Monday, January 6, 2014

Sight Word Fluency

Hi everyone!!!  I hope you are staying warm and cozy inside like me!  These frigid temps are insane!  I've been working all day on school cards go home next week.

Today's post is all about the importance of sight word fluency.  I'll be outlining some ideas that I use in my own classroom with hopes that you will get a new idea or two to implement in your classroom or home! This is a long post but if you stick with me, there will be a surprise at the end!

Sight word fluency is so important in the early years!  In order to become fluent readers, children must be able to read and write the most frequent words.  As the amount of words they can automatically read and write increases, so will their comprehension.   Knowing sight words automatically allows for children to focus more on decoding words that have meaning.

I use many resources in my classroom to give my 1st graders solid sight word fluency.  This post will outline the resources and strategies that I have found beneficial over the years.

1.  Interactive Word Wall: I believe in creating a print-rich environment for my students.  Creating an interactive word wall is a great way to do this!  My interactive wall is something that I began about 4 years ago and was one of the best things I believe I could have ever done for my students.  I place all 100 of the Fry's 1st grade words up.  I know there is some debate over putting up all the words at once vs. slowly adding them.  I prefer to have all 100 up at the beginning of the year because my students will be getting constant exposure to all of them throughout the year.   As the year progresses, I will start introducing the Fry's 2nd grade words in a separate area.

I use the colored word wall cards {shown above}, but I also have black and white cards available {shown below}.

2.  Morning Message: Just about every morning, we do morning message.  I use this time to mainly focus on sight words.  I think it's so important to be spiraling these words throughout the year.  I also incorporate sentence structure and phonics skills.  I write the message as we go, that way students can see me modeling good writing skills.  I also think-aloud as I go.  My students use their dry erase slates during this time and write the words that I ask them to.  This keeps everyone engaged and accountable.  To read more about how I do morning message, click here.

3.  Literacy Centers: Monday-Friday, my students visit their literacy centers.  I have a small pocket chart set up in my classroom that shows the kids where they will be going for the day.  Each group only visits one center per day.  It just makes my life easier...I have my students in heterogeneous grouping so they can help one another.  They really enjoy this time because they have "freedom."  Centers last about 20 minutes.  Just enough time to complete the activity but not too much time to get off task.  During literacy centers, we do a variety of activities but I am always cognizant to include one sight word practice center.  The sight word centers that I switch between are: Sight Word Stampede, Magnetic Sight Word Mats, and Play-doh Sight Word Mats.  I rotate between the three to give my kids a change.  I also include sight word games that I have in many of my holiday-themed center packs because let's face it, reading a sight word on a card with a turkey or Christmas tree on it is much more fun than reading a sight word card with nothing on it!  To see more about how I run my literacy centers, click here.


4.  Sight Word Review Games:  Once a week we play a review game of  Sight Word Bingo.  At the beginning of each quarter, I have my kids make a new Fry's words game board.  The students create their own luck by cutting apart the words and gluing them on their boards wherever they'd like!  Making a new board per quarter works nicely because there are 4 quarters in our school year and 4 sight word lists.  We play BINGO using holiday candy or holiday trinkets {erasers, table scatter, etc...}.  The kids love it because it's the one time they get to go to the treasure chest if they get a BINGO!  It's great practice!  I'm looking forward to using the review board {which is a mixture of all 100 words} when we get to the end of the year!
We also love playing "Musical Sight Words!"  The kids love that they get to move around and learn at the same time.


Another fun review idea for sight words is playing Sparkle.  To play, have your students form a circle.  Say a word you'd like for them to spell.  The person next to you will say the first letter.  The person next to them will say the second letter, and so on.  After the last student has said the final letter, the student next to him must say the whole word.  The person next to him will say "Sparkle."  The person next to him will have to sit down.  Sounds a little confusing but once you start playing, it will make perfect sense!

5.  Sight Word Envelopes:  Many years ago, I began using sight word folders for my students.  Now, I mainly use them for RTI due to time constraints and lack of help in the classroom.  Here's how they work:  I assess my class using my sight word assessment from my Fry's School-to-Home Sight Word Fluency pack I use all pieces from this pack to create individual sight word card envelopes for those children that need it. It's a fantastic way to encourage involvement at home, and is super-easy for parents to practice words with their children at home!

6.  Guided Reading: Guided reading time is tricky because it always seems like you have a plethora of skills that you want to hit with your readers.  I try to dedicate at least one session per week to focus on sight words, especially with my below grade level readers.  One way that I fit this in is by incorporating sight word books into my plans.  After students have read their on-level books, they can select a BOB book {sight word set} to read.  They love re-reading these and it's great practice for their sight word fluency!  Click the picture to take a look.

I hope you found some new ideas here!  Thanks for taking the time to read!  Here's your surprise!



Mrs. Leeby said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love all of the great ideas and products that you have! Thanks for sharing!

Learning With Mrs. Leeby

MrsValerieH328 said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Some of my lowest students are struggling so much with the most basic of sight words this year. These are all great ideas. I am such a visual learner. I love reading your posts and seeing what you do in your classroom! Thanks for taking the time to post!

Cindy Calenti said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I am also one who really thinks that sight word fluency is critical. I always had at least one sight word activity each day. I love "morning message" - never went a day without it.

Some other sight word activities my kiddos enjoyed were:

Sight word relay races
Sight words with wiki sticks
Sight word stamp in clay
Sight word hide and seek (a version of read the room)
Guess the sight word (group activity) a version of 20 questions
Sight word - write on your partner's back (guessing game)

Hope your kiddos might like some of these games also.

Granny Goes to School

Jennifer White said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Love it all!
First Grade Blue Skies

Jessica said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

LOVE all of the sight word ideas... I really struggle for some reason teaching sight words?! I have phonics down to a science but sight words... not so much!!! I'll get it... especially with your help here!!


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