Monday, April 30, 2012

Join the Club

     Panicked. I'm absolutely panicked. Only 37 days of school left to squeeze in everything I can to get my kids ready for first grade and it's just not enough time!  Hence the panic. With the push to meet really monumental objectives like getting even my struggling readers to an F&P level D (yikes!) I find myself scrambling to fit in things like practicing sight words. Luckily, the kids only need to know 25 words, which I think is a really reasonable number. I just read on one teacher's blog that her kids need to know 75!  I'm curious to know - how many do you focus on?
     Looking for a little help with this task, I came up with a plan.  Our Pete the Cat's Shoe Tying Club has been so successful this year (I haven't tied a shoe since November!)  because the kids pestered nicely asked their parents to practice at home so they could make it into the club.  It totally worked and so far, 14 out of my 16 kids are in the club. Hey - I'm not above a little "Please Mom, please Mom, pleeeease Mom" pressure! Seeing how well this club has worked out, I thought I would start a Popcorn Words Club too.
     Like the shoe tying club, the kids are practicing at home and when they're ready, they try to read me all of their words.  If they know them all, they become an official member of the Popcorn Words Club.  Woohoo! They get an official membership badge, a certificate with their name gets added to the display on the wall, and their favorite part - they get a bag of microwave popcorn to share with their family to thank them for their help. 
     I'm totally psyched at how well it's going.  I did a baseline assessment before we started and only 2 kids knew all of the words.  Two weeks later, 10 kids are in the club.  The remaining kids are working really hard and the kids in the club are even helping them practice during free time which is just awesome.  They all cheer for each other when they get into the club and say things like, "That's OK, you're doing great - keep trying!" when someone doesn't quite make it.  It's really pretty adorable.
     If you'd like to start a club in your classroom, you can download all of the materials by clicking the link under the picture.  Included in the packet are a parent letter explaining the club, membership badges, a poster and certificates to hang on the wall and labels to put on the bags of microwave popcorn (I use the mini 100 calorie bags).

I'd love a comment if you download the kit and you're going to give it a try. I'd also love to hear how many sight words other kindergarten teachers are tackling this year.  Have a great night!

11 comments:

  1. We focus on 100 sight words. I use a similar program but we call it ice cream words. They are in groups of 10 words. Each time the pass a club they get a scoop of ice cream. My whole class just earned their cherry on top which means they read all 100 words to me at one time. I think breaking it into smaller chunks really helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. * They don't get a scoop of real ice cream :) I have a cone on the wall with each students name and they get a scoop on their cone.

      Delete
    2. Do you have any suggestions on how to display this with POPCORN instead of Ice Cream?? I love the ice cream idea, but I am sticking with popcorn for this years theme and cant figure out how to display the children's progress. Any suggestions?

      Delete
  2. Thanks so much! I love the popcorn words club and cannot wait to use the kit. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Cute idea! My kiddos only are assessed on 26 sight words but I teach many more as they come up. We intro two words per week until all are introduced then we reveiw and supplement.
    Do you have any info on the shoe tying club? I need something like that pronto:) I'm tired of tying shoes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Megan,
      If you click on the words "Pete the Cat's Shoe Tying Club" in the post above, it should take you to the original post where you can download the kit. Good Luck with the sight words and the shoes!
      Donna

      Delete
  4. Thanks so much for sharing this! I loved it. My kids need to know about 25 sight words. Most of mine know them, but I am still having trouble with a few kiddos and with only 14 1/2 days, I really worry about them getting them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. We have 125 plus number words. So 136. Our students usually do so well learning them. We use sight word lists to motivate the students.

    april
    Wolfelicious

    ReplyDelete
  6. We have 35 "service words", plus color and number words. I expect them to know at least 20 more words by sight.

    I pinned your post!
    ReadWriteSing

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you so much for sharing. I love the idea of a Popcorn Words Club! I'll definitely use this idea next year :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our kindergartners need to know the first 100 Fry's words.

    ReplyDelete