Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dodecahedron Sight Word Race

I geared up and began tackling sight words with my children this month. Our word wall got revamped, we were pointing them out, digging them up, tracing them, building them, fishing them out of snow disguised as packing peanuts. We even had a Super Sight Word scavenger hunt, which had children pulling words out of play-doh, manipulative bins and from underneath blocks. 
Half of my children bathed in the word immersion. They were excited as they found and read words around the room. There were some who found the words and could not read them. Those children folded them into pockets or held them crumbled in sweaty fists until they saw them again in small group or afternoon meeting. They would then produce the hidden word, yelling out its name, eager to get a check mark next to their name. There were some still, who were not interested in anything word related. They swiped the coveted pieces of paper out of their way as they continued through their day, not even attempting to view its content.
I scoured books, Pinterest and teaching blogs and websites for a way to get these children interested. 
Then one night between asleep and awake it hit me! A Dodecahedron Sight Word Race! It had everything! It was suitable for my beginners and my more advanced students. It used both gross and fine motor skills. Children who had difficulty reading the words could match them and the entire class could get involved. As an added bonus, I got to use a Dodecahedron, which I have been dying to try ever since I ran across the Dodecahedron Book Report Project
I woke up at 4am to work on the game and was carrying it to school at 7am that same day (and still had time to shower and dress). I began with the giant floor game board. This was made on large white roll paper. The twelve words were written at the bottom and columns ran the length of the paper. I then created rows which would serve as the "stops". 
Next, I wrote my words on my Dodecahedron die template and glued it together. I glued my tabs on the inside, but I have seen images with the tabs glued on the outside.
I then placed the sight words in a set of plastic cars ordered from Lakeshore. 
I used the cars with beds, but if your cars do not have them, the words can also be taped to the top.

The excitement began as soon as I started taping the board to the floor. The children rolled the die, read the word and raced the corresponding car to the next stop. As the children were racing, the children on the side were cheering the car on ("Go 'the'! Go 'the'"!). This stopped them from becoming distracted during someone else's turn.

It was a big hit!! I've since developed a table top version to be used for small groups. This will be available for free from my newly opened TPT store!!! 

Please comment and let me know what you think!