My post today is kind of a 2 parter- 2 different thoughts/situations I wanted to fix, but with the overall idea of words and how wonderful they can be!
First situation: I have had a problem the past couple of years managing my sight words with my students. I used to write their sight words on index cards as I introduced them and stored the sets in baggies. But that didn't work as efficiently as I would like. It seemed to take their little hands too long to dig them all out. Then as the year went along, the stacks got bigger and took more time to go through all the words. But there was no efficient way of sorting through them to have them read the ones I wanted them to get extra practice on.
And soooo.... I decided to make a word collector for the students to collect their sight words in. In a way, it is like a personal dictionary. But I don't use the dictionary for spelling. We are using it for READING.
First students make a personal connection to the letters and draw or glue a picture in the box. The more personal the book is the more meaningful and useful it becomes. Then as sight words are introduced (which common core states students need to be able to recognize and read), students add them to the word collector.
During reading time, you can have students read all the words they have entered under the letter "b" or the letter "w". That way you are controlling what words they review according to their needs and it is not time consuming. Instead it becomes differentiated and efficient! That's what I like of course and I am sure you do too!
At the end of the word collector is a place for students to add prefixes and suffixes. Learning to read words with prefixes and suffixes and using the meanings of these word parts is also a part of common core and a big part of becoming a better reader.
Second Part: Now past the sight word and word parts problems, I have this desire to teach students to be aware of language and how authors and writers use words in their craft. I want them to be a true collector of words and poetic language!
Again, I was looking for efficiency and a good way to manage this. There just seems sometimes so much that I want to get accomplished, but so little time! As common core raises the bar, I feel this need to teach students about the use of words and language even more.
As students are reading and being read to they can be mindful of the words authors use and collect those words into their word collectors. Here on this page they can collect verbs that are strong and specific.
And for one of my favorites that I am really excited about- collecting wonderful, wonderous words! I want to be able to talk more about how authors use language and the way they string words together. I want students to notice these wonderful phrases and figurative language. I believe if we have more conversations with students about the use of language and begin to notice (and collect) it more, students will transfer this and be more mindful of the word choices they make in their own writing!
Thank you for sticking with me on this long post! I truly believe in collecting words, having conversations with students about language, and applying it to their writing. Their minds are wonderful and once they are shown how this works, they can take off and be as creative as they can possibly be!! If this looks like something that will help you help your students to love and collect wonderful language, click here to be taken to my store.