Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model
Study: Eddy et al. (2011)

Summary

Words Their Way (WTW): Word Study In Action Developmental Model is the classroom-ready companion to Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling Instruction professional development book. Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model uses the research-based developmental approach to word study that is student-centered and assessment driven. This approach fosters the progression of word knowledge, including the development of phonics, spelling, word recognition, and vocabulary. The Word Study in Action ready made materials make word study easy to implement and use in any K-5 classroom. This engaging, hands-on program ensures students develop the essential elements of reading including phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and vocabulary in just 15-20 minutes per day. The heart of the Words Their Way program is the sort, or the process of grouping sounds and words into specific categories. Students learn to look closely at words to discover letters, vowel patterns, syllable structures and spelling-meaning connections in English Orthography. This multicomponent Curriculum helps students increase their knowledge of the spelling patterns and the meanings of specific words and to generalize this knowledge to the English spelling system. The sorting activities include teacher-directed instruction as well as paired and independent learning. WTW: Word Study in Action Developmental Model consists of 5 stages: Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes, and Derivational Relations. The sequence of the program is based on the alphabet, pattern, and meaning principles that have been observed in students’ spelling.

Target Grades:
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Target Populations:
  • Students with disabilities only
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • English language learners
  • Any student at risk for academic failure
Area(s) of Focus:
  • Phonological awareness
  • Phonics/word study
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
Where to Obtain:
Savvas Learning Company
P.O. Box 2500 Lebanon, IN 46052-3009
800-848-9500
www.savvas.com
Initial Cost:
$9.97 per student book
Replacement Cost:
$9.97 per student book per

Stage Specific.Starter Packages include the Teacher Guide, Teacher Resource Cd and 10 stage specific student notebooks at each level (Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes, and Derivational Relations) - $199.95  Teacher Resource Guide; A Comprehensive Guide covering all 5 stages of development with research, overview and implementation guidance  Teacher Resource CD-ROM; A Resource CD with teacher modeling sorts, games, and additional sorts  Student Books; Stage-specific student books with ready made picture and/or word cards, a grid for students to sort and paste the picture/word cards, writing the sort activities, and an envelope for students to store the cards for the week  Big Book of Rhymes; Big Books are available to address sorts at the Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, and Within Word Pattern stages with poems reflecting the skill in each sort - used to introduce the sort. Available separately.

Staff Qualified to Administer Include:
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • EL Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
  • Paraprofessional
  • Other:
Training Requirements:
Training not required

Training is available via pre-recorded online modules, On-Site training is available. 30 teachers maximum per on site session. On site Implementation Essentials includes training needed to implement curriculum with fidelity. Also 3 day workshops are available.


Access to Technical Support:
See above regarding professional development (online modules) and Savvas Learning technical support for technical issues.
Recommended Administration Formats Include:
  • Individual students
  • Small group of students
Minimum Number of Minutes Per Session:
15
Minimum Number of Sessions Per Week:
5
Minimum Number of Weeks:
38
Detailed Implementation Manual or Instructions Available:
Yes
Is Technology Required?
No technology is required.

Program Information

Descriptive Information

Please provide a description of program, including intended use:

Words Their Way (WTW): Word Study In Action Developmental Model is the classroom-ready companion to Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary and Spelling Instruction professional development book. Words Their Way: Word Study In Action Developmental Model uses the research-based developmental approach to word study that is student-centered and assessment driven. This approach fosters the progression of word knowledge, including the development of phonics, spelling, word recognition, and vocabulary. The Word Study in Action ready made materials make word study easy to implement and use in any K-5 classroom. This engaging, hands-on program ensures students develop the essential elements of reading including phonological awareness, phonics and word recognition, and vocabulary in just 15-20 minutes per day. The heart of the Words Their Way program is the sort, or the process of grouping sounds and words into specific categories. Students learn to look closely at words to discover letters, vowel patterns, syllable structures and spelling-meaning connections in English Orthography. This multicomponent Curriculum helps students increase their knowledge of the spelling patterns and the meanings of specific words and to generalize this knowledge to the English spelling system. The sorting activities include teacher-directed instruction as well as paired and independent learning. WTW: Word Study in Action Developmental Model consists of 5 stages: Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes, and Derivational Relations. The sequence of the program is based on the alphabet, pattern, and meaning principles that have been observed in students’ spelling.

