Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sight Words Motivation System

Hello, all!  It's Angela from The Organized Plan Book.  I am here to chat with you about sight words.

Do you need motivation to get your kids learning their high-frequency words? You aren't alone.

This year is by far my biggest reading challenge I have had in my teaching career.  I teach a 5th/6th combo for students with special needs.  Of my nine students, four have dyslexia.  Eight are reading and writing significantly below grade level (I am talking some on a first/second grade level). Yikes.

Their difficulty reading causes them to just not be motivated to learn these words.  I will fully admit...I am still working through the process...trying to implement effective strategies for helping my kiddos.

But for now, I wanted to share the motivational strategy that is working well with my students this year.  Regardless of what level your students are working on, I believe this universal strategy would work well in most classrooms.

As I am sure many of you can relate...my students LOVE video games.  For sight word practice, I decided to create a prize system that has different levels to beat, much like a video game.  Here's how it works.

Each sight word list is broken down by grade level.  Within that grade, there are five different levels of words.  Students never receive more than 12 words at a time.  They are given their word list on a ring.

The word lists are specifically targeted to each student's ability level, and the children never know what level another student is learning.  This helps keep everyone differentiated and motivated.

The lists are kept in little pockets in the writing center.  Students know they can always grab their list throughout the day.
After taking this picture I realized it was essentially pointless because the students checked out their sight word rings for a writing assignment.  Then, I forgot to take an updated picture after they were all back in their spot.  My apologies...at least you can drool over the one ring that is left in its pocket! :)

Next, I created my themed prize boards.  Students all begin at the bottom with level one, regardless of which sight word list they are working on.

When a child masters his or her list, that student receives the prize for that level, then proceeds to move up to the next level.  Once the entire class masters all five levels on the board, the entire class gets the grand prize for that motivation board.

For this movie themed board, the students will win a movie afternoon once the whole class masters all five levels on their list.
Three students have already mastered their Level One words, and have received the first prize.  

What are some ways you are motivating your students to learn their sight words?  Please leave a comment below!  I am anxiously looking for more ideas!

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