Monday, February 25, 2013

Something New!! (FREEBIE)

It's a little ridiculous how excited I am to share this new FREEBIE with all of you!!  I've been trying this idea out in my classroom for a few weeks now, and I'm in love!  My kids have shown so much growth and increased confidence as writers...which is a BIG DEAL in my book!!  I have a whole series of these books in the works, so keep your eye on the Happy Teacher Heaven Facebook page -- I'm going to GIVE AWAY each new "Sight Word Snapshot" mini-book on Facebook!!  Click the picture below to grab your copy!

In my classroom, I often call sight words “camera words” because students should recognize them instantly!  I created this Sight Word Sentence Writing Mini-Book to help my students develop fluency writing sight word phrases.  Students will write the same phrases each day and develop a dynamic mental bank of sight word phrases, making their authentic writing more descriptive and easing the frustration often felt by emergent writers. 

Each book has a targeted sight word (like "what") and at least one sight word sentence.  The first page of the mini-book provides an opportunity for direct instruction and scaffolded practice with the focus sight word and the primary sentence.  Ideally, students will write one page per day and finish the book in one week.  

On the 2nd page, students are able to craft a personal response to the new sentence.  Students refer to the sight word wall and use phonetic spelling for any other words they select to complete the sentence.  An additional line is provided so students have the space to elaborate.  This is a very simple way to differentiate!  I typically do some guided brainstorming prior to asking students to write...  "Think, Pair, Share" and "Pairs-Square" are 2 strategies that are quick, simple, and work great as a pre-writing strategy!

Pages 3-5 are identical.  On these pages, the prompts are removed to encourage independence!  Students will enhance their writing fluency by continuing to practice writing the same sentence frames from page 2.  (I can... What can you do?")  However, the child should be writing a new personal response on each page.  I noticed that my kids would sometimes "forget" and try to write about the same topic twice.  (For example, writing "I can swim." on more than 1 page.)  It was helpful to have students read their book to a partner before brainstorming so everyone had fresh, new ideas.  In fact, hearing another student's ideas was a helpful pre-writing tool for some of my reluctant writers!  I often use the "Mix, Freeze, Pair, Share" cooperative learning structure for this partner-sharing time.  

A student-friendly writing checklist is provided at the bottom of each journal page. 
I recommend copying this book single-sided so students may use the opposite blank page to create an  illustration.  Some reluctant writers may benefit from Illustrating first to generate a topic and/or details before writing.  For some of my struggling writers, I use a light-colored marker to write the sentence (or parts of the sentence) on pages 3-5 if additional support is needed.  

If you have a "buddy class", it's fun to get together and have your students read their book to a friend.  It's awesome to see how proud they are of their writing!!

I hope you and your students love these "Snapshots" as much as my class and I do!!  If you download the book and find it useful, it would be so kind of you to leave a comment!   If you haven't already - click the picture below to download your FREE Sight Word Snapshot mini-book!!

You'll also want to be sure to "like" my Facebook page because I'll be GIVING AWAY each new "Sight Word Snapshot" mini-book on Facebook!!  


  1. Thanks for the freebie. I tried to follow you by email- but it's not working.

  2. I'm sorry Yvonnee!! I'll try to figure it out. I'm so glad you let me know!

  3. Amy thank you so much for sharing these books. I can't wait to try them out. We got a late start on writing this year and we have been hitting it pretty hard.
    Thank you!

  4. Thank you for this great book. Our word this week is what so this sample fits perfectly. I can't wait to try it out!

  5. What a fabulous freebie! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    Miss Galvin Learns

  6. Hi Amy, I love the format of your sight word books. I think this will really help my kids! Thanks so much for sharing, Anne

  7. Thanks for the freebie! This will be great for a few of my struggling firsties. Your blog is adorable. I'm so glad I found you!

  8. Amy, this is ADORABLE and very creative! I teach 3rd, but I have a student who is just learning English and I'm going to print this out for him. This is just the kind of activity I need to help increase his English acquisition. I'll send you a picture of his finished product.

    Common Core Teacher's Toolbox

  9. This is a wonderful activity for teaching sight words. I like that you focus on words that dramatically impact their reading. The repetition is key. Nice job!

    Thanks for linking up!


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