In mentoring beginning teachers, I recommend active ways to reach all the different kinds of learners. By taking roughly 3-5 mins. every day you can teach a focus sight word and use songs to accomplish appealing to the non-traditional learners. (That’s not to say that’s the only word you ever mention or teach in a week, but I’m talking about focus here – so everyone with “no more letter/word of the week” mentality – I’m with you!)
I felt that after my post of using our sight word songs to teach sight words, that I should share how we infuse those songs each day and how we make it work for us.
We use nursery rhyme tunes and familiar tunes to teach – the songs are like 8-20 sec. long so they are super effective! We do a chant everyday that practices them all (24 core) just like you would an abc chart. I add in an extension chant when they are ready for a challenge. This expands their daily practice to 47!
Students can also earn a “sight word treat” (one m&m, skittle, jellybean) for finding the word during quiet reading time first thing after they’ve finished their morning routine. They have to find it in a different book or page than the day before or from their friends sitting close by. My favorite K teacher down the hall likes to use pretzel sticks as treats. I’m not a big sticker or candy person, so this is the time I make the exception – and it’s a huge reward for them! I actually have kinders take over this job and they become the sight word checker so I can continue to do the 101 things a new morning brings.
On Mondays I introduce the word by writing in upper/lowercase letters, singing the song, practice and model (at beginning of year) how changing the letters, re-ordering them makes it not the same word anymore. We also model using it orally in a sentence. We repeat the sentence out loud and clap or snap on the word.
If you’re just learning the common core standards, this hits: K.RF.1.b-3., K.RF.1.b., K.RF.3.c.
On Tuesday we review the song as I show each page of a little leveled book that features the word repeatedly. They touch their nose to show me they’ve found it with their eyes. I then read that page and they clap on the word as I’m reading aloud.K.RF.1.b-4., K.RF.3.c., K.RF.4
On Wednesdays I use our word wall cards like flash cards for words from this quarter and we practice them all as I flip. They show me “Stop!” in sign language when we cross our new word. We review the song and talk about where it should go on the word wall and why. K.RF.2.d-1, K.RF.3.c., K.SL.1.e.
A student is chosen to post it. We repeat with cookies (sight words written on the back) and use them at our “house” literacy center.
On Thursdays we skywrite the word while singing, try it again with our eyes closed, and sometimes trace the word/another one onto a friend’s back and they have to guess which word it is. At the beginning of the year we even put a foot into the air to skywrite the letters as they follow my large strokes on the white board. At this point in the school year I also model how knowing this word easily helps them learn more words (and I use word families or bits of it to model). K.L.1.a-4., K.L.1.f-2., K.L.2.d., K.RF.2.e-4., K.RF.3.c.
On Fridays we form the letters with our bodies while singing the song. This one is my favorite! Five days, five minutes – many words in one year – check!
How do you like to productive in small five minute time chunks?
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