During small group time, I am positioned at one of the student tables and am set to review the sight words appropriate for the developmental stage of the group. I use sight word flashcards for this portion of the activity. I work with four students at the table while the rest of the class is working independently at the eight work stations.
Children, we are going to do a little review of the sight words we have learned so far this year. Then after we have had some practice, I have a new game to teach you. This game will help you to memorize your sight words. First, let's go through these flash cards. I will take turns showing each of you a card. Say the word on the card. This is not a contest, so if you do not know the word, I will tell you and ask you to repeat it. With enough practice, you will be able to read these words during the game.
To set up the activity, you will need a large egg carton (We buy eggs by the case, so it is easy for me.), but you could staple four egg cartons together to get a large enough "playing field". You will need dot stickers, a marker, a ping pong ball, pencils and paper. I like to set up stations that do not always require sitting which can be challenging to some students. Adding kinesthetic movement to a reading activity helps to stimulate a different part of the brain and helps to increase memory.
Children, I want to introduce a new game to you. It is called Sight Word Bounce. The game board is made out from a large carton of eggs and dot stickers. See the words that are at the bottom of each section. These are the same sight words that we practiced earlier. Who in the group knows what this is? Yes, I have a ping-pong ball. It is very bouncy, so when it is your turn to bounce the ball, you need to do it softly, like this. (I demonstrate a soft bounce so that the children know about how much force it takes to get the ball to land in one cell of the carton.) What would happen if you bounced the ball too hard? You would be wasting a lot of time chasing the ball. When the ball lands in a cell, you need to try to read the word. If you can read the word,you can have a second turn. If you cannot read the word, you will need to write the word on a piece of paper and take it home for homework practice. (If you can, set up two tables with this game, so that your small group of four can have more opportunities. The more opportunities, the more word practice the students get.)
Are you ready to try Sight Word Bounce? If you get stuck, you can ask your friend for help, but you still need to write the word down.
As part of the assessment, it helps that I am working with the children and can listen to see if they start to pick up the challenging words the more they play the game. Through out the week, I also go over the word lists with each child giving them some one-on-one time. I can track their growth on charts that I have made. Getting into the routine like this helps me to know and diagnose the direction I need to take with the students.