My classes always get so excited to track their progress and to see those boxes filled with stickers! That's what I thought to make a unit around this poster chart. It is a great tool for the teacher not only for the motivation it inspire in students, but also because by a simple look, you can see who needs extra support.
This package contains all you need to start the school year motivating your students to learn their sight words. It is EDITABLE. Once it's assembled it measures approximately 22" by 25". It is made by gluing together six sections, printed on 6 letter-size pages (landscape orientation).
Use the poster this way: Type your students’ names, print, and assemble. Tip: once it's assembled, paste to bulletin board paper to make it stand out. As students start to lean more and more sight words, they earn stickers (I use those stars from the dollar store) that they place themselves on the poster by their name. In my classroom, when students earn 5 stars (20 sight words), they pick a prize from the treasure chest, but this is up to you.
- Hand-outs for parents with four lists of sight words (editable, just type the sight words from your school district). In our district, the sight words are divided in four quarters. If this format is different from your school, please contact me and I will be very happy to adjust it to your needs
- List of activities and games parents can play with their children to help them learn the words (included).
- Recording/assessment sheets. Use these when assessing by checking off the words they recognize. Send this report home so parents know what words they need to work on (it has the words from my district, but you can edit this accordingly).
- List of challenging activities for those children who have already learned the sight words. Many times these children can quickly recognize the words while reading, but they cannot spell them correctly when they write, so these activities are helpful with that area.
- Incentive cards (half page, color and B&W). You can give these to students if you want them to have at hands a way of tracking their learning, besides the poster. This is something they can keep at their desk or in their folders. When they learn 5 sight words they get a sticker they can place on one of the boxes, until all the boxes are filled.
- 4 different certificates (half page), color and B&W (editable, just type students name and date).
Like I said, this is a great tool to motivate your students, but also it motivates me to have my whole class reach their potential. Even my low expectancy students have in the past reached the 50 mark, and passed it. When I look at the poster and see some students with only a few stars, it tells me I have to do something about it. I never give up! So, I start looking for additional ways to help these students. For instance, I send sets of laminated flash cards home. I ask my high students who already know the sight words to practice with their peers who need extra support. When I have middle school students coming to volunteer in my class, guess what? I have them to pull my students and help them with sight words flash cards or games. Additionally, I add more sight word activities to our literacy centers; assign sight word targeted activities in our computer program (we use Destination Success); and look for different resources, such as videos, songs, anything that target the sight words they have difficulty with. Above all, I keep a closer eye on these students to ensure that they make progress, even if it's slow, it's okay as long as they are moving forward.
Of course, sometimes there is something else going on, like learning disabilities, and don't I know that! As a mother of a dyslexic boy, I know that sometimes sight word recognition is painful for kids like my son. The key is looking for multisensory materials and resources. In my son's case, he was able to recognize sight words by focusing in just a few at the time, and using letter tiles to spell the words. Nowadays they are great apps for sight words, and so many computer games. The progress these kids make is painfully slow sometimes, but it is progress, and I take that! Even if it takes them longer, I don't care as long as they get there!
As always, thank you for reading! Enjoy your week!