Reinforcing sight words - lower readers

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by snickydog, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I have a few students who are below level and need a lot of help with recognizing and remembering sight words in our guided reading books. Do you have any strategies you use with your guided reading groups to help students remember their sight words in a particular book you're reading? We use the Rigby series, but I'm considering buying a readinga-z.com subscription so I can print books for each student so we can highlight words as one strategy.

    Does anyone use other things, like building words with magnets, etc? How do you integrate this with your GR lesson?
     
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  3. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Don't know if this will help, but I make a copy of the words for the week on construction paper for each child in my below level group. We go over the words every day before we read the story. I have them trace the words and say the sounds as they trace them. After about two days of review, "point to the word 'jump', point to the word 'where' ... then I'll go through the words like flash cards. If they get the word right, then I put a tally mark on the back of the card. If they get it wrong, I put a circle. They really look forward to getting those tally marks!

    My co teacher has pointers. (little pointer fingers on a stick) During free time the kids play "teacher" and go through the word wall reading the words already posted.
     
  4. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I am interested in the same thing...
    I need some quick but effective activities that can be done with my low ones during guided reading too.

    Right now we use dry erase boards. I tell them a word, they write it, then they show me. Then I'll make them write it as many times as they can in a certain amount of time.

    Or, I have sight word flash cards. I will go around the group showing each kid a flash card. If he knows it, he gets it. If he doesn't, I get it. The next time I come to that child, though, if he didn't get the previous card we'll keep trying it until he gets it. They love it because they think it's a game and they want to keep "winning" more flashcards.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Nov 16, 2007

    Try some kinesthetic activities. Writing it with their finger in shaving cream, sand, on sand paper, in corn meal..., write it in the air. I bought the plastic needlepoint sheets (I don't know what they are called) from Wal-Mart for around 79 cents per sheet and I cut them into strips (can make 4 strips/sheet). My students put their paper on top of it and with a crayon practice their word - say the word, say each letter as they write it and then they have to say the word as they are underlining it. They then trace over the word 2 more times repeating the same steps (say the word, say each letter as they write it, ...).
     
  6. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I have the same problem and I am interrested to see the other responses!

    Here is what I have tried so far:

    I have five table groups. I used fishing line and attached a bent paper clip to each side. I hung one side to the ceiling. The other dangles above each table group. We introduce five sight words a week. I dangle one above each table. Instead of calling the groups, "group 1, group 2" etc. I call them by the sight word name. I tried to keep the same name for the whole week but the students started memorizing the names instead of looking at the card. This past week I move the table names randomly. It has helped with my lower students in recognizing the sight words.

    I also work with sight words in reading group. I give them a poem that is missing the target sight word and they have to write it. We read the poem together and keep the poem in a folder for review.

    We also use magnetic letters. We build it together while saying each letter and tracing it with our fingers. Then we take away all letters and I give them the first letter. I tell them to think in their head what will come next. Then I have them try to build it.
     
  7. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I also was looking around the internet and they have sight word flashcards that have a visual to go with each word. The set was about $45. I am thinking about trying to make my own. On one side the words will look like the word somehow and the other is plain. Just another idea!
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I also took file folders and two different colored little sticky notes. I wrote the vowels on one color and the consonants on the other color. I have the sticky notes in the folder in abc order. I can open the folder (one per child) and have them find the letter that makes the b sound, find the letter that makes the short a sound, and find the letter to make the t sound. They get to make the words letter by letter.
     
  9. Emma35

    Emma35 Connoisseur

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    Nov 16, 2007

    I do bowling for sight words! The kids love it. I have all the sight words on bowling balls, I have a template, and a point value on the back. They reach in a container and pull out a "bowling ball" card and if they get it right they get that many points on a bowling score sheet. We do ten frames just like real bowling. (I have the bowling scoresheet template too) I do this with a group of 4.
     
  10. CBean

    CBean Rookie

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    Nov 18, 2007

    Rainbow Words

    There a lot of good ideas posted. I think it is important to give lots of repetition and try to use as many modalities as possible. We use rainbow words at our school to motivate students to learn the words.

