How I did spelling last year: Every Monday morning, I would give my students a 15 word spelling pre-test. This would determine which list they would be on basic 1, basic 2, or challenge. The program called the levels below level, on level, and above level, however, my team teacher and I decided that it we liked the other titles better. The lists overlap, so some words were shared with another list. The students list weren't static; they could move up or down levels depending on their pretests. As much work as it sounds like it was, it was actually pretty simple. The kids would have weekly homework. After attending a great GT training, I decided to make choice boards (tic-tac-toe) for their weekly homework. The kids loved it! They liked having a choice of which activities they wanted to complete. During centers, the kids would also have activities in word work. They had to complete word sorts and I also had their words on spelling city. On Friday, I would give everyone a test for ALL spelling words from each list. They would just note which list they belonged to by circling that number. They were only accountable for the words from their list, the others were used as bonus words (up to +5pt) but this also let me see who really learned the spelling pattern for that week.
I'm not sure how I'll be able to incorporate my spelling program with WTW. I really, really like that my spelling program (ZB) was differentiated! I saw first hand how this helped my students. However, I would like to somehow keep my kids on the same spelling pattern (otherwise it seems like it would get out of control!). Our reading adoption, Texas Treasures, also has a spelling component that was created by none other than one of the authors from WTW (however I haven't been able to verity that!). I'm thinking that I may stick with my current spelling program from ZB, but use WTW during guided reading. I also want to somehow incorporate vocabulary as well! How am I going to merge all of these?!?! How do you manage your spelling/vocabulary?