Friday, October 10, 2014

Resources for Teachers: Sight Word Recognition Game

With this week's posts on The Yellin Center Blog, we welcome a new blogger to our Yellin Center team - Learning Specialist Renée Jordan, M.A. Ms. Jordan's blogs will include tools and techniques for teachers and parents that she developed as a classroom teacher, as well as reviews of apps, books, and other resources.

On a Roll
On a Roll is a game I developed as part of the language arts curriculum for my students in kindergarten and first grade. Sight words are a small group of words (approximately 300-500) that account for large portions of the common texts we read. For example, words such as: this, that, then, he, she, and etc are considered sight words. Due to their high frequency, it is critical that students cultivating early literacy skills develop their sight word recognition skills. 

Description of Game

On a Roll provides a fun, engaging way for students practice their sight word recognition. The game is fully customizable, thus allowing educators to alter the grid to include sight words that are specific to your students’ needs. Furthermore, peer collaboration is a great strategy for reinforcing learning. Therefore, having students work in pairs and use their peers as support when identifying sight words that challenge them will also be beneficial.

In my own classroom, I have used On a Roll as an independent, stand alone lesson, as an "early finisher" activity, and as one activity in my literacy centers. Furthermore, I found that my students really enjoyed and benefited from the activity and wanted to make permanent game boards for my classroom. As a result, I made multiple game boards with all the sight words I wanted my students to master by the end of the year and laminated them. My students were then able to use dry erase markers on the game boards, which were easily cleaned at the end of each lesson. 

Materials Needed
  • One handout per every two students. You can download the handouts here (for page 1) and here (page 2), or create your own.
  • 1 die per two students
  • Pair students with a partner and distribute materials.
  • Explain the rules of the game and highlight the text at the bottom of the game board where the students can refer to the rules in case they forget.
  • Each partner will take a turn rolling the die
  • They will then find the sight word that corresponds with the number rolled
  • Then the student will locate the sight word on the game board and color it in
  • The first student to color in an entire row is the winner

Allow the students time to play the game. If time is left, have the students find a new partner and play again. Alternately, you could make multiple game boards with a variety of sight words your students need to master. Therefore, when they have completed a round of play they could attempt a new word list.

How this game aligns with Common Core Standards:

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