Thursday, January 15, 2015

Sight Words and FREEBIES

We all know how essential sight words are when it comes to reading.  Early-emergent (A-C) and emergent (D-J) readers need a good bank of words that they know automatically - in a snap, to help their fluency, confidence, and comprehension.  When I taught Kindergarten I think there was less than 30 words that were supposed to be MASTERED by the end of the year.  However, I am a firm believer in know that whole nature vs. nurture thing.  Kids at this age are like sponges and many of them are at a critical age where they can benefit greatly from building that bank of sight words.
There are some approaches that I think are appropriate for K-1 and some that are not.  Here is what I believe helps kids learn best.  

1. PLAY ~ when children are having fun, their window for learning is wide open and everyone is having a much better experience (teachers included here)
2. CHOICE ~ now I know not everything can be their choice, but if there is an opportunity to let them choose, do it (remember from child development: limit choices, make sure they are appropriate, and that any choice is an acceptable one)
3. LOGICAL ~ sight words should make sense, kids need to understand why these words are so important.  

Kindergarten is essential for number 3 and if they have been given the proper background, by first grade they get it.  They have already seen that sight words pop up EVERYWHERE.  This is usually completed by finding sight words in books/emergent readers, incorporating sight words into writing, and integrating literacy in as many academic areas and avenues as possible.   

This post I am going to share some ways, in first grade, I address numbers 1 and 2.  Many of these activities are done during work on words for daily five and small groups but can be used whole group.  We did more whole group sight word work in K, but in first there just isn't as much time.
<-----This is a bang or crash type game I got from TPT from Lessons for Little Learners that correlates to our Treasures reading series. Click the picture to take you there.
Above is the kids working with whiteboards and writing sight words
        ....this is kid is an overachiever!
We play roll a word and just read the word or sometimes we write them too.  We also play sight word bingo or sometimes use the bingo board and instead play four in a row! 

Battleship is a fun game that can really be played in a variety of ways.  Each player (2) get the same board and their boards are private.  Each player has 4 pawns (we use linking cubes) to place on any four words.  After being placed they may not be moved.  Each player takes turns trying to guess THE OTHER PLAYERS WORDS (this is the part that gets the kids). If they guess correct they claim that pawn from their opponent.  The person who claims all their opponents pawns is the winner!
Click on the picture to go to my Facebook page and download an editable version of this game in the     FAN FREEBIE section!
Highlight a Sight Word is another fun one that be played in a variety of ways.  We use this at the beginning of the year to also discuss proper use of the highlighters.  These correlate to my basal - Treasures and is FREE in my TPT store - - - - >>>> click here or on the pictures to take you there.
We read the sight words as a class everyday if we can and sometimes we spell them or say them with sight word sticks.  We also play a variety of group games such as I have, Who has or Around the World. 
A lot of our sight word practice choice is completed during daily five work on words.  The students have so many choices here.  Check out MY CLASSROOM post to see some pictures of our shelf.  Below the kids are working with the aqua doodle and play dough!  We also have a magnet board and a chalkboard table where the kids can practice words as well.  We also work on spelling words here too!

We also have a  variety of "paper products" that are choices during daily five.  You can find a lot of these in my packet on TPT - - - - >>>> click here or on the pictures to take you there.
We also use a digital photo frame as a choice to practice sight words.  The kids just use the recording sheet and record as many words as they can! I have these products in my TPT - - - - >>>> click here or on the pictures to take you there.

If you made it this far....Thank-you for taking so much time to visit and hope you have something to take back to your classroom.

But before you go:  here is how I manage sight words in K and first.  
In Kindergarten we had about 3-5 words a week depending on the words for two weeks and then the third week was review with no words.  The kids had each word on an index card in a pencil bag and that was their homework each night.  At the end of the two weeks, during the third review week, I would assess the kids and they had a sight word sticker book where the could add a sticker if they mastered the word(s).  This is a word document so you can edit it if you wish.  Click the picture for this FREEBIE!
In First I knew coming from Kindergarten and having a few of the same kids that some of them would fly through the words and some would need more time. So I took all the sight words for the entire year and broke them into sets.  I then looked through the Dolch words up to 3rd grade and crossed off any already covered by our basal and phonics and then added words starting with pre-primer. I ended up with 15 sets of 25 words = 375 words for the entire year.  I colored coded each set differently and the kids work through the sets at their own pace, one set at a time.  I have an aide who comes in to assess the kids once a week.  I also make a white copy to send home for them to practice and they keep the colored, page protected copy in their desk folder.  As they master the sets they get a popcorn kernel with that number and we keep them up in our room all year! I have over half of my 19 kids who have mastered all 15 sets already.

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