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READING, PHONICS AND SIGHT WORDS GAMES
by Dr. