Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sight Word Scoops: A Deeper Look

Y'all! I am having one of those proud momma moments! I posted my first paid product to Teachers Pay Teachers just a few minutes ago! I am at the point that I am so glad that it is posted but at the same time, it's a little nerve-racking! Bless it!
Well, let me back track a little bit and tell you the history behind Sight Word Scoops! I started teaching Kindergarten in North Carolina in January of 2013. Before that, I spent most of my time and teaching experience in second and third grade in a great school in Georgia so Kindergarten was a whole new world for me! Since I started halfway through the year, I just used resources that my teammates gave me and tried to wrap my head around the crazy world called Kindergarten!
 I was absolutely loving teaching these 5 and 6 year olds but I started to notice that there was no guidance of what sight words for me to teach to my kinders! I asked my teammates, my admin, and even some of our district representatives during my first year teacher training and no one seemed to have an answer as to what sight words to teach! All I could get for an answer was that Kindergarteners need to know 25 sight words by the end of the year. Are you as floored as I was?
25 words?
In college we always talked about always having high expectations of our students and setting the bar high and here we were asking our kindergarteners to know only 25 words by the end of the year. A slight contradiction, I would say. So that started my journey! I knew that I needed to come up with a collection of words that could challenge my Kindergarteners. So about a year ago, the idea of Sight Word Scoops began.

I spent the next few weeks compiling a list of all the sight words that I wanted my Kindergarteners to know by the end of the year. I used the Pre-Primer and Primer Dolch Words, color words, number words, and the word lists from the TRC assessment that North Carolina uses. I came up with a total of 124 words. That's 99 more words than my district requires. At that point I was unsure. Was that too much? Would my kids be overwhelmed by that? When I told a few co-workers my ideas, I am pretty sure they thought I was crazy and I almost started to believe them. I just kept saying to them and myself, I will just expose these words to my kids. It will be okay if they don't learn all of them but I want to push them towards excellence. So I decided that those 124 words and I were going to be besties from that point on.
My job was only halfway done. I wanted to create a system that motivated my students to want to know sight words. I wanted something that they could track their own progress and something that wouldn't be a ton of work for their dear teacher! :) So I divided those words into eight lists and gave each list a color. The idea is that each student progresses through all the word lists at their own pace.
In the Sight Word Scoops pack, I have created flashcards for each word list. This is my "teacher set" of flashcards that I use during guided reading groups, assessments, and whole group sight word games. For students, I print out all the red word flashcards and send them home at the beginning of the year. Students bring their flashcards back when they know all of the red words. I assess them, and then trade the flashcards out for the orange words flashcards.

I have created a Sight Word Scoops Binder that houses a lot of my sight word scoops resources. I use this binder to help assess the students when they feel like they have mastered their word list. In it I keep word lists, my student tracker, and assessment sheets. You can see the word list and assessment sheet in the picture below. While the student is reading their sight words to me, I am using the assessment sheet and highlighting the words that they miss. I make note of that and then send the assessment sheet home so that parents can keep track of how their child is doing.
I wanted their to be a way to display students progress through the word lists so I came up with the idea of ice cream. Each student starting with a cone and each word list being a scoop of ice cream. My students absolutely love the display, it motivates them and let's them take ownership in their learning. This is the display in my room. As you can tell, Sight Words Scoops has been very successful in my classroom since I have about 50% of my class knowing all 124 sight words. Since we are just over halfway through the school year, I can proudly say that each one of my students are on track to learn all of the sight words! That makes this teacher's heart all shades of happy!
I cannot provide the ice cream scoops and cones to you in my product because of the terms of use of the clip art however, here is the link of the scoops that I used! They are so worth the purchase! I used the black and white versions and then printed them on colored copy paper. You could even make your own if you wanted to!
I have a Sight Word Literacy Center in my classroom where students can practice their word list. I keep all the word lists there and I have created two centers that students can use to help reinforce the sight words. One is Roll and Write and the other is Roll, Read, and Highlight. They are very similar in nature however, I have several students who can easily recognize words but struggle to write them. I provide the option for them to choose which center they would like. I also keep play dough, white boards, and letter charms for students to use to build and practice their words.

Passing a word list is something worth celebrating and to do that, I have created Reward Bracelets that students can earn once they have mastered the word list that they are working on! This is a great way that others in the school as well as parents can be notified of the achievement that was made.
Plus, at the end of the year, I have told my class that we are going to have an ice cream party to celebrate all that we have accomplished with our sight word scoops! I am not above bribing my students with ice cream to learn their sight words! I may or may not reward myself with a little ice cream too!
 I have also included Parent Letters to send home explaining Sight Word Scoops and the schedule in which I teach the sight words! I hope you love this product as much as I do! It is on sale for 20% off for the next 48 hours! You can find it here!
Please let me know if you have any questions about Sight Word Scoops I would love to answer them!


  1. Hi there
    I love your sight word display wall. Can you please tell me where you got the clipart from. I intend to do the same sight word icecream scoop idea. Cheers

    1. Here is the link of the clip art I used but Krista Walden just released a new set that would work that is build your own ice cream sundae!