch out the materials in our word work bins on Fridays. (Sometimes, if it’s something they are really into, I will keep it in the bins for 2 weeks.) Each bin contains the materials students will need to complete the word work activity and a list of words to practice.  My word lists come from our Fundations Trick Word lists since this is the spelling/phonics program my district uses. Switching out the materials in my Word Work bins instead of putting ALL of my word work materials out at once eliminates:

1) Student boredom come January from having already explored all of the word work materials
2) Arguments over who is using which material and when – “I was here first…no I was!”

If you’ve ever taken one of my sessions for small group literacy, you know I am a big believer of organization! 🙂 I’m a firm believer that teachers who put extra time into organizing their classroom will reap lots of time-saving benefits throughout the year.
This is my word work cupboard. Each tub contains 6 baggies of the same materials inside of it- one baggie for each of my six student word work bins! (For example, the crayon tub has six baggies of crayons in it. The play dough tub has 6 containers of play dough inside of it.)

(Inside of this Colored Pencil tub are 6 baggies of colored pencils.  I simply throw one baggie into each student word work bin below and I’m done!)
Having six sets of each material makes switching out the supplies in my word work bins FAST and simple.  I simply lay out all of my word work bins and add new materials! Since the materials have already been organized and sorted into sets of 6, it takes me no more than 3-4 minutes tops to put new materials and a word list into the bins for the next week! 

My Word Work Wheels are in the buckets above. My kids LOVE doing these for word work! 
You can find my Word Work Wheels by clicking HERE.
Managing my Word Work bins in this way keeps Word Work exciting, fresh, and new! They can’t wait to see what will be in the bin next week!  And guess what people?! I know what you are thinking: “Does she keep having to find new materials to put in the bins each week?”  

No way!

I re-use and get creative!  For example, one week we might use magnetic letters.  The following week, I might use play-dough (You know…those weeks you’re feeling REALLY brave?!).  The third week, I would have the kids stamp the magnetic letters INTO the play dough.  

 My kids think that is a BRAND NEW, AMAZING word work idea and that their teacher MUST be secretly related to all of the actors and actresses on the Disney Channel because how else could she be THAT COOL?! 

😉

Thanks for stopping by to check out how I organize and manage my word work materials! 🙂 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 🙂

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29 Comments

  1. I'm new to first and love this idea. So do you supply paper in the bin too? What if they finish making all the words, what do you have them do? Thanks!! ~ Sam

    1. They practice their words in notebooks. If they get done with the sheet of words then they practice words straight from the word wall. 🙂 They know to work the whole time. 🙂

    2. Awesome! I really struggled w word work this year. I made lots of games but the noise level would get really loud even though we practiced repeatedly how to play. I think I'm going to switch to your method for next year! Thank you for the help!!

  2. I love this concept! Would save so much time rather than them getting to choose what they wanted to do out of a zillion options! For the magnetic letters, do you also include a cookie sheet for them to practice on or do you have a magnetic surface in your room that they use? And, what are gel boards exactly? Thanks so much, love your blog and your ideas!

    1. I use small trays from the dollarstore for my magnet letters, also the gel boards I think are like the magnadoodles, you write with the magnet pen and slide to erase (dollarstore has these too)

  3. Hi!! I have spent the last hour on your blog and really appreciate your advice and ideas!! I teach first grade and had a couple questions….do the students go to Word Work every day? Do you put in their spelling list to use for that particular week? So if the bin has magnetic letters will they use magnetic letters to practice words esch day that week? This would make my life so much easier as I always switch the word work activity every day because I'm afraid gory will get bored with the same thing each day?! I hope to hear from you. I do not have a blog, but my Instagram name is randombec and has some of my classroom snapshots on it! Thanks again!! -Becky

    1. Hi Becky! Thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂 I use Daily 5 so my kids do not go to word work every day. They probably go 2 to 3 times a week. 🙂 I only put our current trick words in the bins because my district uses Fundations and we don't have traditional spelling lists. 🙂 I hope this helps! 🙂

  4. Hi! I LOVE this post! I am starting the Daily 5 this year and am really nervous about how it will go. This has given me some really great ideas on how to organize materials. I have a couple of questions so that I can better understand. In your magnetic letter baggies do you just have one set of the alphabet in each baggie or are there multiple letters in the baggies. I am just thinking about words that have a double letter such as "spell." One other question… I bought the word work wheels (LOVE THEM) but I was wondering .. do you just put one spinner in each bin or do you put one of EACH spinner in each bin allowing a choice once they get their bin? Thank you so much ! You are one of my favorite sellers on TPT to follow and I love love love your blog!

  5. I am a new teacher and your blog is amazing! getting all the groups and activities seems to be a never ending task.
    I just dont think im understanding your rountine (my biggest problem).
    are you running daily 5 only 2 -3 times per week?
    in each word work activity box is it the exact same activity? only one? im 100% following all of your amazing activity and organization just confused on the execution a little bit.

    are you differentiating these games for the students or is the own personal word work wall per student doing the differentiation?

    thanks for clarifying any of this!

  6. Hello, I simply love this idea for Word Work station. However, I am not clear on how you manage this station. I read that you use Daily 5, which I am not familiar with, and your students only go to Word Work 2-3 days a week. How do you choose who goes to word work and who does not within those designated days? Do they go to other stations on those days as well?

    1. Hello! 🙂 I’m glad you like the ideas. The management part of this is all part of the Daily 5. It is an entire book dedicated to management for centers and small groups. You can find all of the information for different options on their website. I really recommend the book! It’s fantastic! https://www.thedailycafe.com/daily-5

  7. Hello!

    I admire your organization and hope that by using your method, I can be MUCH MORE successful in this area of my teaching.

    Quick question: for Word Work, do you only have your students do that 1 Word Work activity for the entire week, or do you let them choose what word work activity they’d like to do???

    Hope to hear from you!

  8. Hello Christina,

    My district does not use a spelling/phonics program. What do you suggest using for my Word Works station?

    Thank you,
    Jennifer

    1. My students practice high frequency and sight words during this time using my Differentiated Sight Word Assessment packet.

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