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Word Pockets

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

I wanted to accelerate my students' sight word learning and differentiate it at the same time.  A lot of my students need more practice becoming automatic with their sight words.  Once they do this, their reading begins to take off!  Now this is not the only step in increasing their reading, but becoming quick with recognizing sight words is an important step.

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

A lot of times we will go over sight words on our iPads using SlideShark to format the slides correctly.  You can find these PowerPoints for the Dolch sight words pre-primer through second grade here.  Sometimes we practice these slides on the Smartboard.  But students need more than that to become automatic with them.  So I am using word pockets!

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

They are so easy to make!  You need a package of file folders, colored copy paper if you wish.  You can use just white paper too.  And snack size baggies.

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

I set up the printer for 6 slides per sheet.  That makes just the right size for little hands.  Not so small that they are hard to handle, but not so big that you are using lots of paper.  I also set it to gray scale to save on color.  Each of the sight word lists look different so if you wish to use white paper that works great too.  Then just use scissors or a paper cutter and cut them up.  

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

For each pocket, you will open the file folder all the way and fold about 1/3 of the bottom up to the inside of the folder.

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

Turn the folder over and staple the sides to create the pockets.

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

You can leave the fronts blank, have the students label them, or print off labels.  Whatever works for you!

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

On the inside, you can label the pockets or have the students do it.  I assess the students on their sight words often to be sure I am moving them forward.  Plus we add words that go with stories.  My Guided Reading Anecdotal Notebook is where I keep track of the words students know.  Several times a week students get their pockets and pull out the baggie on the left and quickly go over their words.  When I listen to students read their words, I can differentiate by adding more words from the baggy on the right side, thus moving students forward as they are ready to learn more.  In these pockets, the sight words are pre-primer.

Using Anecdotal Records to keep track of sight words learned

This is one of the pages from my Guided Reading Anecdotal Records Notebook that I keep on my students.  I can just keep this notebook with me to assess students and keep track of my anecdotal records on them.

Teaching and Differentiating Sight Words

If a student has mastered one list and is ready to move on, I can keep the lists mastered in the left hand side and add more baggies.  This keeps the word lists from becoming overwhelming if there were too many to always being reviewing.  But I also don't want students to never see those words again.  They sometimes need to cycle back and review words previously learned.  To accomplish that, I can just tell them what color I want them to practice that day.  Easy Peasy!!

Hope this is an easy way for you to make learning sight words more manageable and a quick way to differentiate them too!

10 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! Definitely great for sight words but I have a few still working to master their letters so I could easily adapt this for them!

    Learning at the Teacher Table

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    1. Yes! These pockets would work for so many different skills. Letters would be great! Thank you for stopping by, Donna.

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  2. Those are great!! Thank you for sharing!!!! I keep them colored coded, but I love the pockets!!! Thank you!!! I just pinned it :)

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    1. Thank you for pinning for me, Bridget! I appreciate that! Glad you came by!

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  3. You are so organized and efficient. It's a must in our profession. Your pocket folders are great! I'm in the midst of intensive sight word practice with a few readers too.

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    1. I think you are right, Tammy. We definitely must be organized or learning would not move forward very well. Good luck to your little readers and their sight words too!

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  4. These are really cool, Lori! Thanks for sharing such clear directions.

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    1. Thank so much, Barb! The pockets are so easy to make!

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  5. Perfect! This is just what I needed to find today. I've been using a ring system with the kids flipping through them but I like your system better. Thanks!

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    1. Sara, for me it is all about finding a system that works for me and my students. Sometimes that changes over the years. I did really like the pocket system this year. I was able to differentiate more and accelerate their learning.

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