Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year Strategies for Sight Words

I've had requests from conference attendees on how to use the Quick Time files on their Smart Boards or Interactive Whiteboards (IWB).  Read below for a "How to Guide" on operating the files.  If you follow the steps below, you will love the ease and management when compared to a Power Point file.  Don't have a Smart Board, IWB, or student computers?  Keep reading after the "technology" directions, and I will show you how to do it "low tech."

How many of your students struggle with learning those words that do not follow the rules.  Many are high frequency words found on many word walls throughout the United States.  Last December, while on an airplane, I was going through my students' checklist of known sight words from our word wall.  It was very consistent that most were missing the words that could not be read phonetically.  

When my students struggle, I try to think of a strategy that will help them learn, recall, and retain information.  Singing, movement, hands-on activities, along with integrated technology can help children learn and retain new concepts including those troublesome high frequency words.  We call them Outlaw Words at my school because they "do not follow the rules."  

So in the holiday tradition, The Twelve Days of Christmas just popped into my head and "The Outlaw Words" song was born.  I took the words from my word wall list that did not follow the rules and put them to this familiar tune.  I ordered them so they would be repeated frequently to help with memorization.  I also color-coded them in phrases to give it a visual connection too.  The result was a new song from my CD "Growing Dendrites with Kathy Griffin"  (c) 2011.  

Here is a picture of the multimedia file (4 of the 14 slides) that I made to go with the song.  I show it on my Smart Board, but it is applicable to any IWB  (Interactive Whiteboard), as long as you have Quick Time on your computer.  It can also be used with a digital projector or student computer.  The IWB allows students or teacher to control the file by using the tools at the bottom of the screen as in the following pictures. On your student computers, the students use the mouse to click the play-pause button.

This is the 6th slide. When we get to the "what do you want" part, the children stand up, throw their hands in the air, and shout - "What do you want?" - Then quickly sit back down.   Since that line comes into play 8 times, it keeps the children moving and learning, giving them much needed movement opportunities.  And of course, it is their favorite part of the song. Kathy Griffin (c) Copyright 2011

Slide 13 - The song continues in a repetitive fashion. We sing the song various ways:  together, by rows, boys vs. girls. They like the competition.  I remind that readers look at the words while reading. Sometimes we point to the words across the screen as they appear. Kathy Griffin (c) Copyright 2011.

Refer to the red box for strategies we use in our classroom to
reinforce learning the "Outlaw Words." Using this multimedia file on the Smart Board or IWB makes  a great literacy station too.  I partner my children up, and they look for phonics patterns, practice spelling the words, or change the words to make new words all while operating it independently. During literacy centers, I turn the volume off, so they work directly with the words. 
Kathy Griffin (c) Copyright 2011

Remember that when you purchase the Quick Time file, it can be put on your student computers.  Then your students will have a chance to practice during Readers' Workshop or during "Read to Self" or "Listen to a Book" if you are doing the Daily Five.

You can purchase the Quick Time file of The Outlaw Words from my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for $3.00. I am selling each multimedia file individually, so you can purchase "what you need - when you need it."

"Low Tech" The Outlaw Words - BOOKS!!!

So you want all of this technology, but don't have it yet?  No worries!  You can purchase the mp3 version of the song to play in your listening center or on your CD player.  I made a book set that includes an 8 1/2 X 11 size version for whole group of the listening center, along with a 1/2 size book to use during guided reading.  There is a flip book version included which students can cut apart and make a fun flip book of the song along with a song file folder that I use to put in my students reading folder. The mp3 song is $1.00 and the book set is $4.00.  I found CD players at Target for less than $10.00 and let individual students who need extra practice use these CD players during Read to Self or Independent Reading time.


You have to have games to go with everything:)  I made a Game and Activity Pack and am releasing it for a short time at $5.00.  It includes the following:

There are 139 pages in this game/activity pack.  That averages out to 39 cents an activity.

These are actual sample activities from the packet.  You can purchase this packet on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store:

Check back again for pictures of the activities during my Readers' Workshop time and learn how I use another song from "Growing Dendrites with Kathy Griffin."

Thanks for stopping by!

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