Sight Word Review
Our sight word for this week is ‘on’ and we are reviewing ‘is’ and ‘the.’ First, I review all sight words we’ve learned so far this year on flashcards. I quickly cycle through my word cards as students read me the words. The last word is always the word(s) we are working on for that week, in this case the last word is ‘on.’
I review the circle map with students, reading the linguistic pattern with the "I touch, you read" prompt. Here is is with a different story, but the strategy/procedure is the same. I touch the words and students read them aloud.
I do this to see who is able to recognize the sight words with automaticity and who is not. It serves as a quick formative assessment. We then add any new ideas that they might have.
When we get to the words 'rat' and 'crate' I ask the students: What can you tell me about the rat and the crate from our story Don't Need Friends?
We have discussed story elements informally all year. Today we will discuss them more formally and document them. As we do, we develop a brief oral retell of Don’t Need Friends.
To help the process along, I show the kids the pictures in the book to help guide them. We then record, whole group, the character, setting, problem and solution for the story.
I point to the first item on the story elements paper. (characters) I ask: Boys and girls, who are the characters in our story? The students may start naming all of the characters and if they do I redirect: Who are the two characters we read about the most in the story? Who did we see/hear about on almost every page? (rat, dog) When we encounter certain characters throughout the story and on almost every page, we call them the MAIN CHARACTERS. Everybody say MAIN CHARACTERS. (students echo)
I have the kids help me write the words. Say: Boys and girls, who are the characters in our story? (rat, dog, etc.) Let’s write ‘Rat.’ How do we write /r/? (R) How do we write /a/? (a) How do we write /t/? (t) Excellent! R-a-t spells rat. As the students give me the letters, I write them in the "characters" circle. I follow the same pattern for the word "dog" and for the setting. (junkyard)
For ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ we write a phrase or sentence. I refer the kids to the word wall for sight words and we sound out other words that we need, following the same procedure as we did for character names. If they do not know a letter sound, I have them look at our sound spelling cards and guide them to the correct sound spelling.
I ask: What was the problem of the story? (The rat was lonely and said he didn't need friends.) I prompt: Who can find the word "the" on our word wall? That is a sight word. Who can come up and point to it for me?
I continue: Now let's write "rat" just like we did for the character's section. How do we write /r/? (R) How do we write /a/? (a) How do we write /t/? (t) Excellent! R-a-t spells rat.
I follow the same procedure for the rest of the sentence/phrase for both the problem and solution boxes.
I remind students that we are going to write using our sight words 'is,' on' and 'the' and they can use the characters or settings from the story in their sentences if they'd like. I say: Even if you sentence and picture is silly like "The dog is on the sandwich" that is OK!
Thinking Aloud and Modeling
I review the circle map and my journal page from yesterday. Say: Boys and girls, help me read my sentence. I touch, you read. Ready? As I touch the words, the students read them aloud. If they need help, I read the word and they echo me.
Then I turn to a clean page and think aloud: What should I draw and write about today? I think I will draw the rat on the sandwich. (the rat and dog share a sandwich at the end of the story and show they are friends)
I model using words from the circle map and stretching/sounding out words to help me write my sentence. I model this along with thinking aloud so that kids can see and hear what the writing process entails.
Students then go to their desks and use the circle map(s) to write their own sentence. I used items from our story in my sentence, but the kids can also pull basic words off of our circle map and use those, as well.
Because many of my students are beginning English speakers, they are more comfortable using words that are familiar and/or manageable for them (pencil, desk, etc.) rather than the more difficult words that are found in our story.
I also do repeated writing using the same linguistic pattern to help my students develop fluency with not only the reading and writing of these high frequency words, but it also helps them develop automaticity with their usage!