One big positive this year is my group of students. I had 21 of the coolest, sweetest, and hardest working students. We started the year with zero readers and now they are rocking it! Part of becoming good readers is knowing a healthy amount of sight words. I needed a differentiated tool that would motive students to learn more and more words.
Enter Word Wallets!
They work like this...Students each get a Wallet and List 1 of words. They also take a list home to their families to practice. My kiddos practiced those words during Word Work at school. I checked in with them a few times a month to see what words they have mastered. I highlighted the known words and the kids continued to practice the unknown words until the entire list was mastered and they graduate to the next list.
It worked like a charm! My class was super motivated to learn words and to speed through the lists. By the end of the year, I had kids who had learned over 600 words! 100% of my class learned the required 40 words set by my district.
Next year, we'll be using Journeys 2017 and my students will have to learn 88 words (yikes!). I adapted the Word Wallets to work the same way. If you want to check out Word Wallets and try them for yourself, click here.
I included the Kindergarten Journeys Words, the First Grade Journeys Words (for kids who are ready for a challenge), a Teacher Check Sheet (a master list of what words each student knows), a Take Home Letter and labels to make your own Word Wallets.