Thursday, December 1, 2016

Fun with Fluency!


The most important part of teaching is making sure your students are engaged and having fun!  This becomes especially challenging during these weeks leading up to Christmas and Winter Break  At least that's my opinion! :)

It's just my style in my classroom to make everything a game... because kids LOVE games!

Several years ago,  I started to create "Go Fish" and "Uno" style card games for my students.  Since I've been using these games with my students, I've seen a huge increase in the number of sight words my kiddos know by the end of the year.  When I first started teaching first grade, in 1999 (whew, that was last century :) ), the district required all first graders to learn the first 100 sight words.  So that is what I taught!

After a couple of years, and some confidence in myself as a teacher, I realized I was limiting my kids.  I started expanding the list in my classroom and raising the bar!  My students loved the challenge and soon, I was expecting them to know at least 150 sight words.  Now all of my students are exposed to at least 200, but many surpass this goal.

I'm sure you have tricks you use in your classroom, and in my classroom the trick is games!
This is one of my favorite and most versatile resources!  I created several themes, but of course, this is the one I'm putting in my Word Work tubs this month!

This resource includes 5 sets of 20 sight words...the first 100 Dolch Sight Words.  I can differentiate which words I want which group of students to use when playing a variety of games.  Students can play independently (matching / concentration), in pairs or small groups!  I love the variety!






I teach my students how to play a variety of games.  Then as the season changes, the cards change, the words may change, but the game stays the same!  So they always know how to play (in theory ;)

I'm not limited to just sight words either!  I still have some students working on sounds and blending sounds.  Here is one of my games that focuses on those pesky Nonsense Words!  



I found that my kiddos were stumped at having to read words that didn't make sense!  So, we started practicing.  This is, of course, great phonemic awareness practice and builds confidence and fluency! Now, they read those Dibels and Aimsweb Nonsense words with ease!

If your students like to play games, click on the pictures above to check these resources out for your classroom!

I hope your students enjoy Playing to Learn!