Well, well, well… We meet again! It’s been awhile since I have shared what I am doing in my classroom of crazy second graders. I cannot believe that we are nearing the end of APRIL! Where is time going?! Even though the end of the school year is getting closer and closer, I am always changing things up with my students.
One piece of advice that I see over and over again for new teachers is to not be afraid of changing things up or trying something new. So here I am, not being afraid to shake up the routine! When I was an ESL push-in teacher last school year, Fry sight words were my JAM! (If you don’t know what Fry sight words are: it’s a list of 1,000 words total, that is broken up into sets of a hundred, that students will see a lot while they are reading books at their grade level.) I played games all the time using them and I would assess my students on them at the end of the week. Now that I have my own classroom, I use them differently!
Over half of my students speak English as a second language, which is incredible. The first two quarters of the school year, I focused HEAVILY on letter names and sounds to really solidify the correct pronunciation. (Next year, I think I will only work on it for the first quarter so I have more time with my Fry sight words!) Once third quarter hit, I decided it was time to start working on Fry sight words. I introduced the words to my students as “snap words”. We call them snap words because we have to train our brain to read them in a SNAP! So we warm up our brain with our second hundred list during our phonics time everyday.
I started this routine with my actual word wall cards but quickly realized how much of a hot mess that was! It’s extremely important to keep the words in the same order when students are learning so it was impossible to keep the pace that I wanted them to read the word as well as keep the cards neat and in the same order. Well hot mess express left the station quickly because I decided to finally use my classroom technology! I created this Fry sight word powerpoint to keep me organized, on pace, and (most importantly) all students could see the words clearly.
When I created the Fry sight word powerpoint, I set the timer to 3 seconds. 3 seconds seems very specific but there’s a reason for that! When I am testing my students on their word identification through mClass (the program my school asks us to use for progress monitoring), they have 3 seconds to say the word correctly in order to get credit for it. Because of that, I set it to 3 seconds to help them get used to the timing. And they absolutely got used to the timing! So much so, they were beginning to sayyyyyyy eachhhhh wordddddd likeeeee thissssss. And as I explained earlier, they are SNAP words not SNAPPPPPP words!
In second grade, we really focus on reading the way we talk; not too fast nor too slow so we needed to change the timing of the Fry sight word powerpoint slides ASAP! Believe it or not, speeding the powerpoint up really helped them understand that we are aiming to read them quickly so that while we are reading our independent books, we use all our tricky word strategies on the super tricky words, not these snap words.
This 1,000 Fry sight word powerpoint allows me to use whatever hundred set I need for my students. I have two classes so I am able to use my second hundred set with my homeroom and third hundred set with my advance class. I grouped these Fry sight word powerpoint’s based on the grades that they are most liking used with: 100-300 is used more in lower elementary/ECE; 400-600 is used more for middle school/upper elementary; 700-1000 is used more for upper elementary/high school students.
No matter the grade, these Fry sight words are extremely helpful for student’s who are learning English as a second language and can be helpful for students who are behind in their reading. There are amazing resources and activities that you can do with your students to use these words daily or weekly and they are also an easier, less time consuming way to collect data on students. If you need a way to collect data using fry words, I have a solution for you! I have created checklists and a graph that you can use for each student to see what words they know and what they are struggling with! I have an entire blog post on my fry sight word progress monitoring tool that you can check out here.
Alright my friends, thanks for hanging out with me and talking all about Fry sight words! These are such a great base line for any teacher, especially my fellow firsties. Let’s buckle up for the last of this school year! We’ll talk soon. Until next time!