Hello, fellow educators!
Aren’t we all excited that it is almost the Fall season? Temperatures have dropped to the 50s and 60s in the early morning, and in the afternoon, it is no longer as hot, which for me is just perfect. I know that we teachers have so many other things to be excited about. By now, we know all the names of our kids, we see them getting more and more familiar with the everyday routine, and we’re seeing all these interesting personalities come out. Most importantly, we now know what activities seem to keep them engaged and on task.
These past few weeks, I did a lot of phonics and sight word activities with my 1st grade ESOL kids. My goal was for them to become familiar with the short vowel sounds plus the sight words that are included in our district-mandated curriculum framework. Since I have a number of beginning ELLs, I have to make sure they do these tasks either with a partner or in a group. I am excited to share with you these collaborative phonics and sight word activities that we have been doing so far:
1. “Pick a stick and read it.” I used multi-colored popsicle sticks with the sight words and short vowel sounds labeled on the edges and placed them in tiny buckets. Each student picks a stick and reads the word that’s written on it. Then he shows the word to his classmates and everybody reads the word. If he/she is unable to read it, the student chooses a classmate to help him or her read the word. This seems like a very simple activity which we usually do on the carpet, but it is fun for them. I have seen many variations of collaborative activities made by teachers using popsicle sticks. Just search Pinterest!
2. “Teacher of the Day.” I usually assign a student-teacher to lead the class in reading our set of words for the week. Everybody is just excited for their turn to be the teacher of the day. They love to use my pink pointer!
3. Phonics and sight word game cards. I have a few that I created myself and some that are available as free downloads on my favorite site: www.havefunteaching.com. This is always a fun collaborative activity for them. Just make sure you are assigning a leader who can facilitate the game and check their answers. Click on the following links to download these freebies:
4. Sight Word Bingo Cards. The internet abounds with free bingo card generators where you can create and print bingo cards for use in your classroom. Not only it is fun for the students, but allows consistent exposure to the sight words. Here are a few of them that you can use:
5. Phonics and Vocabulary Center for Writing Practice. Of course, a center in your classroom where students can use the words to complete a writing task will enable you to informally assess how much of the words they have learned thus far.
Please feel free to share what phonics and sight word activities work best for your own class. Happy fall!