Sunday, 26 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Sight Word Squirt

I love having kidlets up and moving, especially outside!  The change of scenery is often exciting and engaging for them, and a bit of sunshine and fresh air can help to clear their minds after time inside the classroom.  Today's sight word activity is one that you will definitely want to do outside. :)

'Sight Word Squirt' is the perfect summertime activity, although here in Queensland we can play it pretty much all year except in the middle of winter. :)  It's super easy to set up and lots of fun!

Simply write your focus sight words with chalk on a patch of concrete path.  Press kind of heavily because the words are going to get wet and you don't want them to wash off!  If you don't have a path outside your classroom, try writing on an outside wall or blu-tacking laminated words to a fence.  Now you'll need something to squirt water with - a water pistol or empty cleaning bottle are the best.  
Playing is easy! Words are called out by either the supervising adult or another kidlet.  The child/ren with the squirter shoot the word on the path!  You can give kidlets a turn one at a time, or make this a competitive game by having 2 players and seeing who can squirt the word first. :)  Depending on how much energy you want to burn, you could also have them run a short distance to get to the words, which also gives them a bit more time to think about which word they'll shoot.  

One tip - make sure you have access to water in case your water pistols or bottles become empty! You'll need a tap close by or some bottles to top up with.

I hope this is an idea that you can add to your sight word teaching bag of tricks!  

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Sight Word Hide & Seek

Hello again! I'm stopping by today with another interactive sight word activity that you can (hopefully!) use in your classroom.  

This activity is one that is perfect to use during your whole class teaching time.  It's also a great time-filler if you ever have 5 extra minutes that haven't been planned for. :)  I call it Sight Word Hide & Seek!

As you can see I use my pocket chart to play this game - but you really don't need one!  Blu-tacking the words to a white board or wall is just as effective.  To prepare this activity you just need some cards with your focus words written on them.  I use the flash cards I already have - you've probably got some made up, too!  On the back of 4 cards you want to tack on some little characters for your kidlets to find.  I used monsters but you can use any images that fit your classroom or current theme.

The aim of the game is for all of the monsters (or whatever) to be found.  Kidlets take turns to ask the question "Is there a monster behind ____?"  Flip the card around to reveal if there is or not.   (This is a great time to create a bit of drama just for fun!)  When a monster is found everyone cheers and whoever asked the question basks in their 5 seconds of fame. :)  Keep playing until all of the monsters have been found!  Usually this game is nice and quick so you'll have a chance to play a few rounds at a time.  Just turn your board around (or have your class cover their eyes) to hide the monsters again. 

My class loves this simple game - I'm sure yours will too!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Sight Word Sunday! Tower of Power

Sight words are a super important part of the learning our kidlets do in their first year of school.  Due to their frequency in simple texts, and the fact that many can't be decoded by 'sounding out' the letters, it's so crucial that little learners have a bank of words they can recognise instantly when they're reading.  We need to work on sight words every day.  The only problem? Sometimes sight word activities can be a little *cough* boring.  Sometimes it's tricky to think of hands on, engaging tasks that our kidlets will be excited to try, and that also flash those important words in front of their eyes as many times as possible.  To help you out, I'm going to stop by on Sundays and share a simple idea that you can use to spice up your sight word teaching time each week!

First up, my all-time favourite sight word activity: Tower of Power!

All you need to play this game are a bunch of plastic cups with sight words written on them.  I use about 40 cups with 10 words per set - that way each word is seen and read multiple times.  Just give each group of kidlets the set that contains the words they need to practise.  The best way to store your cups is in empty Pringles tubes. :)  Writing words on cups is a great job to give parent helpers, too!

Tower of Power can be played in pairs, small groups, or individually. Kidlets take turns to choose a cup, read the word and add it to the tower.  If the tower falls, all the cups go back into the pile and the game starts again.  The aim is to have all the cups built into a tall tower!  I use this game as a literacy centre activity, then add it to 'Fast Finisher' tubs for the following weeks.

I hope you'll try playing Tower of Power in your classroom! Please let me know if your kidlets enjoy it. :)