I wanted to accelerate my students’ sight word learning and differentiate it at the same time. A lot of my students need more practice becoming automatic with their sight words. Once they do this, their reading begins to take off! Now this is not the only step in increasing their reading, but becoming quick with recognizing sight words is an important step.
A lot of times we will go over sight words on our iPads using SlideShark to format the slides correctly. You can find these PowerPoints for the Dolch sight words pre-primer through second grade here. Sometimes we practice these slides on the Smartboard. But students need more than that to become automatic with them. So I am using word pockets!
They are so easy to make! You need a package of file folders, colored copy paper if you wish. You can use just white paper too. And snack size baggies.
I set up the printer for 6 slides per sheet. That makes just the right size for little hands. Not so small that they are hard to handle, but not so big that you are using lots of paper. I also set it to gray scale to save on color. Each of the sight word lists look different so if you wish to use white paper that works great too. Then just use scissors or a paper cutter and cut them up.
For each pocket, you will open the file folder all the way and fold about 1/3 of the bottom up to the inside of the folder.
Turn the folder over and staple the sides to create the pockets.
You can leave the fronts blank, have the students label them, or print off labels. Whatever works for you!
On the inside, you can label the pockets or have the students do it. I assess the students on their sight words often to be sure I am moving them forward. Plus we add words that go with stories. My Guided Reading Anecdotal Notebook is where I keep track of the words students know. Several times a week students get their pockets and pull out the baggie on the left and quickly go over their words. When I listen to students read their words, I can differentiate by adding more words from the baggy on the right side, thus moving students forward as they are ready to learn more. In these pockets, the sight words are pre-primer.
This is one of the pages from my Guided Reading Anecdotal Records Notebook that I keep on my students. I can just keep this notebook with me to assess students and keep track of my anecdotal records on them.
If a student has mastered one list and is ready to move on, I can keep the lists mastered in the left hand side and add more baggies. This keeps the word lists from becoming overwhelming if there were too many to always being reviewing. But I also don’t want students to never see those words again. They sometimes need to cycle back and review words previously learned. To accomplish that, I can just tell them what color I want them to practice that day. Easy Peasy!!
Hope this is an easy way for you to make learning sight words more manageable and a quick way to differentiate them too!