boo! sight word game

No, this isn't a belated Halloween post, this is a sight word game I've been meaning to share with you for a while!
 
I first started playing "Boo!" about three or four years ago. It's a very simple game that kids CLAMOR for. All you have to do is write down a bunch of sight words, one per note card. Or you could be all savvy and just print out the mini-cards from the Dolch kit website, and then cut them apart. On two separate note cards (or mini-cards), write "BOO!". Mix them all together in some sort of box or bag (preferably not see-though).
 
Then, the kids take turns picking one card out of the bag. If they can read it, they can keep it (or in my case, I'll help them read it if they're struggling - you can be as cut-throat as you want with this game). The person with the most cards at the end is the winner.
 
The catch? If you happen to grab a "Boo!" card out of the bag, you have to put your whole pile of cards back in!
 
It's so fun to watch my first graders play. I let them play on Friday (after we've practiced the week's sight words) and they count down the days until they can play again. I just love that they are obsessing over a game that reinforces their decoding skills!!
 
Do you have any sight word games or activities you like to play in your classroom?

9 comments:

blueviolet said...

What a cute and simple game!!!

SharleneT said...

What a great game! I'm going to share this with my sister, so she can use it with her first-graders... Thanks for sharing... and come visit when you can...

Sarah Garb said...

Cool game! Sounds just like the game "Busted!" that you can do with math facts on popsicle sticks. They LOVE Busted! I guess it's the thrill of risking it all and possibly going bankrupt.

jfb57 said...

What a simple but fab idea!!

Yolanda said...

I admire the work you do . I know how hard it can be as I am a nurse. What a great game.
I hope you have a restful good weekend.

malia said...

hmmm... my 8 year old is into Stratego... invited by a French woman over 100 yrs ago. It's sort of like a pumped up version of Battleship. My son always beats me (sigh).

Plants seeds of knowledge...for our future! said...

My kinders love to play Boo too! It has really improved their high frequency word recognition!

Sparkling said...

Love it. I teach French 1, which is very much like kindergarten and first grade,so many of my activities are as simplistic as yours. I like this idea and I am sure I will spin it into something I can use. They will love it because instead of BOO, I will use ZUT which means DARN and they will be so pissed when they have to return their cards. I've got to chew on this for a bit, but it's a great one!

Here's one you can use for anything, sight words included! Remember Steal the Bacon? Kids have no idea what this is today, so it's not quite so cut throat when I explain. This is sort of how I remember Steal the Bacon on the playground, but more under control! My best example is with time. I write out about 30 times on index cards. Then I break the class into 2 teams, with each team's chairs facing each other and a desk in the middle where I put the cards. Everyone on each team gets a number. I place as many cards as I can on the table and stand back. Then I call a number, let's say 2. Both 2s come up and then I say a time: 2:15. Whichever person grabs that time first gets to keep it and sit down. The winning team has the most cards at the end. They seem to be afraid to actually GRAB it, so I say the person who gets their hands on it first gets it. If it's a tie and rarely there is a tie, then I make them leave it on the table and I pick another one. If neither of them can figure it out, I leave it on the table, they sit down and I pick another number but I give them a different time. OTherwise they'd kill themselves trying to run to the table. As the cards start to dwindle, I replenish until my stash is gone. You can play this with just about any number of kids and if you have an uneven number, then someone gets to be the same number twice. You could use colors instead of numbers. Or animals types. Or WHATEVER to keep their attention.

I have used this with all sorts of words. I write them in French and then when they get to the table, I say it in English and they have to find it or vice versa. Sometimes I put out my plastic foods and that's what they have to grab.

I wonder why I think grabbing is OK during a game but not in real life. It keeps them focused, I guess~!

S.Parks said...

I am a pre service teacher just finishing up a literacy class and love your sight word game. For our class we read Word Identification Strategies by Barbara Fox. One thing I love about her book was that she had a variety of literacy activities to do with students. Although the activities were focused around things like rhyme, prefixes, or letter sounds, some of the activities could be adapted for all types of sight words. While this is not very original, you could do a variation of memory using the sight words. I really like the idea of the “boo” cards in your game so you could even have one or two hidden in the memory game. If you like doing the sight words with the whole class one thing you could do is called “catch a word”. You could either generate the sight words in a word document or use wordle.net (where you can put words or passages in and then it generates the words in a variety of shapes). Then you project the words onto the board and either have a student wear a glove and “catch a word” where the students would then have to repeat it. There is also “magic paper” where instead of wearing a glove, the student holds a piece of white paper up and finds a word that they want to single out an project on to the piece of paper.
Just curious how do your students react when they get the “boo” card? You said it is fun to watch so I suppose they are pretty good sports about it. Was this something you had to really work with your students to get them to be ok with winning or losing?

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