Word Study has become a popular component of many districts’ balanced literacy approach.  Donald Bear’s Words Their Way is one of the more well-known programs to provide an alternative approach to traditional spelling instruction.  This program includes spelling inventories, administered 2-3 times a year.  Having finished our first full week of school, I just administered the first one.

I personally like to track Word Study with Writing, especially since one of our report card descriptors reads:  “Applies word study skills and strategies to written work throughout the curriculum.”  As such, my first note in Writing is typically a pic of the first Word Study assessment.  I’ve yet to break down everything that the students are “using but confusing,” but for now, I just used the camera functionality of Chronicle to take a quick pic of the actual assessment.

Once the pic is taken (and you decide to keep it), a thumbnail of the pic is stored on the bottom of the note for quick reference.  I plan to go back into this note to take pics of the second and third assessment, so all appear on the bottom of the note.  With all of them right next to each other, I can easily determine and/or demonstrate student growth (I can also recycle those piles of papers!).

Simply tapping the thumbnail on the bottom allows me to access the pic in full view:

Once I’m in full-view mode, tapping the share button allows me to email the note.  Chronicle automatically inserts the email addresses I decided to associate with the student upon inputting him/her.  Teaching 5th grade myself, I naturally entered the parents’ email addresses.

Anyway, from here, it’s simple to type a quick positive note, which I decided to do with several of my students who did well on this first spelling inventory.  Although not seen in the photo to the right, the note was literally two sentences long.

We all care about our students, and we all know that keeping the lines of communication open between school and home is an integral part of being a teacher.  But sometimes things just get so busy, right?

Knowing how important positive parent communication is, we at Powerhouse Education wanted to make sharing as easy as possible.  The result?


Simple.  Fast.  And it goes a long way.

And with the integrated grade book, I can quickly enter the inventory scores.  As you can see in this pic below, I set up the spelling inventories right next to each other.  Once I come to the second inventory later on in the year, I’ll simply change the date, which Chronicle allows users to easily do.  The same thing with the third inventory.

Hope this post helps some of you to better make instructional decisions, chronicle student growth, and build great parental rapport!