Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sight Word Writing

This sight word strategy is truly an example of how good ideas just keep getting passed along and how many children can benefit from one teacher's great idea.

I have two children who are in second grade and reading at an end of kindergarten level this year.  They need a lot of practice with phonemic awareness skills and sight word mastery.  At this point, they have been exposed to the district curriculum materials so many times; they really need something new.  I'm always keeping my eyes open for them.

A friend of mine who is a kindergarten teacher was telling me she uses this strategy in her classroom.  She got it from another teacher on her team, who in turn got it when she and a group of teachers were working on literacy centers.  Wow!  How many times has it been passed along?  How many kids are learning because of it?  I love that aspect of teachers sharing ideas!

It's very simple.  You take a piece of plastic window screen (can be purchased at Home Depot) and cut it approximately 10 x 13.  Then you use electrical tape to tape off the edges on both sides.  Finally, use a blank sheet of paper or a simple typed up sight word worksheet and some crayons so children can practice writing their sight words "bumpy style."

I have put this in some TEACCH task baskets for these two boys.  I'm also thinking of making some more and adding it to my Daily 5 Working with Words choices.


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Anthony said...

That is a great idea. I worked with physical education students last year and that would be extremely helpful. Another resourceful tool that i have come across is the ipad and ipod. The apps that are available are amazing. One app in particular, Phonics and Reading with McGuffey made by Software for a Better World. This apps allows for letter recognition, individual phonetic components, and applies to visual, kinetic, and auditory learners. There is also a special option for dyslexia readers. This really is a great app and is highly recommended.

Monica Castillo said...

Nice idea! The purpose of the bumpy writing is?

Haroon khan said...

Very nice and very informative blog.this blob also show the relation of the teachers and student.this blog also helpful for the teachers and student life.this blog wants that the student will behave with teachers in good language.

Holly phinney said...

HI! I am your newest follower! I am a special Education life skills teacher! Love your blog! Lots of great information!

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Ivie Sherman said...

I think this is a great strategy as it is multi-modal and incorporates different parts of the brain. I would also suggest having students say the word aloud while writing it.

Lucille Marie said...

I think this blog has alot of good ideas! Thanks for sharing them. If you have access to an iPad, one of the features I think is helpful is using Speak Selection. It allows the student to touch a word or text and then hear it orally. I think this feature can be useful for struggling readers and ELL students. It helps them hear the pronunciation of the word and can improve fluency! The students really enjoy using the iPad as well!

Jess Holmes said...

I've been looking into several different special education advocates and reading a lot of blogs; I found yours to be extremely insightful, thank you!

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Jack Foster said...

Yes, I agree. All of our student's can surely get good benefits from this sight word writing for passing all the different school tests. This idea is such a good way to learned very fast on taking up some exams in school in just an easy way.

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Juliejdc said...

I think this is a great idea! I am just getting out of college and searching for jobs. I am currently up for a Kindergarten and Second grade position so when I saw this idea it really spoke to me! I am always looking for new ways to help, especially being new to the scene. This blog has a lot of great ideas! I will be back! Thank you!

Chelsea said...

I think this is a great sight word activity to use in the classroom. I too love the aspect of teachers sharing ideas. We can learn so much from one another. I just recently finished a long term substitute position in kindergarten and tried to incorporate new activities for the students to do when practicing sight words. I wish I would have seen this idea earlier because I know they would have enjoyed it. This would be a great activity for the tactile learner. I hope to use this during center time in my future classroom.

mrskaplan said...

What a great idea for early writing skills! Thanks.

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OT Perrius said...

Hi. I am an Occupational Therapist working in schools and reviewing online Spec Ed blogs in search of evidence of cross-discipline referencing.
Your 'bumpy writing' is a great example of an OT derived activity without any reference to OT.
Can you explain why 'bumpy writing' is beneficial?

As the primary field that addresses the physiological source of the child's disability, it would behoove everyone to acknowledge and be open to the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to educating these children.
Enjoyed reading your blog

Michelle_special_ed_teacher said...

Hi OT Perrius,

Thanks for your comment!

I use the bumpy writing most frequently with students who are still working to master the dolch sight words. I use it primarily to increase the child's fluent sight word bank so that they can begin to decode passages independently.

Disclaimer: The following is based on my observations and experience with my own students over the last 18 years. It's based on my opinions on what I have found successful.

I have found that when children struggle to master sight words in the typical time frame (usually by the end of first grade); they need more modeling, guidance, practice and repetition. When thinking that we're really only talking about 250 words, this gets tiresome and students can very quickly become disengaged if the teacher doesn't change something with either the delivery or the practice response mode.

I have some pretty standard things for changing up delivery: printed words, flash cards, Heidi Songs, ActiveBoard practice, etc.

The practice response mode can be changed in almost an infinite number of ways: "clap it, snap it, write it, read it," word searches, shaving cream, salt trays, rainbow writing, file folder games, card games such as concentration or war, game boards such as Candy Land with cards changed to reflected the targeted sight words, bumpy writing and more!

I like the bumpy writing because it uses a multi-sensory method of practicing and it involves a measure of student choice.

Multiple senses are used because I ask the students to whisper read their words (auditory), then place their paper with the word model on the screen (visual), and finally trace the word with crayons and write the words with crayons over top of the screen (kinesthetic).

A measure of choice is involved because the students can choose what colors they want and in what order they complete the assignment.

Different ways to learn and practice something that needs a lot of repetition helps students stay engaged in the lesson. I think it also does something to help them "anchor" the knowledge in their brain. (I can cue them to remember a sight word by saying "Remember, this is one of your bumpy words.") I think the child thinks back to that experience and it helps them to remember the word.

I have learned many tips and tricks from OT's that I have worked with. I think many of the "OT activities" involve the kinesthetic learning style as well as auditory and visual....that tends to help many children with learning disabilities, language impairments or intellectual disabilities.

Thanks for Reading!

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