Saturday, November 18, 2017

Super Easy (and CHEAP) Sight Word Practice System

Hello! Hello!

I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. I've seen on social media that some of you lucky teachers have already started Thanksgiving break! I have Monday and Tuesday left, but I simply can't believe we are already to this point in the year. I don't know why this year seems to be flying to me--maybe my new position?

Anyway, I said awhile back that I'd be sharing my sight word let's get to it!

Who wants some sight word practice you can start today? And most likely without spending any of your own money?

That was me several years ago raising my hand!

Disclaimer: This is not an original idea. I saw it somewhere and have adapted it to fit my needs. If you know who might have “invented” it, please share in the comments.

So let me introduce you to what I call The Power of 3. The name comes from the fact that your students will be earning a series of 3 colored dots 3 times for 3 different types of exposure to the word. 

Now that is a mouthful, but I promise I’ll explain!

Index Cards (what teacher doesn’t have them?)
Colored Markers (again, you already have them!)
Binder Rings (1” works well—you might have to buy them)
Sight Word List (your choice, I have used Dolch, Fry, or even the one from my curriculum)

Step 1:

First, you will want to make copies of the sight word list for each of the kids that you are working with. When I taught in the classroom, I did not do this with all of my students—just those that needed the extra practice. As a Title I teacher, I am doing it with almost all my kiddos.

Ask your student to read the list of words as quickly as possible. On your copy, mark each word that is not automatic (longer than 3 seconds). Now for those index cards. Make an index card for each of the words your student missed. ***Important note: I wouldn’t make more than 10 cards per student at a time. You really want intense focus on a small group of words at a time. You will be adding other cards as they move from ring to ring.***

Each student needs 3 rings, labeled READ, WRITE, and SPELL. All of the words start on the READ ring. I keep all this in a plastic bag, like so:

Step 2:

Determine how often you will work with your student. Daily would be awesome, but realistically I try to do it 3 times a week.

Show your student the cards on the READ ring. If they read the word correctly within 3 seconds, use a marker to give them a colored dot at the bottom of the card. You will use the same color each time you work with the READ ring.

Yes, I've been known to add pictures if we are really struggling to master a word!
Once a student earns 3 dots (3 successful reads of the word), you will move that card to the WRITE ring.

Each time you work with your kiddo, continue flashing the READ cards. Add words as more cards are moved to the WRITE ring.

Step 3:

For the WRITE ring, you will ask your kiddo to spell the word. I let my students do this on the table with Dry-Erase markers which is always a favorite! 

If they are successful spelling the word with no help, use a different colored marker to give them a dot.

When students have 3 dots of that color (total dots should be 6 now), you will move the card to the SPELL ring.

Each time you work with your kiddo, continue working on the WRITE cards.

Step 4:

For the SPELL ring, students are asked to spell the word out loud to you. This is a more difficult skill because they can no longer “see” it and make a change if it doesn’t look right (as when they were writing it). However, usually by the time the cards have reached this ring my students are very familiar with the word and it doesn’t take long to once again earn 3 colored dots.

When students have 3 dots of that color (total dots should be 9 now), you will move the card off the ring. I like to keep these in the baggie and every once in awhile, we review reading them. My students enjoy seeing that completed stack get bigger and bigger!

That’s it! Simple, easy, CHEAP sight words practice that your kiddos will enjoy.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! 

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