Although I have been using Words Their Way for the last 5 years, I was never trained in it or formally told to use it. It just made sense to me, being the hands-on kinda girl I am. If you are not familiar, here is the book that can get you started:
How does it work?
An initial assessment/inventory is given to all students. From there, the teacher uses a feature chart to grade and put together learning groups based on needs. Once the students are in groups (I limit to no more than 4 in one class), they will sort pictures or words into sound and spelling patterns. This will teach the students to find the patterns, manipulate word concepts and apply critical thinking skills. Even irregular spelling patterns in our language! There are separate books of sorts to support each spelling stage. You can give spelling tests, but it's really not needed. There are built in assessments at certain points throughout the program to readjust groups, based on growth.
I'm in the middle of the Power Point right now, so I'll have more to share as I go on. This was just a taste of what is to come.