Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It might have been my Texas accent....

Today in kindergarten, we were working hard at learning our sight words. There are 35 sight words that kindergartners need to learn to successfully pass Kindergarten and enter First Grade. First Grade....where the playground is huge and you get ice cream at lunch.

By this time in kindergarten....half way through....these 5 year olds are supposed to know at least 16. FIVE YEARS OLD....babies, really. For many of them, it's a cinch...they are already reading fluently. For others, it's a challenge. They are still struggling with the letters and the sounds...and standing in a line. And writing their name. And someone (higher up at a desk somewhere) wants these children to know at least 16 of these words by now.

So that I won't be tempted to beat my head against a wall when tutoring small groups over their 35 words for the umpteenth time in a week...I make up new games. All kinds of games with one common theme. We're touching the words. We're saying the words. We're using the words in a sentence. We're spelling the word out loud. We're sounding it out. We're repeating it 3 times.


Me: w i l l .......that spells will...say WILL.....say it 3 times while you look at the card......"will will will".........now can you use that in a sentence?

Him: Whale. Like a whale Shamu.

Me: Alrighty then....next ...

I would love to invite that higher up desk person to come play with us sometime. Perhaps she hasn't really been around a 5 year old lately. I'm not saying they aren't all capable of learning....just saying they aren't all on the same page.


  1. Ha! This is just as cute as it is funny! It reminds me of when I met my husband who is from Oklahoma. I myself am from up north, so this southern accent thing was all new to me. He was talking about growing up on a cattle farm and going to the "whale house." A look of confusion went across my face and he quickly realized that I didn't understand that he was saying "well" house!

  2. A great activity that exposes children to sight words is playing a board game called Er-u-di-tion™.

    This award winning game helps children learn to read, spell and understand the most common words in the English language while playing an entertaining board game.

    The game incorporates over 300 sight words as well as the letters of the alphabet and their basic phonic sounds in an enjoyable, engaging activity.

    Game cards are categorized to promote differentiated instruction so children of all reading levels can play together! The average play time is 15-20 minutes and is ideal for ages 4-8.