    You just add words to the rainbow poster and the kids try to learn the words in each color arc of the rainbow. It comes with words but you can put them up in any order or pace that you choose. It really motivates our students to get through the different colors. The web address is http://www.rainbowwords.com/flash_pp.html

    [​IMG]
     
  11. love2teach

    love2teach Enthusiast

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    Nov 18, 2007

    Emma, I like that idea....could you post or PM the template??

    I also do rainbow writing for sight words....
    They have to write each word 3x using a different thing (pencil, crayon, colored pencil or marker).....they LOVE IT!
     
  12. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Nov 18, 2007

    We play sight word BINGO all the time. You just insert a table in Word and add the words you want to use, don't put all of the words on a card, just part of them in different combinations. Then print a set of the words on index cards. At the beginning of the week show them the cards and say the words, then move to just showing the cards or just saying the word. To make it easier to use next year color code the cards and words (blue BINGO cards/blue index cards: week 6; pink BINGO cards/pink index cards: week 7; etc...) You can even use it as a center if you have rotating groups during guided reading. Teach the kids to go in a circle turning a card face-up in the middle of the table and saying the word to the group.
    If you are really struggling you could try having them color code some of the words with high-lighter tape or low-tack tape (the=blue tape, and=green tape)
     
  13. Tbelle1035

    Tbelle1035 Cohort

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    Nov 18, 2007

    We practice 5 sight words a week. Every day I take 15 minutes and give them a different activity to do (usually on drawing paper). Some of the activities are:

    Write the word in bubble letters. Color them in
    Write the word in pencil, then go over it once in marker and again in crayon.
    Weach word in squiggly letters then again in regular letters.
    Write the word. Make the vowels one color and the consonants another.

    They love it.

    Their homework is always hands on: ex. write the words in salt or shaving cream, use them in a hopscotch game, spell them out with alphabet cereal, magnetic letters, clay, etc.

    There are some great sites out there as well.

    Good luck!
     
  14. JerseyTeach

    JerseyTeach Rookie

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    Nov 20, 2007

    Boo!

    Since we start guided reading in October, I like to play a game called "boo" with my lower groups. I use the sight words that are on the word wall, write them on small paper cards and put them in an opaque bag. I also put in a few cards with the word "BOO!" on it.

    Students have a board with 10 spaces and must try to fill up all 10 spaces without getting the word BOO! If you get "Boo!", put the words in the bag and start again. The kids enjoy it a lot (living on the edge) and really like playing with a partner or two. It really helps to acquire those first sight words.
     
  15. cmgeorge626

    cmgeorge626 Companion

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    Nov 21, 2007

    My kids favorite game is "Whack-a-word." I bought four colored flyswatters and give a flyswatter to each group. Before we start the game, I write the words on index cards and tape them around the room. Then 1 person from each group holds the flyswatter and I call out a word. The first person to find it and slap it with the flyswatter wins a point for their team.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Companion

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    Nov 23, 2007

    My sight words are posted in 3 places in the room and I have an overhead sheet with them. At least 2-3 times a day I will hit them randomly with my laser pointer right before recess or lunch. Anytime I have 3 minutes. I dont have to pick students, because they volunteer.

    On Friday, we play boys vs. girls, front row vs. back row. You gotta get them all right to score a point. When you score, you make a talley mark on the board and press the "easy button."

    I know it's borderline drill and kill, but they ask to play. What am I gonna do tell 'em No?
    It works for me. Your mileage may vary.
     
  17. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I have my kids write their sight words in water colors, make the words with playdough - a favorite - and we play Around the World with the sight words. Our 5 sight words are the foundation of our reading each week. We spend about 30 minutes or more studying the words each Monday. What words do you see hidden inside the word? What are the vowels? What are the consonants? Can you name some rhyming words? Then the words are posted on the board for the week. The kids write down the words and take them home so parents expect this every Monday. I try to get the parents to make flashcards each week, telling them that by the end of the year we will be reviewing up to 130 words! If they are on the flashcards, the kids can review each week as we go along.

    We do word shapes with our sight words, word searches, word scrambles. you could make a memory game with your sight words for your lower group. Just anything interesting that gives them another exposure to the word. I read on a Scholastic poster that the average child has to see a word 60-100 times before he remembers that word! So our below average kids either need to see it more than that, or they haven't been exposed to words as much as other readers.

