Sunday, November 16

Sight Word Spelling Practice

Today's post is all about Sight Word Spelling practice...I've chosen to work harder with my fabulous firsties on spelling their sight words than reading them, as past experience has made me feel I get more bang for my buck when going that route.

Our district has a variety of high frequency word lists, containing 25 sight words each. In early October I conducted spelling inventory tests, starting with List A. For students who spelled most of those words correctly (18/20+ out of 25, depending on the child and the misspellings), I inventoried them on List B. And so on and so forth, all the way to List D, as that's where my kiddos maxed out.

So each child has been placed in the list that has a mix of words they know, as well as words they need to learn. There are four groups - a group working on List A, a group in List B, one in C, another in D.

I divided the lists up into five groups of five words each and each week and labeled each grouping with a fancy name...Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4 and Week 5.

You're loving my ingenuity with creating names, I can feel it.

For at home practice, students have this Tic Tac Toe page - I copied it on blue paper and asked them not to write on it...that they should try to make three in a row each time they practice, but that they should save the sheet to use week after week.

So I'm working through a series of 5 week cycles. All students in all lists have practiced and been quizzed on their lists through Week 4. Next week is our Week 5 quiz and after that I'll reinventory...since it's a short Thanksgiving week.

Here's the form I'll use on the upcoming inventory:

Based on how they do on the inventory test of their list, I'll move them ahead to Week 1 of the next list or I'll keep them in their same list and have them start at Week 1 again.

After each weekly quiz, the students get their new list on the form below. I have the words listed on the far left. They re-write the words two more times so that the three lists look the same. Then after I do a quick double check that they spelled the words correctly going across, they cut off the school list and keep it in their School Folder.

For practice at home, they take home the Home and Car lists. I have them keep the two together and cut them apart at home, as I don't want the lists to be too skinny and get misplaced.

The weekly quizzes are done using this page, cut into thirds...

For practice at school, we spend a few minutes a day practicing in a variety of ways, including - 

Roll A Word (which is a freebie from {THIS POST HERE})

Buddy Quiz - where kids partner up with someone assigned to the same list and take turns quizzing one another.

We use magnetic letters to do "Make Mix Fix" where students MAKE the word while looking at the correct spelling, then MIX it up, then FIX it up.

The class knows the Tic Tac Toe options well and enjoy practicing those ways, too.

How do you organize/practice Sight Word Spelling in your classroom?



  1. LOVE this post!!! I ADORE your home and car list idea!! How clever!! Thanks so much for the shout out my friend! So glad your kiddos love the spinners. :) Thanks for all the ideas!

  2. Love that Tic-Tac-Toe Spelling game. You are so dang creative!!!

    Granny Goes to School

  3. Do you always have your students start on week 1 of the list they are on, even if they get those words correct on their inventory test? I am trying to find a good way to manage our district's list of sight words to read AND write, and it's challenging. I"m hoping your method might help get me on track! Did you use the same inventory test from above when you started in October?

    1. Hiiiii, Meghan!! Thank you for your questions!! I do keep everyone in the same week of the list for management purposes. I tried to personalize it a bit more last year where the kids were only working on the words they needed and to say it was a management disaster would be an understatement. :-) The inventory list of words is the same each time but I start at a different spot on the list each time I administer. I hope that makes sense. Please let me know if you have any more questions. Smiles to you - Lisa

  4. wow thank you for the tic tac toe...awesome!!!!!

  5. Car list = GENIUS! Thank you for the great tips :) Jen

  6. This is all so helpful! I'm curious - what do you do for those kiddos who pass all of your lists? Do you make up new ones for them, keep them in the highest one, or something else?

    1. Hi! So glad you stopped by!!! Our district provides us lists that work through the grade levels, so students keep going beyond first grade lists. While it's more to manage, I want all students to work on spelling practice at their level.


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