Sunday, July 26, 2015

Differentiate & Accelerate Student Learning

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

As summer is moving towards the end of July, my brain is buzzing with all the ideas I want to be sure to use in my classroom this year to move my readers as quickly as I can towards reading on grade level and above.  One of those ideas is Sight Word Pockets.  I used this for part of my year last year and it made a huge difference in the learning of my students!

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

These sight word pockets really could be just about any type of pocket you need for differentiating the learning for your students.  They could be letters of the alphabet, math fact fluency, vocabulary, test prep, etc...  It's an easy to manage system and it really accelerated the speed that my students picked up new learning.  

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

Inside the left pocket, I placed baggies with sight words that the student had learned and was currently working on to learn.  I keep words they have learned on that side for cycling back to review once in a while.  This cycling back ensures the student doesn't forget previously learned words.  I tell them which color of words to work on for that day so they don't have to review all words every time.  That would get to be too much once they are learning more and more words.  In the right side pocket, I keep a baggie of the words they still have to learn.  

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

As I do check-ins with the students, I mark off words in  my Anecdotal Records Notebook that they have mastered.  Then I can move words from the right pocket, words to learn, into the left side to add to what the student is working on.  My students took such ownership in their own learning!!  They were very motivated to get words from that right side into their left side!  Plus, each student was working on their own list and at their own pace!  


Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

Some students were still on one word list (each list was printed onto a different color of paper).   And some had moved on to the next list- the reason you see the two different colors in the pockets.  We would review our baggies a couple of times a week, more if we had a few extra moments at the end of a lesson.

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

I took my sight words from my sight word PowerPoint slides, formatting my printer to print several slides per page, before opening the slideshow.

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

Then each level of words were printed on different colors of copy paper.  Cut the cards and place in baggies.  For your youngest students, I would suggest baggies with the zip tops.  These are the easiest for them to zip closed and to know they are closed.  

Differentiating and Accelerating Student Learning with Sight Word Pockets

The pockets themselves are very easy to make.  I took a file folder, opened it up flat,  and folded the bottom 1/3 up.  Turn it over and staple it.  Now you have your pockets.  You can have students label the pockets or type up labels for what they are learning.  

I hope you find a way to use these easy pockets!  Differentiating your students like this really takes each student from where they are and moves them forward and I found that this system really accelerated their learning because they were engaged with seeing the to be learned pile get smaller and smaller!

Come visit me today for some sight word activities students can do during center times!




4 comments:

  1. Great post!
    1. We use Fry words. Do you have these ready to print?
    2. Do your kiddos practice their words at home too? I was sending mine home with a ring of 3-5 each night. Slowly taking them off after mastery.

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  2. Thank you Heather! I'm so glad you came by to visit me here at Spark of Inspiration! I only have the Fry list in a word list format, not in the card format like these Dolch words. They are in my Guided Reading Anecdotal Records binder. Some of my kids will practice at home. But most of our practicing is done at school. Have a wonderful school year!!

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