A few weeks back, Maddy was sent home with a packet of information about things parents can do at home to help promote literacy and learning. I literally danced around the house when I saw it.
Three cheers for the Kindergarten team at Maddy’s school!
It included uppercase and lowercase alphabet cards to cut out, and it included four sheets of words. They classify the words as early emergent, upper emergent, early fluency and fluency. I put them on the computer in the form of tiny flash cards to use for learning and games.
Here they are to download: Early Emergent Word Cards; Upper Emergent Word Cards; Early Fluency Word Cards; and Fluency Word Cards. I added a few words to these lists in order to include all of the words that our kindergartners are expected to know by the end of the school year.
- Wiggly Words: I have a wiggly board that I use for making writing that much more fun for emergent readers and writers. It is a thick piece of cardboard and put several layers of drywall tape on top of it. (I found the drywall tape on our workbench a few years ago–it’s really just a hard plastic grid with tape on the back; anything bumpy or textured will work.)
Students put a blank piece of paper on top of the board, and when they write their words, or letters, or numbers, they look bumpy and wiggly. Crayons work best and will show the best ‘wiggle’.
All I did this afternoon was dump the Early Emergent Word Cards and the Early Fluency Word Cards into a small bucket. I knew Maddy was comfortable with most of the Early Emergent words, and I thought I’d throw in a couple more challenging ones for fun.
wiggly words on a wiggly board
Next, Maddy pulled two cards out of the bucket and put them face up above her Wiggly Board.
I said, Okay, Maddy, you big word reader, let’s see which word you’ll choose to write. Will it be ‘are’ or ‘you’?
I always read two words and gave her a choice. That way, she was using some of her reading skills by listening to the words I read and then reading them again–or trying to–by herself when she made her decision.
She was never put on the spot or forced to read a new, tough word on her own, out of context. I always try to set her up for success.
It was the luck of the draw that our first few words were from the Early Emergent list, but as we pulled more and more cards, they were mixed–easier words with more difficult ones.
Then she wanted to find all of the words that had a letter ‘g’ in them to read and write because she felt she had really begun to write her lowercase ‘g’ well. So we hunted for those words, and she wrote them when she found them.
And before we knew it, Owen and Cora turned up the music way too loud, their dancing around turned to spinning and rough-housing, and Maddy wanted to join them. (Who wouldn’t?).
So our little sight word fun was over, but fun it was. . .
Maddy has had a blast lately, playing with sight words. And as I’ve said before, there are tons of cool ways to help make these important words more familiar–and fun–for our emerging readers, and most of these ways take minimal preparation time on a parent’s part.
Five, ten, or twenty minutes now and again to help our little ones become better readers is worth it!