Each morning at Glen Head School, kindergarten through grade 2 classes are invited to practice their sight words (also known as “trick” words) as part of a motivational program called Word Wizards. Sight words are common words that are instantly recognized by sight rather than sounding out. They may be high frequency words or words that do not comply with standard phonetic pronunciation. Sight words make up 50 – 89% of our everyday reading and conversations. Once students have memorized these words, they will be able to read texts more fluently and focus on reading comprehension.
Through an exciting multi-sensory approach, Glen Head students engage in Word Wizard activities including writing words on: touch boards, chalkboards, iPads, the Smartboard, a Smart table, sand trays, sandpaper and mesh screens. Principal Nimmo said, “Christine DeAlbuquerque designed this program after hearing my vision for Glen Head School. Alicia Post, Jennifer Barra and Christine Silipo work closely with students to monitor and record their individual progress, while Hofstra interns and several parent volunteers run the daily morning activities to support student learning. In addition, there is 1:1 assessment of students that takes place approximately once every two weeks.”
The kindergarten through grade 2 students start with a list of five sight words. After they can read all five words with accuracy and automaticity, they will practice spelling the words and reading the next five sight words. The kindergarten expectation is that students will recognize approximately 25 words by the end of June. In grade 1, students are expected to read and write the first set of 100 words. By the end of second grade, student should master the first 200 words. Please note, this program is individualized to provide appropriate challenge for each child and the lists contain words all students should eventually master. Therefore, students will continue to be provided with additional words to learn throughout the school year.
Practice, both at school and at home, are essential for students to become fluent readers and spellers of sight words. Once students are able to read the set of five words, they will receive a star on a “Word Wizards” certificate and special acknowledgement by me. They will earn an additional star for those words they are able to spell correctly. Then they will move onto the next five sight words, and so on!
Word Wizards encourages students to practice their sight words while having a ton of fun! Students will also learn that by sticking with something for a long period until it is mastered leads to success and helps foster perseverance.
North Shore Schools 112 Franklin Avenue Sea Cliff, NY 11579 District Number 516-277-7800
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