Wednesday, November 12, 2014

sight words

I've been doing a Tier 3 intervention with a kiddo for months....we worked together last year for about two months, and now this whole school year. I've been using Intensive Phonics with him, so he's learned tons of phonics rules! 42 sounds, silent e, adjacent vowels, R-controlled vowels, Pig-Pen sounds (oi/oy, au/aw, etc) and more that are slipping my mind right now.

We finally got to sight words and I've learned something new that I thought I should share with you!

But before I get to that... how do you all keep anecdotals on sight words? I gave him a quick spelling test today, keeping track of what he spelled correctly and noting his errors - that way I will know what I need to teach. Then tomorrow, I'm going to quiz him on the words he learned today, and then just keep track on a chart. Here's what mine looks like so far (I've only kept info on it for two days...)

Okay so back to what I learned today:

This program teaches kids to look for what is *right* about the sight words. Take for example, the word come...

There are three sounds in this word: /c/ /o/ /m/.

The initial consonant follows the rule - it's a hard c, like usual.
The silent e on the end is following the silent e rule - well, part of it (it doesn't make the o long...).
Which means the ending sound, /m/, is also correct.

So then, the reason we have to teach this as a sight word is because the o says short u, when it should say long o.

Today, my kiddo and I looked carefully at two words: do and has. We talked about what is right about them (do=initial sound; has= initial sound, short vowel). Then I taught them that there are irregularities with these words, which is why we have to memorize them and learn them by sight.

We then used Jan Richardson's four routines for sight words:

1. What's missing
2. Mix and Fix
3. Table Writing
4. Notebook Writing

Finally, I began a bag of word cards for him to take and practice.

I'm hoping all of this helps! He's gotten so much better about writing words he doesn't think he knows, and it's in large part to Intensive Phonics. This is a great Tier 3 Intervention...and I think you can see more about it here. (One of my former principals shared it with me...I'm pretty sure this is the same!)

What tricks do you have for sight words? I'd love to enhance my instruction even more, so leave a comment and let me know!


  1. Two comments: Could you come teach in my school? Or, could I come teach with you? Thank you for sharing your lessons with us so that we can learn from you (even when I'm in another state!).

    1. So sweet! I would love to work together :-) How cool would it be if all of us blogger friends had a school together?!

  2. I used to do a before-school intervention group on sight words and phonics (in a previous life) and we did a lot of poems with sight words--we did a shared reading and they pretty much memorized it and would be able to read it with 1:1 correspondence with the sight words in context. Kids love reciting stuff or singing it and they get to practice the words without even realizing it ;)

    hope that helps,
    Ventaneando: A Window Into First Grade Bilingüe

    1. Such a great idea Adriana, thanks for sharing :-)

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