    Reading a-z is an excellent site and I highly recommend it. It will enable you to print out books for all levels in your classroom. One of the biggest ingredients needed for our lowest readers is the sense that "I CAN read!!" And they can achieve this confidence once we provide them with the books to read that are at their level, no matter what that is. Once they believe they can read, they become self-motivated by the feeling of success!! Yeah! What an exciting moment that is!
     
  18. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I'm loving all the ideas! I have such a hard time fitting things in. We do word wall cheers daily and we do activities in reading groups but I know my kids should be writing them every day. I'm having a hard time trying to find that 15 minutes where it will work.
     
  19. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I hear you sister! My biggest frustration is that it seems I get one thing going well and something else is sinking to the bottom!! It seems some teachers just have everything together and are so organized - they cover everything, keep the pace going and seem to do it effortlessly! I am at a disadvantage because I am the only first grade teacher here and I have barely ever even visited another first grade classroom - so I have had to learn as I go. What is the secret to getting everything done??? I guess we just have to do the best we can and keep pushing the kids to keep on schedule. Maybe they could do something with the sight words as their morning seat work while you take attendance, etc.?
     
  20. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I am the same as you! I do really great in one area, but other areas get neglected.

    I was thinking about having the kids start word wall activities as morning work, actually!

    Maybe they can start writing the words on their half sheet, boxing them, then once I'm done with attendance we can do an on the back activity, then start our day.

    Right now I probably take as much time going over our daily math/language review. I like doing the review but I think sight words are crucial to their reading right now.
     
  21. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    Yes, I have found that the sight words are the magic key to a lot of kids, especially the ones who just don't read phonetically. Have you got the book Month by Month Phonics for First Grade? It is one of the Four Blocks in the Four Blocks method. It has a lot of ideas for the section "Working with Words." I have taken a lot of ideas from it. One thing that helps so much is getting the parents to understand how important it is for their child to learn the sight words each week. If they will drill them for 3 or 4 minutes each night, it makes such a difference. All my kids are knowing all their sight words each week. My very lowest reader has parents who work with him a little every night, and he almost won our Around the World game last week! He knows the words, and he is quick because of his practice.

    If you play Around the World, I have helped the slower kids (just a little slower in shouting out the word, so they lose out in the game) by stacking the cards so I am sure the words are the easier ones on words we have been working on the longest. One year I had a girl who just didn't get sight words. She would learn them, but her confidence was so low she would freeze up during the game and it became a detriment instead of a fun thing. So she became my helper and got to flash the words for the other kids.

    In first grade, the reading is the #1 priority. I keep reminding myself of that when I slight something else. They have got to get the strong foundation this year. Keep being consistent and they will do it! Do you have good parent support? Or is there a staff member who will support the kids who don't have parental support?
     
  22. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    I have a few parents who I know are helping their children at home. Quite a few kids who I know aren't getting much at all at home. And others I'm not so sure. I'm not getting any other support from other staff. I do send a word wall each quarter with updated words to practice. And they are SUPPOSED to practice their pattern words and word wall words for homework. But I don't get a lot of homework back. I've started doing "free choice centers" for the kiddos who turn it in. If they don't turn it in, they do their homework then.

    I do use the Four Blocks Phonics book! I love it! I haven't played around the world with sight words, but I will. They'll love that.
     
  23. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    Another good book is What Are the Other Kids Doing While YOu Teach Small Groups? It has lots of good ideas for literacy centers and many can be adapted to help reinforce sight words.

    Is there anyone on staff, librarian, aide, etc., who could work with your lower kids just 15 minutes a few times a week? Our principal, bless his heart, actually does reading groups with some struggling readers several days a week! It has made a huge difference just for them to get that little bit of extra help. Or maybe a parent who could take a small group, or one at a time, out to the hallway to practice sight words or help them with homework?
     
  24. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Nov 30, 2007

    Last year the reading specialist took a small group of kiddos and it was very helpful. But this year she hasn't done that. The principal was going to take a group, but she hasn't had time. I've only had a parent come in two times to help make copies, but I haven't had any come in and work with kids. I'm thinking of maybe sending a calendar home for January, and have parents sign up days to come in during center time to work with groups. I don't know if I'll get much participation at all, though. :(
     

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