Saturday, February 8, 2014

Sight Word Rainbows

So...about a week ago, I was supposed to announce the winners of my Blends and Digraphs Posters.  But first I forgot, and then my computer wouldn't connect to the internet.  Oops...  To make up for being so late, I sent them to everyone who commented.  I really appreciate you all for supporting my blog even when I am such an erratic blogger!  Thank you!

Now on to the topic of the day - sight words!  I've read a lot of teachers say they love teaching sight words, but sadly, I've never really felt that way.  I'm not sure why...I just find them kind of boring I guess.  Because kids tend to learn these at different paces, I introduce several a week, but encourage the parents to work with their kids on sight words A LOT.  To encourage kids to practice their sight words at home, I use an incentive system to chart their progress.

We used to have 50 sight words, but this year we added 20 more, because the Level D books they are supposed to read at the end of the year had a lot of difficult high frequency words.  We're hoping learning them will give them the push they need to finish the year strong.  I divided the 70 words into 7 lists of ten, and that gave me the idea for a new incentive - sight word rainbows!
Here's how it works, each week, I test them on the list they are working on.  If they pass the first list, they get a red arch to hang in their cubby.  For each of the following lists, they get another arch until they've built a full rainbow.  This system has been really successful and motivating for my students this year!
Each student lights up when they get to hang the next part of their rainbow.  And hanging them in their cubbies keeps it personal enough that they aren't comparing themselves to other students.  They are able to focus on their own growth. 

The colors have also helped with differentiating at centers.  I put color-coded lists in our centers, so kids know if they are working on getting the green part of their rainbow, they need to build the green words at their center.  Easy for them to do independently.

Since we are a Leader in Me school, we have Leadership Notebooks where we track our goals and progress throughout the year.  I made a little sight word recording sheet to go along with our rainbow theme.
I know 70 is kind of a random number, so I also have a version of the recording sheet without the text that says "List 1, List 2" etc.  Click here or on the picture to download it from google docs.  I hope it's helpful to some of you! 

Check out more freebies at TBA...

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