Wednesday, June 15, 2016

How 100% of my class met the sight word goal

This year was a year of more.  More expectations, more rigor (blech!) and more curriculum.  The biggest change of all is that we will have to use a packaged curriculum for both reading and math for the first time in years and years.  With fidelity.  All of it.  I've tried to stay positive but it is so hard knowing that my students leave kindergarten happy readers, happy mathematicians,  and lovers of school but that may change.  My students meet standards AND have a fun kindergarten experience.  I've been so overwhelmed that I've neglected this blog and haven't done a lot of Pinteresting because I know I can't use much of it. 

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.