Sight Word Practice : 3 EASY, LOW-PREP WAYS

Hello there friends! This week, I am on Easter/Spring Break, and it's been GLORIOUS! I have time to work on my blog, and other aspects of my life! I also have the chance to reflect over the past quarter of the school year, and prepare for the final stretch. I can't believe it's already here! Today, I am going to share three activities I use to help my students practice those tricky sight words that we are learning! I know this last part of the year we will all be pushing to get our students as high as they can be before enter the next grade, and these things have worked to help my students recognize and make their sight words!


1. SPLAT
Splat is one of my FAVORITE games for the classroom, and can be used in about any subject imaginable! Best of all, it NEVER GETS OLD for the students (at least for my kinders!). I purchased a few of these colored pointers from the Target Dollar Spot this past summer, and we love using these to point to our sight words!


The concept of Splat is that you put whatever you want your students to practice up on the wall or board (sight words, for me), and the students come up two at a time to race against each other to point to (or cover, if you use fly swatters) the correct answer. So, how I use this game is, I create two teams. Then, I pick one student from each team to come to the board. I say a sight word that I've placed on the board, and the students have to find that sight word and point to it. Whoever points to it first correctly, gets a point for their team. Then, the game continues for however long you want!


The cards that the words are on are my word wall cards, that I've pulled off and put on the board. But I've also done it where they point to the word on the word wall! It's a great time-filler activity if you finish something five minutes early, while still keeping them learning!

2. SIGHT WORD PUZZLERS

This is a fun literacy center that can be used over and over again! My students LOVE puzzles, so I made sight word puzzles! This activity is the most prep-heavy out of the three, but still, it's pretty easy! Begin by writing the words on these word strips (from the dollar store). Try to write the letters with a little space in between, because then, I cut them into pieces in fun designs, to make puzzles! I also used different colors for different words, to help them look for the right letters.


Once your words are cut into puzzles, just place them in a literacy center and have your kiddos go to work! You could start with just a few, to help them discover strategies to use, etc. Then add more to practice lots of sight words! They work together to make the sight words.


And then, I made a quick little recording sheet that they write the words they make on the paper! It's just for accountability purposes, so they're little half-sheets! It helps me see who works hard to make the words, and who isn't doing their "job" (like the student below, who is drawing stars, instead of writing words ;) This activity really helps the students build awareness of the letters in the sight words, so they can master writing those words, not just recognizing them.


3. BUILD AND BUZZ

I call this game Build and Buzz, because students work together in groups to build a sight word that I say, then buzz in! I created this game, because my school has this "Eggspert" game, and I knew my kinders would love being able to use something new and different to practice the same skills!


I split my class into groups of three, and gave each group a bowl of letter tiles. I set up this buzz-in style game, and we got started! See, super low-prep! Easy peasy! The students each got a turn to buzz in, as a "practice." I knew this was necessary or pandemonium would have broken out! I also made sure that each student got equal chances to buzz in for their team, during the game.


After the introductions, rules (no slamming on the buzzer, no buzzing in when you're not supposed to, all the things that a student could POSSIBLY do to break this game!), and practice, we got started! I said a sight word, and the groups had to work together to build that word with their tiles. Once they thought they had it correct, they would buzz in and I would check. If they were right, the game would stop, and I would award that team one point. If they were incorrect, I'd clear their buzz-in and they would all keep working. The first team to buzz in with the correct spelling, wins a point!


This game could totally be adapted to what you have! You could do the same thing, and have a student raise their hand if their team has it. Or, they could start singing a song. Or, whatever you can think of to make it fun and exciting! Again, practicing these skills is going to help all your students, from the ones who are just learning English, to the highest-leveled in your class!

(Don't forget to pin this post so you can find it again!! Use the image above!)
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If you stuck with me to the end of this post, THANK YOU! I appreciate you so much!! I wanted to share a FREEBIE with you all! I have a new free product in my TpT store that is perfect for the lower elementary grades! It's a "Label and Color" activity that has three different forms, so you can differentiate what your students need, but they all still look the same! It's an awesome center activity, and is a great way to see how your students can segment the phonemes in words and put those phonemes into writing! Click the picture to get your freebie!


What do you do to help your students practice their sight words in your classroom?! Let me know in a comment, or tag me in a picture of what you do on Instagram! I'd love to get some more ideas!!

Much Love, Allie
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Sharing Tips, Ideas, and Lesson Plans from the 100th Day of Kindergarten!

The 100th Day...it's a day we count up to each year, it's the teacher's milestone of *WE'RE ON THE DOWNHILL SLOPE*, and it's a day where our classrooms flip upside down to celebrate being 100 days smarter! Every day, from about day 89 to day 100, my kindergarteners would walk in the classroom and check our number line FIRST THING to see how close we were to 100. They were SO excited, and I couldn't wait to share our 100th Day together!


