I am a huge believer in sight word memorization. When kids learn sight words, reading becomes (gasp!) easier. And let’s be real, if it’s not such a struggle, they are going to do it more. 🙂 There are so many ways to practice sight words, but I think that the practice should be focused and fun!
So…I’m going to let you know something a little embarrassing about myself. I sing to my kids. A lot. And I talk in the worst accents and voices. Why? Because they think it’s hilarious. And they focus way better when I do it! Seriously, if you ever feel like you are not being listened to, start talking like a pirate. People will listen! They might think you are off your rocker, but they will listen. Not only do my kids like listening to me talk like a fool, they like talking like fools! So I let them, but only when we are practicing reading. You see what I did there?…I let them do something they really want to do, but on my terms. We use these silly voice cards that I made up. Actually, they helped me make them.
Instead of just making them up as I go, I finally put them on paper. And printed them, and put them on ring for easy access. Brilliant? Why thank you, thank you. Just kidding. I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with this, but hey, we can all use a little ego boost every once in a while.
Here are a few examples:
I have this snazzy, super technologically up to date document camera (hey, it’s not the best technology, but it makes my life waaaaay easier) and put up a long list of sight words. I use my light saber (because, I’m a cool teacher like that) and I pick a student who is doing an excellent job of setting an example pick the silly voice that we are going to read in. Let me tell you, friends, my most challenging kids will become angels during this selection time. It’s a miracle I tell you, a miracle! We read, and read, and read on repeat, and when I say it’s time to move on there are groans. GROANS. They love this stuff! My kids are having FUN learning! Cue the “Hallelujah” chorus now!
And if you want to bump it up a notch for those super active kiddos, I also have silly actions. I’m going to be real though, and tell you, I reserve silly actions for special occasions. Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with kids who can get out of control really fast, but that has happened. At least once. Maybe twice. Ok, fine, several times. But if you are feeling brave, those are bundled with the voices 🙂 Enjoy!
In all seriousness, if you want a piece of my classroom magic, click the picture below and go check it out in my store.
What is one way that you get your students excited about reading? Leave a comment below. I can’t wait to hear about them!