Another thing I’ve been up to now that winter break has started is creating a personalized sight word list for my two classes.
As any teacher will tell you, the order of the Dolch word list, which has easy-peasy CVC words like “cut” and “got” in the 3rd grade list, and tricksy words like “please,” “pretty,” and “there” in the primer list, doesn’t always make a lot of sense.
Usually any article I find online about using sight words, especially about using them for EFL, start with some variation of the phrase “First, re-order the list in a way that makes sense for your situation.”
So I did. It was twice as challenging because I’m not just teaching them how to recognize words they already know; I’m teaching the meaning of the words at the same time. One of the ways to make that a little easier is to try to pick words that work well together, so that we can practice several words in the same sentence.
I’m not 100% happy with my list yet. There are some words that I’ll definitely move around, others I’ll probably delete (I can’t teach them all, and I’ve already left off about six words because they’re just TOO HARD to explain/translate for me and my kids!). I’ll probably move some up the list as I make up exercises and think, Hey, you know what would work really well here? This word!!
Hopefull by next year I’ll have something I can set in stone (or at least in wet cement) and be more thorough about incorporating into my every day routine. But for now, it’s a total learning process for both me and them, and I figure every word they know at the end of the year is one word more than they would have known otherwise!