The program is intended for use in the following age(s) and/or grade(s).

not selected Age 0-3
not selected Age 3-5
selected Kindergarten
selected First grade
selected Second grade
selected Third grade
selected Fourth grade
selected Fifth grade
not selected Sixth grade
not selected Seventh grade
not selected Eighth grade
not selected Ninth grade
not selected Tenth grade
not selected Eleventh grade
not selected Twelth grade


The program is intended for use with the following groups.

selected Students with disabilities only
selected Students with learning disabilities
not selected Students with intellectual disabilities
not selected Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
selected English language learners
selected Any student at risk for academic failure
not selected Any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: Please indicate the academic area of focus.

Early Literacy

not selected Print knowledge/awareness
not selected Alphabet knowledge
not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonological awarenessEarly writing
not selected Early decoding abilities
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Language

not selected Expressive and receptive vocabulary
not selected Grammar
not selected Syntax
not selected Listening comprehension
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Reading

selected Phonological awareness
selected Phonics/word study
not selected Comprehension
not selected Fluency
selected Vocabulary
selected Spelling
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Mathematics

not selected Computation
not selected Concepts and/or word problems
not selected Whole number arithmetic
not selected Comprehensive: Includes computation/procedures, problem solving, and mathematical concepts
not selected Algebra
not selected Fractions, decimals (rational number)
not selected Geometry and measurement
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Writing

not selected Handwriting
not selected Spelling
not selected Sentence construction
not selected Planning and revising
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Please indicate the behavior area of focus.

Externalizing Behavior

not selected Physical Aggression
not selected Verbal Threats
not selected Property Destruction
not selected Noncompliance
not selected High Levels of Disengagement
not selected Disruptive Behavior
not selected Social Behavior (e.g., Peer interactions, Adult interactions)
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Internalizing Behavior

not selected Depression
not selected Anxiety
not selected Social Difficulties (e.g., withdrawal)
not selected School Phobia
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Acquisition and cost information

Where to obtain:

Address
P.O. Box 2500 Lebanon, IN 46052-3009
Phone Number
800-848-9500
Website
www.savvas.com

Initial cost for implementing program:

Cost
$9.97
Unit of cost
student book

Replacement cost per unit for subsequent use:

Cost
$9.97
Unit of cost
student book
Duration of license

Additional cost information:

Describe basic pricing plan and structure of the program. Also, provide information on what is included in the published program, as well as what is not included but required for implementation (e.g., computer and/or internet access)

Stage Specific.Starter Packages include the Teacher Guide, Teacher Resource Cd and 10 stage specific student notebooks at each level (Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, Within Word Pattern, Syllables and Affixes, and Derivational Relations) - $199.95  Teacher Resource Guide; A Comprehensive Guide covering all 5 stages of development with research, overview and implementation guidance  Teacher Resource CD-ROM; A Resource CD with teacher modeling sorts, games, and additional sorts  Student Books; Stage-specific student books with ready made picture and/or word cards, a grid for students to sort and paste the picture/word cards, writing the sort activities, and an envelope for students to store the cards for the week  Big Book of Rhymes; Big Books are available to address sorts at the Emergent-Early Letter Name, Letter Name, and Within Word Pattern stages with poems reflecting the skill in each sort - used to introduce the sort. Available separately.

Program Specifications

Setting for which the program is designed.

selected Individual students
selected Small group of students
not selected BI ONLY: A classroom of students

If group-delivered, how many students compose a small group?

   6

Program administration time

Minimum number of minutes per session
15
Minimum number of sessions per week
5
Minimum number of weeks
38
not selected N/A (implemented until effective)

If intervention program is intended to occur over less frequently than 60 minutes a week for approximately 8 weeks, justify the level of intensity:

Does the program include highly specified teacher manuals or step by step instructions for implementation?
Yes

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Is the program affiliated with a broad school- or class-wide management program?

If yes, please identify and describe the broader school- or class-wide management program:

Does the program require technology?
No

If yes, what technology is required to implement your program?
not selected Computer or tablet
not selected Internet connection
not selected Other technology (please specify)

If your program requires additional technology not listed above, please describe the required technology and the extent to which it is combined with teacher small-group instruction/intervention:
CD-ROM and Whiteboard DVD are available to enhance usage

Training

How many people are needed to implement the program ?

Is training for the instructor or interventionist required?
No
If yes, is the necessary training free or at-cost?

Describe the time required for instructor or interventionist training:
1-4 hours of training

Describe the format and content of the instructor or interventionist training:
Training is available via pre-recorded online modules, On-Site training is available. 30 teachers maximum per on site session. On site Implementation Essentials includes training needed to implement curriculum with fidelity. Also 3 day workshops are available.

