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Friday, April 11, 2014

Kindergarten Writing Sight Word Booklet Freebie and something FUN!!

Okay fun first!!
This is a quick Easter project that is perfect for the Friday before the holiday.  It can be done in one period and taken home immediately. If you are looking for something quick and easy this is for you!
For the past several months, my class has been working on writing sentences independently.  This was a progression as many came in knowing only how to write their name and others were not even able to form letters!!
In the very beginning, we simply worked on properly forming letters.  The next stage consisted of copying a sentence, followed by writing sentences from thinking maps. All the while, we worked on interactive writing to model some of the writing processes, such as use of finger spaces, capitals, punctuation and the return sweep etc.

My final step was to model writing a sentence independently.  We did this several times over a course of several weeks.  While I knew some students would have been able to do this task very easily, the majority needed more support.  My procedure involved taking a student suggested sentence and walking the class through my thinking. For example, if a student suggested, "I like to play outside," I would demonstrate that the first four words were on our sight word list and all was needed was to copy these.  The final word "outside" would need to be sounded out slowly and the sounds that were heard written down.  I did not necessarily spell these words correctly. I elicited answers from the children. I wanted to teach students that they would get closer to the correct spelling as they practiced and I wrote the conventional spelling underneath our attempt so they would be used to seeing this. 
The very first time we tried this independently, I had to stop children from copying each other.  So many were very hesitant to attempt this themselves.  Some how I managed to get most to try this independently, but it was not easy. I had to insist and did not accept a paper copied from a neighbor. I wanted each student to use their own mind and skills.  I also ran into some trouble as students could not remember how to spell the needed sight words. Several children wanted to take a walk over the pocket chart where these are kept. And of course, they all needed the same words!(They don't call them high frequency for nothing!)  It was then that I knew I needed to create a booklet containing their sight words. Individual books were really helpful as we learned through the vision and hearing screening that several students have vision problems and a word wall would not be ideal. Besides, who has the wall space? 
Students keep these booklets at their table and use them on writing days.

I am posting this here if you might be interested in using it. Click on the image to download. 

As we continued our writing over the course of the next few weeks, I found that some of the more able student were telling other students they were "doing it wrong." This when when I pulled out Heidi's developmental stages of writing and attached a copy to each child's work.  Each child could see that there are many ways to write nobody so can be "wrong." (This was also a great way for parents to see where their child was on the spectrum.) If you haven't grabbed this already, you should visit her site and snag a copy. 

Enjoy watching your class learn to express themselves through their writing.  
Freebie Fridays