Bright Idea for Small Group Word Work

Primary teachers do a lot of small group word work activities especially during guided reading time.  I was feeling stuck in a rut so I decided to mix up my word work activities.

The first activity that I do with my students is called "What's Missing?"  For this activity I use a whiteboard.  I show them our focus word (when) that I wrote on the whiteboard and then I will hide the board and erase a letter.  When I show the word to my group, they tell me which letter or letters is missing from the word.  The students get so excited about this game and I will often have to remind them that they don't need to shout.  They are only shouting though because they are excited about the word.  I love that they are learning to read and write the word and they think it's a game.

The second activity that I like to do is called "Mix & Fix."  I have letter cubes, but you could also use letter cards or even magnetic letters.

The students use the focus word for our lesson.  We mix the letters.

Then they make the word and show the teacher while reading the word.

Then they do it again.  I usually have my students do this about three times before putting the letters away.  With using these letter cubes, I tell them they have to use the lowercase letters and not the uppercase.  This helps when it comes to writing the word.

One last activity we do is called "Cover & Write."  Each student gets a whiteboard and marker.  They write the word they just mixed and fixed.

After they write it once, they cover the word with their hand and write it again.

I have my students write the word three or four times depending on how much time we have within our small group time.

I hope you enjoyed these small group word work activity ideas.  If you would like other great ideas you can follow me on Instagram or Facebook.

Don't forget to check out all these other bright ideas too.


  1. I love the "What's Missing?" activity! I'm going to use that next week!
    Always Kindergarten

  2. Wonderful ideas to spice up my sight word activities! Thank you for sharing!

    Learning at the Teacher Table

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