What types or professionals are qualified to administer your program?

selected Special Education Teacher
selected General Education Teacher
selected Reading Specialist
selected Math Specialist
selected EL Specialist
selected Interventionist
selected Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
not selected Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
selected Paraprofessional
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Does the program assume that the instructor or interventionist has expertise in a given area?
Yes   

If yes, please describe: 

Knowledge of developmental spelling and word study – can be garnered from the Words Their Way professional resource book.

Are training manuals and materials available?
Yes

Describe how the training manuals or materials were field-tested with the target population of instructors or interventionist and students:

Do you provide fidelity of implementation guidance such as a checklist for implementation in your manual?

Can practitioners obtain ongoing professional and technical support?
Yes

If yes, please specify where/how practitioners can obtain support:

See above regarding professional development (online modules) and Savvas Learning technical support for technical issues.

Summary of Evidence Base

Please identify, to the best of your knowledge, all the research studies that have been conducted to date supporting the efficacy of your program, including studies currently or previously submitted to NCII for review. Please provide citations only (in APA format); do not include any descriptive information on these studies. NCII staff will also conduct a search to confirm that the list you provide is accurate.

Study Information

Study Citations

Eddy, R. M., Ruitman, T., Hankel, N., Matelski, M. H. & Schmalstig, M. (2011). Pearson Words Their Way: Word Study in Action Intervention Efficacy Study Final Report.

Participants Full Bobble

Describe how students were selected to participate in the study:
Students were initially screened with scores on state standardized tests. Of those students screened, students were selected to participate if they scored at or below the 30th national percentile on the AIMSweb R-CBM screening diagnostic reading fluency assessment. (Pages 16-17)

Describe how students were identified as being at risk for academic failure (AI) or as having emotional or behavioral difficulties (BI):
Students were identified through standardized test scores and other teacher recommendations; students qualified for participation in the study based on their initial AIMSweb R-CBM reading fluency scores.

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • below the 30th percentile on local or national norm, or
  • identified disability related to the focus of the intervention?
%

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • emotional disability label,
  • placed in an alternative school/classroom,
  • non-responsive to Tiers 1 and 2, or
  • designation of severe problem behaviors on a validated scale or through observation?
%

Specify which condition is the submitted intervention:
The program used for the treatment condition was Words Their Way: Word Study in Action Developmental Model (Page 17)

Specify which condition is the control condition:
Control students used a variety of other phonics, spelling, and vocabulary programs, depending on the school site. Some control students were considered part of a “true control” group in which they stayed in their regular language arts classroom and did not receive any intervention program that was comparable to Words Their Way. However, other students used programs such as Read Naturally, Passports, PLAID Phonics, Voyager, Literacy Place, Leveled Literacy, and Phonics for Reading. (Page 17)

If you have a third, competing condition, in addition to your control and intervention condition, identify what the competing condition is (data from this competing condition will not be used):

Using the tables that follow, provide data demonstrating comparability of the program group and control group in terms of demographics.

Grade Level

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Age less than 1
Age 1
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5
Kindergarten
Grade 1
Grade 2 70 58 0.07
Grade 3
Grade 4 68 61 0.02
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Race–Ethnicity

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
African American 13 14 0.14
American Indian 1 1 0.00
Asian/Pacific Islander 2 4 0.68
Hispanic 39 23 0.32
White 81 75 0.07
Other 2 2 0.43

Socioeconomic Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Subsidized Lunch 63 59 0.05
No Subsidized Lunch 75 60 0.12

Disability Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Speech-Language Impairments 6 2 0.43
Learning Disabilities 1 4 0.68
Behavior Disorders
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disabilities
Other 2 0 1.40
Not Identified With a Disability 6 2 0.43

ELL Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
English Language Learner 35 40 0.21
Not English Language Learner 103 76 0.33

Gender

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Female 64 53 0.05
Male 74 66 0.02

Mean Effect Size

0.30

For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences between groups in the descriptions below, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not demographic characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.

Design Full Bobble

What method was used to determine students' placement in treatment/control groups?
Random
Please describe the assignment method or the process for defining treatment/comparison groups.
The Words Their Way study was conducted during the 2010-2011 school year. The efficacy study was designed as a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) in which qualified students were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, using the Words Their Way program or a control group (using the existing reading intervention program, if any, at their schools or continuing with business as usual). Teachers and their students used their respective language arts programs in their classes for the duration of the 2010-11 school year.