Our whole school wanted to do something to celebrate the 100th Day school-wide, so we had all our students make pictures using the 1 0 0, and we posted them outside our doors for the 100th day! I also made a sign that was up when my students came in the morning!



I gave the challenge to put 100 things on a shirt to wear on our 100th Day! During our Morning Meeting, we showed off what we created! I'm surprised at how creative they were! Here are a few of my favorites!

After our morning meeting, where we also counted to 100 using our number line, and celebrated that we were 100 days smarter, we made this really fun chart together! I did this last year as well, and it's a lot of fun to hear each child's unique ideas and imagination! This idea came from Doodlebugs Teaching.


Then, we went outside and estimated/counted 100 steps. When we were finished, we tried to write 100 words! We didn't quite get there, but they worked hard and worked together!


After a 20 minute snack/play break, we began our 100's Day centers! We had four centers that we rotated through. The first one was with me! We made a gumball machine craft where we painted 100 dots on our paper plates. This craft came from Ashley Reed's 100th Day Hoopla Freebie!


The second center was filling in a blank 100's chart! We've been working on that for the past few weeks, and it's always a good time to practice it! Some students needed a bit more guidance, so I let them use a filled in chart to help. But, others were lickety-split and did it all on their own!


For the third center, my assistant teacher helped the students make 100 Day Crowns! They turned out SO ADORABLE! I printed out Maria from Kinder-Craze's 100th Day Hat template from her TpT store, and we pasted it on a piece of construction paper for each child. They got to decorate the 100 circles on the hat however they wanted- stickers, markers, etc. Then, we attached them to strips of paper and they became hats the kids could wear the rest of the day!

The final center was the fan-favorite! Making towers out of 100 cups ( and getting to knock them down!)! It's so simple, yet the students LOVE it!


I also had two early-finisher activities ready, just in case. I had a "100 Year Old Self- Portrait" activity and I also made 100s chart puzzles! These were lifesavers for those students who like to rush through everything!

After our centers, we went out for a class picture in our crowns! How cute are they!?!

I also had a 100th Day snack prepared (but forgot to snap a picture!). I did the super simple carrots and cucumber- 1 carrot stick for the 1 and two cucumber rounds as the 00s. It was really cheap, and something easy I could do in Tanzania! :)

We also had SO much fun using the Oldify app to see what we might look like at 100 years old! 5 going on 50, missing teeth and all ;)

At the end of the day, we made a quick list of what we've learned so far! It was really sweet to hear from them what they remember, and what has stuck! Sorry for the bad picture!

I seriously LOVE my kindergarten class! I have felt like, just in the past couple weeks, our classroom community has gotten so much stronger and they've really come together as a unified group!

What do you do to celebrate the 100th Day of School?! Let me know in the comments! Also, use this picture below to pin this post, if you think these ideas might be helpful!
Much Love, Allie
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Teaching in a Place where Termite Mounds Abound...

Last year, as it was my first year living and teaching in a different country, I got very caught up in focusing on what resources I DON'T have, searching endlessly on Pinterest for alternatives with no avail. But, this year, something just CLICKED! I realize what I don't have, but I can't change it. I choose to focus on finding my own alternatives! Today's not-so-normal material of choice...Termite Mound Dirt!

If you're not sure what a termite mound is, see exhibit A:
source: http://www.thomsonsafaris.com/blog/termites-tanzanian-treat/
The history curriculum my school uses is called Mystery of History. It incorporates the Bible timeline with the historical timeline, and it's really cool because it loops! There are four (I think!) books in the series and the teachers teach from wherever the class is at! It was hard to wrap my mind around trying to teach my Kinders from this book, because it's meant for older grades. But, I take one lesson per week and use it as our theme. I look online for supplements as well. This particular theme was Stonehenge. So, a fellow missionary recommended we make a clay from termite mound dirt to create stonehenge models!


It might sound a bit weird, if you think about what you're working with. But if you don't think about it, it's just like normal dirt! We broke the mound into small pieces of dirt and added water to make a clay/mud. Then, we tried to make Stonehenge on our paper plates like what we've seen pictures of!


Some turned out better than others, but my kindergartners had fun playing with the mud and trying their hand at sculpture! It's definitely a great sensory experience!


I recommend doing this activity OUTSIDE because it is MESSY! But, the neat thing is, once you're done building your sculpture, and you let it sit in the sun for a day, it becomes as hard as a rock! Quite the interesting material, huh?! ;)


My students really enjoyed the hands-on experience of making these Stonehenge models! It's a cheap, easy alternative that is a little wacky, but works! What wacky materials have you used recently?

One of the plans I have for my blog is to have lots of these "alternative materials" ideas for those who don't have access to all kinds of materials! So, if you're a teacher living in a developing country like me, subscribe and keep reading!

Much Love, Allie
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