The most important part of teaching is making sure your students are engaged and having fun! This becomes especially challenging at the end of the year, when kiddos and teachers are "Summer Dreamin'", like Olaf! At least that's my opinion! :)
It's just my style in my classroom to make everything a game... because kids LOVE games!
Several years ago, I started to create "Go Fish" and "Uno" style card games for my students. Since I've been using these games with my students, I've seen a huge increase in the number of sight words my kiddos know by the end of the year. When I first started teaching first grade, in 1999 (whew, that was last century :) ), the district required all first graders to learn the first 100 sight words. So that is what I taught!
After a couple of years, and some confidence in myself as a teacher, I realized I was limiting my kids. I started expanding the list in my classroom and raising the bar! My students loved the challenge and soon, I was expecting them to know at least 150 sight words. Now all of my students are exposed to at least 200, but many surpass this goal.
What does that mean for them?
Am I stressing them out?
Stressed? No way! Proud? You bet! What does it mean for them? More access to books! I'm sure you have tricks you use in your classroom, and in my classroom the trick is games!
Here is one of my games that focuses on those pesky Nonsense Words!
I found that my kiddos were stumped at having to read words that didn't make sense! So, we started practicing. This is, of course, great phonemic awareness practice and builds confidence and fluency! Now, they read those Dibels and Aimsweb Nonsense words with ease!
During our last week of school, we celebrate our friendships with "Game Day"! I bring out all of the games we've learned with throughout the year and we PLAY! The kids LOVE it! It's a great year end review and reward for our hard work! I love listening to the kids while they play! Especially, when they have to "show off" because the games are soooo easy now!
Have fun learning!