What was the unit of assignment?
Students
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit of assignment:

What unit(s) were used for primary data analysis?
not selected Schools
not selected Teachers
selected Students
not selected Classes
not selected Other
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit(s) used for primary data analysis:

Fidelity of Implementation Full Bobble

How was the program delivered?
not selected Individually
selected Small Group
not selected Classroom

If small group, answer the following:

Average group size
5
Minimum group size
2
Maximum group size
8

What was the duration of the intervention (If duration differed across participants, settings, or behaviors, describe for each.)?

Weeks
18.00
Sessions per week
4.00
Duration of sessions in minutes
20.00
What were the background, experience, training, and ongoing support of the instructors or interventionists?
Intervention teachers taught reading for an average of 11.8 years. 16 of 23 teachers had received their Master’s degree. Interventionists received an initial training and a follow-up training covering the Words Their Way program. Interventionists were also provided with trainers’ contact information and could contact them at any time to receive additional support or ask any questions about the program.

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained.
The fidelity of implementation was achieved by observing each classroom twice during the study, as well as teacher's completion of online weekly logs.

What were the results on the fidelity-of-treatment implementation measure?
The average number of minutes teachers were able to implement every week ranged from 74-138 minutes. Teachers were able to implement, on average, 104% of the recommended time each week, demonstrating that most teachers implemented more than expected. On average, teachers covered 20.7 sorts. Additionally teachers were asked to self-rate their level of adherence to the program on a scale of 1-9 each week (1=not at all, 5=somewhat, 9=fully). The average self-reported degree of implementation was 6.7.

Was the fidelity measure also used in control classrooms?

Measures and Results

Measures Targeted : Full Bobble
Measures Broader : Full Bobble

Study measures are classified as targeted, broader, or administrative data according to the following definitions:

  • Targeted measures
    Assess outcomes, such as competencies or skills that the program was directly targeted to improve.
    • In the academic domain, targeted measures typically are not the very items taught but rather novel items structured similarly to the content addressed in the program. For example, if a program taught word-attack skills, a targeted measure would be decoding of pseudo words. If a program taught comprehension of cause-effect passages, a targeted measure would be answering questions about cause-effect passages structured similarly to those used during intervention, but not including the very passages used for intervention.
    • In the behavioral domain, targeted measures evaluate aspects of external or internal behavior the program was directly targeted to improve and are operationally defined.
  • Broader measures
    Assess outcomes that are related to the competencies or skills targeted by the program but not directly taught in the program.
    • In the academic domain, if a program taught word-level reading skill, a broader measure would be answering questions about passages the student reads. If a program taught calculation skill, a broader measure would be solving word problems that require the same kinds of calculation skill taught in the program.
    • In the behavioral domain, if a program taught a specific skill like on-task behavior in one classroom, a broader measure would be academic performance in that setting or on-task behavior in another setting.
  • Administrative data measures apply only to behavioral intervention tools and are measures such as office discipline referrals (ODRs) and graduation rates which do not have psychometric properties as do other, more traditional targeted or broader measures.

Click here for more information on effect size.


What populations are you submitting outcome data for?
not selected Full sample
not selected Students at or below the 20th percentile
not selected English language learners
not selected Racial/ethnic subgroups
not selected Economically disadvantaged students (low socioeconomic status)
Targeted Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Broader Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Administrative Data Measure Reverse Coded? Relevance

Posttest Data

Targeted Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Targeted Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P
For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not pretest characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.
Please explain any missing data or instances of measures with incomplete pre- or post-test data.
If you have excluded a variable or data that are reported in the study being submitted, explain the rationale for exclusion:
Describe the analyses used to determine whether the intervention produced changes in student outcomes:
A combination of hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), repeated measures ANOVA, and independent t-tests were used to determine the difference between the control group and the treatment group. (Page 45)

Additional Research

Is the program reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA?
E-ESSA
Summary of WWC / E-ESSA Findings :

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

 

Evidence for ESSA

Program Outcomes: Qualifying studies found no significant positive outcomes.

Full Report

How many additional research studies are potentially eligible for NCII review?
0
Citations for Additional Research Studies :

Disclaimer

Most tools and programs evaluated by the NCII are branded products which have been submitted by the companies, organizations, or individuals that disseminate these products. These entities supply the textual information shown above, but not the ratings accompanying the text. NCII administrators and members of our Technical Review Committees have reviewed the content on this page, but NCII cannot guarantee that this information is free from error or reflective of recent changes to the product. Tools and programs have the opportunity to be updated annually or upon request.