Tuesday, April 3, 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.


Miss Rose said...

This is such a simple yet successful strategy! I cannot believe I hadn't thought of it. Although, before I read that you always asked students before writing on their hands I was skeptical. This will definitely go on the list of things to use! And, I have to say I appreciate all the links you provide! This is my first time on your blog, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back :)

Danielle H said...

What a great idea! Students are constantly using their hands all day long, and they will see the words every time they look down to do something. This seems like a very creative way to help students learn specific sight words they are struggling with. This is definitely something I will be trying with students in the future. Thanks for such an awesome idea!

Mrs. Brown said...

This strategy is such a good idea! I never thought of writing on student's hands. It makes sense,; students are using their hands nonstop through out the day. Having the student read the word silently to themselves every time they use their hand build practice into everything they do during the day. You have some amazing, yet simple, ideas! I'll be following your blog!

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

@Miss Rose, Danielle H., and Mrs. Brown,
Thanks for the comments. :-) I love easy strategies that can be embedded into what's already in place. I feel like it gives the students an extra boost and isn't time intensive for me to prepare.

Heather S said...

This is a great strategy that I have never seen a teacher use. As a future teacher in the field of special education what are some other strategies that I could use in my future classroom to help my students learn their sight words. In my training I have not seen many sight word strategies used in the classroom.

Sarah said...

I really like this strategy! It is creative and effective. Now children can write on their hands in a productive way to help them learn. And after a day with a word on their hand, they will remember that word for good. What a great way to help with those few problem words each student is bound to have!

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

@ Heather S and Sarah,
Thanks for your comments! Heather, check out the post on Individualized Instruction, I do a lot of sight word work during this time. I really believe it helps the children's fluency and then ultimately their comprhension because they are not working so hard to figure out the words. Check back for another post on how I organize their sight word rings. It's a simple way to let them have daily practice and collect your data all in one.

Anonymous said...

Love this idea! You can make the words specific to the student and they are right there. I can see working with a partner to practice other words as well!