Category Archives: Sight Words

Reading Remedies for iPhone and iPad

This week I released my first iPhone/iPad app, Reading Remedies, which helps to diagnose reading difficulties and support beginning readers. I hope it will be of use to teachers and especially parents.

The app gives assessments in each of six reading areas (rhyming, blending, segmenting, sight words, fluency, and word attack) and then provides follow-up activities for teaching each of the reading skills. It’s only .99¢ and is available now in iTunes.

Apple has chosen to feature the app in the “New and Noteworthy” education section where it has been since it was released.

This is my first mobile app (Fluency Timer was released in January for desktops) and the first app I’ve coded entirely by myself (more on that later) although I got a lot of help on the content from other teachers and literacy experts.

Please check out this youtube video demonstration I made for the app:

Beginning of the Year Pre-Assessments

Here are a few tools to use when assessing students at the beginning of the year:

The Basic Phonics Skills Test (BPST)
This is helpful in identifying specific areas of phonics need (short vowels, long vowels, digraphs, etc.)

San Diego Quick Assessment
It’s also important to know students’ knowledge of sight words which is an almost completely separate skill from decoding and an almost equal predictor of reading success.

Yopp-Singer
Test of phoneme segmentation

DIBELS
provides several free fluency passages as well as comprehension assessments

What pre-assessments do you use?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Blogging will return 11/26.  Enjoy your turkey.

Teaching Sight Words

The Sight Word Turtles are located here and are available for kindergarten and first grade. They are aligned with the Open Court decodable books.

The Turtles are a way of organizing high frequency words to make them fun for students. For teachers, they can be used to assess student knowledge of sight words. For example, Mario is on Turtle #3, Nancy is on Turtle #4.

Each week, use the weekly homework sheets to assign 4 words for students to learn. Print the corresponding turtle on the back of the homework.

Some teachers have students color in the words once students are able to read them. I did have students color the words when I taught kindergarten and then put these on the wall. In first grade I wouldn’t have students color the turtles because I wanted them to keep practicing previous weeks words even if they had already them correctly. Struggling readers would know a word one week but then forget it the next.

The parent reports are a form letter designed to reduce teacher workload and maximize instructional time. You can assess students right from the form or use the sight word turtles and then circle the words students read quickly and send the form home to parents. Using this regularly holds students and parents accountable to student learning.