To celebrate the posting of a couple of great new products on Teachers Pay Teachers, we thought we would bring you some suggestions on fun ways to practice beginning reading skills, at school and at home.
- Go on a noisy letter or word hunt: Give each student letters or words to look for (the bookmarks in our Sight Word Hunt & Bingo Packs are perfect for this) and send them around the room, looking through books and environmental print for their words. Have them read them out to a partner when they find them. Add an element of competition by seeing who can find all of their letters or words first (beware of the strugglers and the non-competitive ones in the bunch. Make sure they feel successful too!),
- Go on a quiet letter or word hunt: Take the noisy word hunt down a notch and make it more suitable for center time, quiet time or individual activity. Give each student a set of letters or words and a stack of books. They can place their bookmark in the page where they found the match. If you want to check them, have students share their findings with a partner (or an older buddy or classroom volunteer) or conference with them one-one yourself. Great practice and a quick and easy check for you to see where they are (track the words they know and then you have a record come report card time).
- Play I have, Who has...: This game takes a little bit of set up but is really easy to do once you get the hang of it (and easy to re-use!). Make 2 copies of the letters/sight words you plan to use, making sure you have enough words for 1 word per student (to make it really easy, copy them on two different colours). Lay out all of your words side by side, keeping identical words side by side (your pattern would be AA-BB-CC, etc). Take one copy of the first word and place it at the end. Starting with the first word, hand 2 words to each student, the first in their left hand, the second in their right, making sure you keep the words in order (this is where the two colours comes in handy - you can quickly see if they are holding them in the correct hands). It's more fun if the students are not standing in the same order as the words were laid out. The first student then says "I have..." and reads the word in their left hand, followed by "Who has..." and the word in their right hand. The person with that word then repeats the process, saying "I have (word in left hand), Who has (word in right hand). If you've set it up properly, it will come all the way back around to the first person!
- Play "Word Detective": Write a secret message to the class, leaving blanks for the sight words you want them to practice. Hand out the missing words and ask the students to read their word to a partner. Then explain that you wrote them a message but that the sneaky word wizard came and zapped out some of the words, so now you need some help reading it. Begin reading the message, pausing at blanks and allowing the students to figure out what word is missing. The student(s) with that word can then come up and place their word in the space, helping to complete the message. Yay, they saved the day!
- Build Your Words: This one is great for kinesthetic learners and those who need some work on fine motor control. Using playdough, lego, alphabet blocks, stamps, magnetic letters, or any other building material you can think of, allow students to build the letters in their words. Be sure they read them to a partner or to you to complete the transfer of knowledge!
- Clap & Stomp Your Words: Another great one for kinesthetic or musically inclined learners! As you say the name of each letter in your word, clap the consonants and stomp the vowels, shouting the word out at the end. Or, get creative and try one of the following variations: Lasso your words - sit backwards on your chair (like a horse) and circle your arm in the air above your head as you say each letter in the word (1 circle per letter). As you say the whole word, throw your lasso and rope that word in! Cheer your words - hold pompoms (real or pretend, it's up to you), and shake them as you say each letter, high for consonants, low for vowels. At the end, jump in the air and shout that word out. Disco your words - Just like John Travolta! Point high and to the side for consonants, low and across your body for vowels, jazz hands to finish!
We hope you have fun trying some of these activities out with your class! Let us know how it goes...
PS - These products are part of a series of products that we'll continue to put up on TpT as we finish them. Keep checking our store if you want all the Dolch Sight Words!
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!