Using iPads to make a paperless Words their Way

I am not a huge fan of Words their Way.

Mostly because of the vast amount of time and paper that goes into cutting up words for the kids to sort out latter .  The words got lost, could only be used by one group at a time.

Jennie Magiera sent me down the road of paperless sorts by having the kids use google draw to do the sorts. The result was far less stress in my classroom, less bits of paper flying around and t, but we were still firmly down in the substitution end of the SAMR model.

Enter the 3M post it note app.

Instead of making a traditional sort  A3 copy of the spelling words for each spelling group. The kids  then scan their sort using their app to manipulate the words around on the screen. The app isn’t as effective as post its but the kids can still tap around a word to make a post it of each box which suits our purpose.


They then use a ‘show what you know app’ to explain their choices. My class uses doodlecast but there are whole bunch of different apps such as Explain Everything, Educreations that do similar things.

When the kids are finished upload their video to a shared literacy folder on their Google Drive where I can mark it.

Gives me and the child data. I love that in this video I can hear the child self-correct a mistake on a sort. It’s something we notice and name later.

Would that have happened in a conventional sort?


Is there less paper?


One thought on “Using iPads to make a paperless Words their Way

Add yours

  1. Hi Stephanie,
    Loving your WTW ideas. Struggling with the Post It app though :/
    Can you please just step me through that process? Do you sort before you photograph or after? I’m assuming after but I’ve tried cutting the sort and then photographing but I’m not really able to easily manipulate the words once they’re on the board. It is possible to move the words but when I select one, the screen zooms right in so only a small part of the board is visible. When I read the FAQ on their website, it seemed like you could create a board and then add “post its” but that’s not working for me either. Also have you found that you need to enlarge the sort page for the app to recognise the individual words as post it notes?
    Any advice appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: