Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sight Word Strategy

I love strategies that are "quick and dirty" and cheap! This is a simple strategy to have children practice one or two sight words that are giving them trouble.

Simply get a washable marker and write the word on the child's hand. Make sure to write it so that the word faces the child when the child looks down at her hand. Now remind the child that every time she looks at her hand, she needs to read the word.

This simple strategy gives the child numerous opportunities to target that word throughout the day. She can practice it on her own. She can read it in line to specials, she can read it in line from specials, she can read it in line to lunch, etc., etc., etc. The beauty of it is that it not only prompts the child to remember her sight word, but it also quickly prompts staff to ask her to read the word. It offers lots and lots of repetition within just one day!

And I have to tell you, it works. For the life of me, I could not remember my PIN to check out books from the library and our school librarian forever had to look up my number. The little girl whose hands are pictured here heard us go through it one day and she told me "If you can't remember it, you need to write it on your hand!" Since I do it for my students, I figured, I'd better be willing to do it for myself, especially since she called me out and it was a situation that mirrored when I use the strategy for them! Do you know, since then, I have remembered that crazy PIN?

If you are going to use this strategy, you will want to check with parents first to make sure they are okay with you writing on their child's hand. You also want to make sure to ask the child's permission. After all, you are writing on THEIR body and it IS pretty blatant. I would never want to use a strategy that embarrasses a child. Most of my students this year are okay with it, however, I have 2 students who tell me "no" they don't want me to write on their hands and I respect that. For those students we don't use this strategy.