Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sight word fluency phrases- PowerPoints & Printables!

Hi friends! I'm here to today to share with you one of my favorite new ways to teach sight words in my classroom. I recently came back to kindergarten after teaching 1st grade for a couple of years. Getting the chance to teach 1st gave me a great opportunity to see what important skills my kindergarten students need to truly be prepared for 1st grade. I have really tried to create more activities this year in my classroom that encourage reading and literacy from the beginning of the school year. I also am working on creating more interactive and visually stimulating activities for my students. My new sight word program strives to encompass all of those skills into one. 
Check out the video below to see it in action: 

So far, this has been an absolute game changer for my students! I already see their reading confidence increasing, and we've only been in school for a short time. 
Let me tell you more about how it works: 

The program that my team uses for sight words goes along with our district's reading/ELA program. We introduce between 1-3 new sight words each week, and the students read little decodable books along with the program. I knew that my students LOVE using pointers and coming up to point to things on our projector screen. So, I created a few fluency phrases for my students to practice reading our weekly words, and put these phrases up on the screen! Well, the results and excitement were incredible! My class responded so well. I turned these phrases into a PowerPoint presentation, and shared with my kinder team so that they could try too. All of the classes and teachers loved it and were having so much fun! 

Each fluency phrase starts with reviewing the sight words that the kiddos already know. The words that will be included in the fluency phrase come up on the screen one slide at a time for review:

Next, the fluency phrase pops up with a "blank" at the end of the sentence, where a picture will go:

Finally, the same phrase comes up with a picture for students to  practice reading. Each phrase includes 5 different pictures/sentences.

I also created PowerPoints that my students will use later in the school year that include the PowerPoint phrases along with CVC words for them to read instead of the picture at the end:

I use these PowerPoints whole class with my kiddos to review and practice. I try to make sure that I do enough different slides so that each kiddo gets a turn to come up and point to the words. I have the student with the pointer read the sentence alone first. Then, I have that student stay up in the front and point to the words again, but this time, the rest of the class reads along with them! 

I've gotten a few questions about why I have the "dots" underneath the whole word rather than underneath the first letter of the word, and I wanted to take some time to address my reasoning for that here. When we are practicing sight words, I want my students to focus less on sounding the words out, and more on keeping track of where they are on the screen or on the page in front of them. I have noticed that over the years, my students tend to touch the middle of the word, or right under the word when they are reading passages. The dots are merely a tool to help them stay focused and have a place to put their finger. There are certainly other ways to practice and encourage tracking, but this is what I have found works best in my classroom. 

In addition, I am training my students with the tracking dots early in the school year, because as the year continues, our reading passages also use dots under the words to help them keep their place. Click on the picture below to read more about those reading passages:

Another way that I like to reinforce sight words in my classroom is through the use of fluency printables in my reading groups:

The phrases on these printables match the fluency phrases on the PowerPoint presentations. My students feel very confident reading these phrases since we have practiced using the pointer on the big screen! When we do these printables together in a group, I have my students read the page 3 times. They color a star at the top each time they finish reading the page. As we are working, I have each student in my group take a turn reading the page individually. The other group members listen and follow along on their own page.

Once we have finished the front of this printable, on the back I give the students the same fluency phrase, but this time with blank boxes. They get to create their OWN sentences. This is so much fun for them! 

My students are super proud of what great readers they are becoming, and I am too! 

Are you ready to try these fluency PowerPoints and printables out in your own classroom to see how your students respond? I created a sample PowerPoint for you, and a printable that matches for you to try with your students. Click on the picture below to download the PowerPoint:

Want to try the printables out too!? Click on the picture below for a sample:

These printables and PowerPoints are currently available on TPT in a bundle with Pre-Primer Dolch sight words. I plan to begin working on Fry words and Primer words in the near future! Click on the picture below to see this pack on TPT:

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading more about my new sight word program! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Big Pumpkin- Sequencing FREEBIE!

Hi friends! I'm here today with a quick post about my FAVORITE Halloween story of all time: Big Pumpkin!

I have used this story with my students EVERY year, and they absolutely love it! I love that it is such a great story to work on story elements with, especially sequencing. We also work on comparing characters, and talk about who the main character and the "hero" is in the story. 
Here is a picture from one of the first times that I used this book about 4 years ago:

There's also a super fun recording of the story told in a song on youtube that I play for my students every year. It's an old recording and there's a "beep" on it so that students know when to turn the page, but I usually just use it whole class during a read aloud. Click below to head over to youtube:

Interested in buying the book on Amazon?
Click on the picture below:

One of my favorite activities to work on with this book is sequencing. The different characters come to try and help the witch pull the pumpkin off the vine. At the end of the story, they eat pumpkin pie together! It is so much fun to put the characters in order, or even act out the story. 
My students love getting to cut out pictures and put them in order:

This year, I thought that it would be fun to make some picture cards for my kiddos to sequence the story in a pocket chart, or even act out the story in small groups:

They LOVED using these cards, and I wanted to share the cards with you as a freebie! Click the picture below to download:

The rest of the activities and printables can be found in my BIG PUMPKIN PACK on TPT:

I hope that you enjoy using this book with your students this season! :)