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220 Sight Words in K
Old 01-02-2016, 03:20 PM
 
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Hello Teacher Friends,

I am signing out on this one (first time!) because I don't know if this will get back to my P. Anyway, I started teaching K after a three year break, but I have previously taught K for 9 years at another school. This Principal wants me to teach my kids 100-220 sight words (with 100 being mandatory). I have already introduced 40 sight words with pretty good success, but some parents are stressed out. My class is on the bright side, but this is stressing me out as well. Anyone have any advice?

Parents are complaining that I am not doing enough and others are complaining that I am doing too much! My P listens to the ones who are complaining about the not enough situation. He has asked me for "evidence" that I am teaching the sight words. I have given the parents packets (both at Back to School Night and just before Christmas Break), I give them homework on five words a week, but I only get around to testing them on the words around report card times because it takes so dreadfully long to ask each child individually (I have 29 children). When I taught in my other school, nearly all of the children mastered the 100 words by June. I feel like he (or the parents that are complaining) is insinuating that I am incompetent. I am beginning to lose my confidence.


 

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Old 01-02-2016, 05:16 PM
 
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You can add things during your day to help reinforce sight word recognition. There are powerpoints, videos on YouTube, etc. that you can use. If you do any form of Daily Five, there are lots of things you can rotate through -- have them roll out play dough to make letters to form the words, use alphabet beads and pipe cleaners to have them spell out words, 'I Spy' sheets where they have to color the words they are looking for.

Then, when including these things in your lesson plans -- you can prove that you are working on them in class!

Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2016, 05:45 PM
 
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Do you have reading groups? I had a similar problem, and had to change my plans to include weekly testing...some weeks I only get to half the class, but that is fine because I get to the other half the next week.

I don't like to spend one day a week assessing n groups,mout it actually doesn't take as long that way (I only assess on that weeks words) and took that out of my quarterly assessing.

I know how frustrating it can be, and how overwhelming coming back to kinder after a break is (I came back after moving to hs for nearly 10 years!). I would also follow pp advice, and write it in your weekly lesson plans to show that you are doing it and list them so,we here in the room so you can go to practicing when you have a second or two in the class. Personally, I think I need to do more reinforcing of sight words, I tend to be more of a phonics person, so this is a good reminder for me too!

And 220 seems way too many for Kindergarten, we teach 100 but test only on 60 of them...and the first grade Journeys only expects them to know 10 sight words.

Last edited by kinderlake; 01-02-2016 at 07:39 PM..
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Old 01-02-2016, 06:58 PM
 
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I would ask him for "evidence" that teaching 220 sight words in k is necessary for reading success down the line.

Just some support here. 100 seems ok. 220 is ridiculous. You will never please all parents, so just do what you know is best!
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Thanks everyone
Old 01-06-2016, 08:04 PM
 
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for the support! I have a question for Kinderlake: so, do you test the words (say 5) weekly and then average them to get the grade for the quarterly assessment? You don't test all the words at one sitting then? If that works, I would like to do that. They aren't required to spell the words right?


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Old 01-08-2016, 06:54 PM
 
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I test just the weeks sight words every week and use my quarterly testing sheet I have to put them on. That way at grading time, I just put how many they have out of the total. Sometimes I run out of time and do it every other week, which works too.

The kids at my center do something independent like reading sight words books or something...
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Old 01-09-2016, 05:48 PM
 
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Heidisongs.com has sight words set to music. There are several CDs and each one costs $15.
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Your school sounds like mind.
Old 03-06-2016, 04:06 PM
 
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It sounds like you work for a private like me or maybe a charter. Never hear of a public like this. We also are expected to have a very high number of sight words. But I have to say 220 is kind of an absurd number. My list includes all of the words from Wonders reading, Dolch sight words primer and pre primer and the rainbow word lists combined and it only comes to 139. We also do word families but most people would not call those sight words. Our school never put a number on it, it was made clear we had to go well above and beyond the words in our book and yes we have to prove it. Our solution was take home sight word cards. We assess twice a quarter and assess ALL the words with a word goal for each quarter. Our mid year goal was 40 our end of year goal is 100 for C 130 for B 140 for A because most students learn the most in the last half of the year.

We send home mini sight word cards on a ring and part of their homework is to review them quickly once a day. We will add that weeks sight words to the ring. We begin adding the 2nd week of school. Names are not used on our sight word wall like some teachers we do not have time. the sight word rings quickly get very fat and parents have a clear visual of what you are presenting. Each quarter we assess the students twice first using their sight word ring and putting a sticker on the words if they know it. Then we will also assess the ones that have not been presented. WHY, Because often the students pick up some words from reading. Students should get credit for everything they learn. Next time you assess you only have to assess the new words and words without stickers.

This very quickly quiets the parents. Those parents that want more more more have the cards to study. Those parents who do not want more tend to review less, but they still have the tools to help. We already know we are doing what needs to be done in the classroom. Sadly It is the parents not the principal at a private school or charter school you have to prove things to. If the parents are happy the principal will leave you alone. This has worked wonders for me.

My sight word cards are 15 on a page in black and white. They have 139 words. I just copy them onto card stock in the beginning of the year and begin sending them home on a ring attached to their communication folder. I also have letter cards for the few kids who come in with to little letter knowledge. Some of the kids do take them off and loose them and I do not replace them unless the parents ask. But even if the parents ask I just photo copy them on paper and send the paper home for the parents to cut. The cards also work well for assessments and I have my assessment checklist in the kit with the cards.

I hope it helps.
 

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