One of the hardest parts of introducing sight words whole group, at least for me, is giving those words meaning and building fluency. Of course, we get practice with this in our small guided reading groups too, but I wanted the time we spent with our sight words while group to be as meaningful as possible.
That’s why, I started using mixed up sentences as a whole group sight word fluency activity. I knew how powerful this activity was in small groups, so I wanted to see if it would work just as well with our entire class… And guess what? It did!
I start by mixing up one sentence at a time. These are very simple sentences that feature our target sight word(s) and a picture at the end. I chose to use the picture instead of a word because I wanted the focus to be entirely on sight word fluency, not on reading strategies. Too many targets in a lesson can weaken its efficacy.
I say the sentence and then my students repeat it, putting up one finger for each word. Then, I ask a student what word we need first and have them come up and find it. We do that for each word.
After each sentence, we read it together and then make the next sentence. When we have build all of the sentences, we read them several times together for fluency.
We read them in our normal voices. We read them in our whisper voices. We read them in our GIANT voices. We read them in our silly voices. Anything to keep students engaged!
After we practice the sentences whole group, my students make the sentences in their notebooks. They keep these notebooks in their book boxes and they have the choice to pull them out during any read to self time.
As students are making the sentences, I can see who understands the words and who needs more help. If they put a word in the wrong spot, I help them correct it on the spot because I want it to be correct when they read it in the future.
When they finish the page, I have them read the sentences to me and to a friend at their table. This is a great way for me to check 1-to-1 and if they are actually looking at the words!
If you want to extend this practice to writing, you can follow up with guided writing sentences or by having students come up with their own sentence to match the pattern! Once your students are familiar with this routine, it’s also easy to bring the same sentences and activities into intervention groups.
You can find these Sight Word Fluency Mixed Up Sentences here:
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