The Buddy Study System Webinar #5

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The Buddy Study System Webinar #5

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The Buddy Study System

Webinar #5

Literacy Collaborative 2011-2012


“A goal of the word study curriculum is to help children develop a deep knowledge of powerful principles that they can apply in flexible ways…we aim to help students develop the effective strategies they need to solve


word they meet” (

Word Matters, pl. 14).


Chapter 3, Word Matters

Let’s look at pages 23 and 24. What are you thinking about this idea of “word solving?”


Goals of Word Study

To examine a systematic way of teaching children how words work

To teach children how to become independent word solvers

To teach children to be flexible in determining how words work


Let’s think about good spellers…

Word Matters

Read page 168 - (the first 2 paragraphs)

Highlight the “big ideas” that are new for you, validate your beliefs, or might cause some dissonance for you.


“An effective word study system is part of a strong literacy program….”

Word Matters

Read page 168 – top of 169

Highlight the ‘big ideas’


A comprehensive

word study program


Word Matters,

pp. 174-175)

A class lesson on a strategy, principle, or pattern followed by a whole class experience or small group rotation to a word study center and ending with a sharing opportunity. {mini-lesson, application, share}

A buddy study system that engages students in daily activities for studying and learning specific words.


The Process of Buddy Study

One word study principle is introduced for each 5 day cycle.

Children choose words to study for the week.

Throughout the 5 days children learn effective ways to study the words they have chosen.

Assessment is on-going by children and a buddy test is graded by the teacher.


Selecting Buddies

Use assessment information to pair children with similar achievement at a particular point in time.

Need to be able to read each other’s spelling words.

Children will learn from each other’s lists.

Rotate partners monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly.

Word Matters, page 169.


Buddy Study Cycle

Day 1: Lesson & Choose, Write, Build, Mix, Fix (30 – 40 minutes)

Day 2: Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check (20 minutes)

Day 3: Buddy Check (20 minutes)

Day 4: Make Connections (20 minutes)

Day 5: Buddy Test (15 minutes)

See chapter 14 in

Word Matters,

or pages 433 – 452 in

Word Study: Grade 3,

for detailed instructions on the Buddy Study System



Chapter 14



. 169 – 172:


and Amy

Selection of spelling words:


. 172 – 174, Renee

Minilesson and Day 1:


. 174 – 176: Stephanie

Days 2 and 3:


. 176 – 178: Nell

Days 4 and 5:


. 178: Susan

Making connections:


. 151, and 152: Kasey

Word making and word sorts:


. 155 – 156 and figure 13 – 7 on page 158: Jen


Day 1:



Choose, Write, Build, Mix, Fix

Where will you get your ideas for your mini-lessons?

Your students’ writing:

Error Analysis Sheet


Anecdotal notes (taken when looking at their writing)

The Continuum of Literacy Learning

Word Study Lessons: Grade 3


Day 1

Word Matters pg. 175-6


Students notice details and patterns when forming words with concrete, visual tools of magnetic letters.


Day 1:

Minilesson &


Write, Build, Mix, Fix

Students choose 10 – 12 words

from those that illustrate the

spelling principle

(core words).

from their

words to learn list

(personal words), and/or

from a spelling assessment of

high frequency words

(personal words).

Students then make the words using magnetic letters…3 times, mix and fix.

Word Matters,

pg. 173 - 174


Choose Your Words

Spelling Principle


Some adjectives end with the letters “


,” which sound like “us.”





Words to Learn:











Day 2

Word Matters – p. 176 - 178


This routine helps students learn how to look at and study words. It helps them learn what parts to notice


Refer to figure14-8 and 14-9 on pages 182 and 183 in Word Matters


Day 3


Students learn how to notice and correct spelling errors


Refer to figure 14 – 10 on page 184 in Word Matters


Day 4


This task helps students think about how words are related


They learn how to use what they know to write new words.

Refer to figure 14-11 on page 185


Making Connections

Similarities in spellings (beginning, middle, or end)

Similarities or differences in meaning (synonyms or antonyms)

Similarities in sound: rhyming, homophones,

Relationships: analogies, root words, affixes

see pages 151 – 152 in

Word Matters



What connections can you make

to each of these words?

straight transportation unreachable


Making connections

more challenging


…find five words that end in “

able,” begin

with “


and have a base word that could be a noun or a




Ex. unapproachable


Word Sorts and Word Making

Pages 155 and 15 and figure 13 – 7 on


. 158

Many other kinds of applications can be done on making connections day…be creative, and switch things up a bit on this day…it’s your chance to really play with words.


