Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sight Words That Make Sense

 Last year I really noticed that my students were struggling to grasp their sight words, so I did a LOT of research into best practices, programs, strategies, and new ways to teach them that would help them master them quickly and effectively. My team and I decided to go with differentiated sight words lists. I started searching for lists but just couldn't find what I wanted. Some came close, but none really fit what I felt gave my students the words they needed in the correct order to be able to write sentences from the start. So, my team and I decided to create our own list that makes sense. We started with the most basic words that kindergarten students need to write sentences and went from there. Each list has 10 words and is color coded. These words are from our district's list of required words.
The first 10 words are the words that all kindergarten students need to be able to know in order to write simple sentences and that you will find in most of the predictable books. They also fit into all of your beginning of the year themes (All About Me, Brown Bear, My Body, Friends, Apples, Fall). They just make sense.

So why go to all the trouble to do color coded lists? Well, we all know that our students come to us on many different levels. I had students this year who already knew how to read, so it seemed silly to have them working on the words "I" and "my" when they clearly needed more difficult words. So, this makes perfect sense. The second week of school I assessed each student to see how many words they knew and used that information to determine the list they would start on. I then sent home the list on color coded paper for them to use for practice at home.
Student Assessment of Sight Words
My students have found so much success by using words that they want to learn instead of eing forced to only work on the ones we are teaching. It helped improve their reading and writing! The set will be available in my TPT store very soon!