How do students work on Word Study?

Freckle's Word Study program provides teachers with a systematic approach to phonics, vocabulary and spelling instruction. It focuses on students’ growing knowledge of spelling patterns, rather than their ability to memorize words. It provides students with opportunities to practice with word patterns that in turn help them learn to spell, read, and write words.

As with the other personalized components of the Freckle platform, the Word Study program meets students at their appropriate developmental stage. 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 Freckle and choose to work on ELA, they can select to work on the Word Study program.

Students demonstrate their existing knowledge of spelling patterns on a pre-test, and then work through sequential Word Study levels at their own pace. Each Word Study session consists of 6 activities 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.

The first 2 activities review spelling patterns from any of the past 3 levels. The next 4 activities are all level-specific activities focused on their current developmental spelling level. Since we know how important it is to continually practice mastered skills, review sessions are interspersed between each level. During these sessions, students are presented with review activities from the past 6 levels.

There are 2 main types of Word Study activities. 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. In all activities, students can click on the speaker button next to each word to hear it read aloud.


        A “Sort” activity

A “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.



Teachers can use Word Study as a daily spelling activity, a center rotation, or even as homework. Teachers can incorporate Freckle Word Study into their regular instruction by modeling how word knowledge can be used in reading and writing, creating a word wall with words from the program, and/or providing opportunities for related Word Study activities off the computer. Teachers can also track student progress on Word Study using the Word Study Matrix Report.


With an easy-to-administer, no-grading-necessary pre-test, teachers can assess students’ abilities quickly and ensure they are getting the targeted spelling instruction they need. Word Study teaches word knowledge, and not simply individual words. By incorporating Freckle's Word Study program into your classroom instruction, you can strengthen students’ phonemic awareness and understanding of alphabetic principles, directly improving their reading and writing abilities.


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