Thursday, October 18, 2012

My Solution for Sight Word Practice!!!

Well I had a long Fall Break to work (our school went to a balanced calendar so all our breaks are 2 weeks long) and I got a lot accomplished.  During the break, I got to babysit my beautiful little cousins.  One of them is in Kindergarten.  She is so smart.  She is ahead of many of my first graders!!!  We had a ton of fun playing dress up and dancing.  The little skirts obvisouly wouldn't fit me so I put one on each leg and my head!  It was a blast.

Anyways, back to the reason for this post.  I think sight words are one of the hardest things to teach, because the students are so spread out.  I have some kids that can read the first 400 words and some that can't read the first 5.  If everyone was practicing the same words, then I would be teaching over some of their heads and holding some back.  I have been searching for a good way to teach the sight words over the last 3 years.  Here are the ideas that I have came up with or borrowed.

The second semester of my first year, I decided to start giving each student an individual sight word list.  It sounds complicated, but it actually is very easy.  Once you get use to it, you just fly through.  So what I do is...I keep a binder with a list of all the "Seeing Stars" sight words in it.  Each student has their own list.  The first day I circle all the words the student knows.  I keep going until they miss five in a row or I see them struggling.  Then, I put the first 10 words that the student missed on their sight word homework list. 

I send the homework home each week.  I tell the parents to practice the words with them all week and on Thursday the parents have to test the student and circle the words the student misses.  The next week I put the words the student missed on the new list plus the next words from the student's sight word list that is in my binder.  (I make all of their homework lists ONE document, which makes it easy to type the student's words then go to the next one and printing is easier!) Now, I always like to do a quick test with them on Friday to make sure they do actually know the words. 

While I am testing the students, I like to use this sight word sticker book that I made to get the student's excited about doing it.  I check all the words they get right and then let them put stickers on them.  This helps in case the stickers fall off too!!!  This will be for sale shortly in my TPT store!

I have decided to take a slightly different approach for the rest of the year.  While I was babysitting, I helped my cousin with her homework and this idea came from her teacher...sight word folders.  For the remainder of the year, I am going to use the sight word homework instead of the other homework.  I am using colored manila folders.  I made a cover for the front of the folder.  It explains the folder and how to use it.  I want the students to be able to READ and SPELL the words.  They will practice one list at a time.  The parent will sign the page on the back when the student can read and spell all the words on the list.  I will test the student and put a sticker next to it letting the parents know that they can move on to the next list.

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