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Feature Friday: Introducing Word Study!

Posted by Amy Klazkin on April 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM


Front Row first began as an adaptive math practice platform, but over the last year, we’ve worked to create a more comprehensive program for our teachers, complete with English Language Arts practice for students. We are excited to announce the new Word Study component of our program, providing teachers with a systematic approach to spelling instruction.

Word Study focuses on students’ growing knowledge of spelling patterns rather than their ability to memorize words. It provides students with opportunities to practice with spelling patterns that in turn help them learn to spell, read, and write words. As with the other personalized components of the Front Row platform, the Word Study program meets students at their developmental stages of spelling. Whether they are working on alphabetic principles, learning larger letter patterns, or understanding how our spelling system reflects the relationships between related words, Word Study provides students with practice at their level.

Here’s how it works:

Word Study is a student-directed portion of the program. When students log into Front Row and choose to work on Reading, they can select to work on the Word Study program.

Students demonstrate their existing knowledge of spelling patterns on a diagnostic, and then work through sequential Word Study levels at their own pace. Each Word Study session consists of 6 activities — 2 review and 4 level-specific, for a total of about 15-20 minutes of practice. Since we know how important it is to continually practice mastered skills, review sessions are interspersed between each level.


Right now, there are two different types of Word Study activities (more coming soon)! In the “Sorts,” students sort pictures, written words, or a combination of both into categories based on spelling pattern. In the “Blind Sort” activities, students listen to words by clicking on the speaker icons and, without seeing the spelling of the words, sort them into spelling pattern categories based on what they hear.

Word_Study_Sort        A “Sort” activity

Word_Study_Blind_SortA “Blind Sort” activity

When students sort all answers correctly, they move on to the next activity. However, if students sort at least one word incorrectly, the program will notify students by highlighting all correctly sorted words in green and all incorrectly sorted words in red. Students have 2 opportunities to re-sort the words before moving on to the next activity.

With an easy-to-administer, no-grading-necessary diagnostic, teachers can assess students’ abilities quickly and ensure they are getting the targeted spelling instruction they need. Word Study teaches word knowledge, and not just words. By incorporating Front Row’s Word Study program into your classroom instruction, you can strengthen students’ understanding of spelling patterns, directly improving their reading and writing abilities.

In the coming months, keep a lookout for additional types of Word Study activities and Word Study reporting for teachers!

Please let us know what you think of the Word Study program, and happy spelling!

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