Day 5


Students are tested to document their learning and provide evidence for evaluation and accountability.


Day 5: Buddy Test

Word Matters – p. 178

The buddy test is written in the word study notebook, or on a piece of paper.

Children give each other the test providing a sentence for each word given.

The word study notebook and card are given to the





checks the test.


Prerequisites for initiating the buddy study system

Create word study board for lists

Create buddy study board /icons

Make materials (folders, sheets needed for each day)

Gather spelling cards, word study notebooks, highlighters, colored pencils, magnetic letters)

Administer the Schlagal Spelling Assessment

Later, administer a pretest of high frequency words

Form spelling buddies

Begin, with students, to create Words to Learn sheets

Word Matters

pg. 179 - 186


Buddy Study

Each day of buddy study focuses on a different way of learning or studying words.

The days are done in sequence in order to support students’ developing understanding of the word study principle, and to give them ways to study words.


Tools for Word Study

Word to Learn

Word Study Board

Spelling Cards

Look, Say, Cover, Write, Check Sheets

Study Flaps

Buddy Check Sheets

Make Connections Sheets

Buddy Study Work board

Magnetic Letters

Word Study Folder



Putting it All Together

Administer the spelling assessment

Complete an error analysis on a representative number of students

Summarize what you have discovered from the error analysis

Decide on several word study principles that will be helpful to your students at this time

Prepare materials for buddy study

Begin teaching your first word

study principle.



Buddy Study usually happens on a five or six day rotation.

You should plan for about a 30 minute period of time, although once students are familiar with the process, it could be more like 20 minutes on some days.

Your students will be more likely to participate appropriately if you are a moving presence in the room and take this time to confer with students about their work.


Frequently Asked Questions


Buddy Study


What kind of modifications can we make to support the needs of individual students?

Some need fewer words

Some need more challenging words

Shorter/longer times to complete activities

Teaching/re-teaching systems/routines

Word Matters,

pg. 178


How can we ensure understanding of the routines?

Nothing is too small to teach!

Be clear and explicit in the teaching of routines.

Observe how things are going and make adjustments as necessary.

Provide additional mini-lessons on the routines of the buddy study system.


How do I know which words they need to learn?

Look at their writing.

Do a spelling inventory using the high frequency word list and highlight the words the child knows. The child then chooses un-highlighted words for the spelling card.

As new words are learned, they can be highlighted (by the teacher or child).

Word Matters,

pg. 179


How do I keep track of all the words they are learning?

By checking their word study notebook

Highlighting high frequency word lists

Checking off words on the “words to learn" sheet


What day do I have to begin on?

It is entirely up to you. You just need a 5 day cycle.

Some teachers have the mini-lesson on one day (maybe even on the day 5 of the previous cycle) and then begin with choose, build, mix, and fix on the next day.


What about shortened weeks?

You might decide to make the buddy study cycle run over two weeks.

On occasion, (not often) you might skip buddy study on a short week but continue to have a word study mini-lesson and an application activity during that week.

This might be a good time to focus on vocabulary work.


Who corrects the buddy test?

The classroom teacher corrects the buddy test.

This allows you to keep track of their progress.


How do I send home a copy of the buddy test and still keep one for record of progress?

Send home the word study notebook and ask that it be brought back the next day.

Make a copy of the test to send home.


How do I hold students accountable for these words in their writing?

Be sure students know that saying words slowly when they don’t know how to spell a word is absolutely okay, BUT if it is a principle they have studied in word study and/or buddy study you will ask them to check those words for correct spelling.


When should I ask children to edit their writing for spelling?

After they have completed a piece of writing.

You will need a minilesson on how to go back into the piece of writing and check the spelling.

Some children may need additional support for this during a conference or guided writing lesson.


When do students do the buddy study activities?

During a word study block in your classroom

In some cases, making connections can be started in the classroom and completed as homework.



What are the values of this approach compared to traditional spelling programs?

What strategic actions are supported across the five days?


Children are seekers of pattern.


, 1997


The more they know about how the language works and the more they manipulate it in different ways, the more flexible and efficient they become as word solvers.

- Fountas &


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