and no, this isn't just a ruse to eat ice cream in class

One of the skills that I really make a point to hit hard with my first graders is Sight Words. Doing flashcards can get old real fast, so I've devised a motivational system to encourage my students to want to master these words.

First I started with the 220 Dolch Sight Words. They're neatly divided into lists here. I tested each of my kiddos and put all the words they didn't know on flashcards. Each student has a different set of words that they're practicing.

Then I had them decorate a fish and mounted it on a small bulletin board (I added wavy water strips for effect):
I practice with the kids individually for three minutes each every day (one of the benefits of only having six students!). On Friday, I quiz them. If they can read all five of their words, they earn a "bubble" -- which is actually just a reinforcement label/sticker. Once all of their bubbles hit the treasure at the top, we're going to have an ice cream party!

The kids are super excited and they're working harder than ever. Hopefully by the end of the year, they'll know all 220 words!!

9 comments:

Shell said...

that's a very cute idea! The year I taught 3rd grade and we were doing multiplication facts, they were building banana splits. each # facts was a different part of the sundae and as they passed the tests, they got to add to their sundae.

Anonymous said...

I love this idea!! So cute :) Oh to teach small children... Rebekah

blueviolet said...

Ice cream would motivate me too!

Mrs. Fine said...

Fun! And cool idea to use reinforcements.. handy and totally bubbly!

Bethany @ Organic Enchilada said...

This is a great idea. I'm going to do it with my Ethan, who never really cared for the sight words in 1st grade. Thanks much!

A 2 Z said...

A reinforcement that is a reinforcement! How clever! Love your idea with the bubbles. I'm down with pneumonia for 2 weeks. Sucks big time! Take care!

Anne-Marie

Anonymous said...

Liar. It's always about ice cream! dad

malia said...

your students are lucky to have such a creative and thoughtful teacher!

Randy et Jan said...

Ditto to what Malia said!!!

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