Monday, June 24, 2013

More Than Words: Meet The Words Monday

If you were a child of the early 90s, you will probably recognize this song.  I used to LOVE this song and even performed a sign language version with my friends at Girl Scout camp.  
Ummm....what does this have to do with teaching?  Not much except this song came up when I  Googled the word "words" and couldn't pass up the chance to share a great song. :)


Sight words, Star words, Heart words, Popcorn words, Dolch words, Fry Words, High Frequency words.  No matter what set of words you use and what you call them, words are so important for kindergartners to be able to read in order to become true readers.  Our school calls them Popcorn Words because they pop up in books, magazines and newspapers.
Here is a snippet of Jack Hartmann's video for his popcorn words song.
This song gets in my head!

We teach 47 popcorn words in kindergarten.  The words we teach are from this book:
If you follow the Freebielicious bloggers, you are probably following the book study they are doing on the same book.  I can't say enough good things about this book!
Our district wants kinders to be able to read at least at a level C by the end of the year.  Jan has word lists in the book that she recommends students learn in order to read at different levels.  Basically our 47 words are the words from level A, B & C with a few other words we felt were important.  We also teach the level D words Jan recommends at the end of the year since we know some kids are ready for that.  We call those Fry Words.

When we find Popcorn words in our daily work, we highlight them with a yellow highlighter or yellow crayon to "butter" them.  They LOVE this!  Some days we do cheesy popcorn with orange crayon and even caramel popcorn with light brown.  When we find Fry Words, we color them with a red crayon to put ketchup on them.

How do I make sure my students can read all these words?  I read a few years ago that in order to read a word, students need experience reading the word, writing the word, finding the word and using the word.  I used that advice and created a weekly schedule for how I introduce words.  It has worked very well for me and I'd love to share this week.

Meet the Word Monday
Tally It Tuesday
Write the Word Wednesday
Theme Books Thursday
Fun Friday

I typically introduce two words a week.  If it is a short week, just one.  I created a SMART file with all the words we teach during the year on it.  Here is one of the pages (clip art from DJ Inkers).  I flip through it until we get to the new words for the week.  If there is a little blue star on the page, it links to the sight word song from Have Fun Teaching.
I LOVE these songs!

After I reveal the new words, I introduce the cheer for the week.

Click on the images to get them from my TPT store.

They write the two words from the week in the popcorn bowls and they take it home to hang on their fridge.  In insist that when they verbally spell the word as they write it.
We then put the words on the word wall.

To make my word wall, I used these pieces from Teacher Created Resources. 

Then I got this font to make the words.

The finished product looks like this:
I LOVE the frame around the words.  It helps kids learn the shape of the words easily.

For the letters on my word wall I used these from EduPress.
 I just glued each letter inside the white space.

 I also put a popcorn word piece by the door for our exit & entrance password.  Before the kids can leave the room or enter the room, they have to read the popcorn password.

Last, I put a BIG version of the popcorn word on my teaching easel so I can easily refer to it during the week.  It also makes for an easy transition.  I'll tell my kinders who have cleaned up fast to say the word cheer to themselves while they wait for the rest of the class.

That's it for Monday!  Stop by tomorrow for Tally It Tuesday.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

AND this one!  Erin has great ideas and is fast becoming one of my favorite bloggy buddies.  I am soooo jealous that she is going to the I Teach K conference! 

One last giveaway to celebrate summer!


  1. Oh my gosh-seriously just belted out and sang this song in my apartment by myself!!! Haha! Thanks you for the fabulous tidbits-I am a first grade teacher and take the word wall just as serious as K does! We do things each day to-to really get the kids going with knowing these word wall words. Thanks for doing a post breaking down the days-it is very helpful. I have to get on my reading because I got that book for summer reading and haven't gotten through as much as I would like-I need to start bring it to the pool I think instead of magazines! :)

    Entered your fabulous contest!

    Learning to the Core

  2. WOW! This is wonderful! I love how you have the kids color the words! So cute!!

  3. Great ideas! I also went to the dungeon, where old text books were kept. I have the kids search through them and highlight words in there. Put those old text books to use!! The kids love it.