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Introducing Sight Words with the iPad- What’s Missing, Mix & Fix, etc!

I love Tuesday because it means that I either will learn something new from Holly’s awesome linky or I have tried something new to share…so all in all, a good day!

As a reading specialist, I spend most of my day leading guided reading groups which I truly love doing because I find out so much about each one of my little readers in a short amount of time.  I’m guessing you know of this book: The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson, but if you don’t, I highly recommend it- it is an amazing resource for anyone who teaches reading.

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I’ve been using the “introducing sight words” idea directly from this text for a little while now, but I recently updated how I approach these 1-2 minute activities with my kinder and 1st grade friends by incorporating the iPad. If you have just one iPad in your room or a small handful of iPads, you will hopefully be able to follow the same steps as I do with a small group during your guided reading time.

Here are the steps: 
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Thanks Lovin Lit for your adorable frame!

Ok, and here is a more in depth look at how it all works. I chose to show you the apps that I use most regularly for each step, but above I also listed other free apps that work well for each step.  Also, keep in mind, this is only supposed to be an introduction to the word and a quick mini practice for the students- only about 1-2 minutes of your guided reading time. I really feel like it is working wonders for my little friends though in regard to getting them to actually remember their sight words (both alone and in context- woohoo!). I love starting our guided reading time out each day with this routine.

Step 1: 
What’s Missing?
This is the step where you are actually introducing the sight word of the day to your students. I always choose a word that is going to be showing up frequently in our story of the day. I then write the word in front of my little friends and tell them the word. I also spell it for them pointing to each letter as I say it. 
After introducing the word, I tell my students to close their eyes and I erase one letter…they then open their eyes and tell me which letter is missing. I then rewrite the word and repeat this 2-3 times and then we move on because they’ve usually gotten the spelling of the word down after 3 times of practicing this way. 
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This free app is Kids Doodle and my little friends LOVE it! When students are using this app independently, they choose their “flower” which is under the marker button at the bottom- they have different flowers showing what each style of writing will look like and this is definitely something I have to have a countdown for otherwise they’d spend hours choosing which style they want for the day! The letters more or less glow on the black background and it really does look very cool. 🙂

Step 2: 
Mix and Fix!
This might be my favorite of all the steps- mixing and fixing can be so fun! Plus it gives you as the teacher a good indication of who knows the word now when they fix the word each time. For this step- each student makes the word on their iPad, says the word and then once I say “mix it up,” that’s exactly what they do with their letters. This app is perfect for this step because there is no erasing involved, just moving of the letters! Once all the letters are mixed up, I say “fix it” they all then turn their mixed up word back into the sight word. Depending on time, I’ll have them do this 1-2 times and then we move on to the next step. This free app is Magnetic Alphabet Lite and this app is used very frequently in my room!

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Step 3: 
Table Writing
This step does not require anything other than the student’s finger. Students now finger write the word on the table next to the iPad and make the word while saying it. Evidently it is difficult to capture “table writing” in action, but that’s what this little friend is doing below! 🙂
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Step 4: 
The last step is a mini final assessment to make sure all your friends know the word of the day before they go off and read it in their books.  Students now switch over to this app, choose their color and then write the word of the day. This free app is ShowMe– another one that I use daily!
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And that’s it! Now they can get busy reading their sight word right in their text of the day!
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So…this seems like these steps would take a whole lot of time, but really once you get comfortable with this routine and your students do too, it’ll end up only being 1-2 minutes of your guided reading time! 

Thanks again Fourth Grade Flipper  for your super Tuesday Tried It linky!


Have a great day!


Picture of Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

5 Responses

  1. Love this! I just pinned this to the Teachers of Pinterest/Literacy Board to share with everyone! I truly wish we had ipads when I taught the younger students. I am sure the possibilities are just endless now with different apps that can be utilized. Thank you SO much for sharing how you are using ipads in your reading groups and exactly which apps!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. What a WONDERFUL app. I know exactly who I'm going to use this with tomorrow!
    And now I'm mad that Alison is pinning this to the Literacy Board (I wanted to!)
    Actually, I'm going to pin this on the Sensory Learning board because this is perfect for SpEd.

    Digital: Divide & Conquer

  3. I am catching up on all your blogs because I have been so busy with school and I can see I have been missing a lot! I love the kids doodle. I just downloaded it on my iPads and I know the kiddos will love using that. Thanks!

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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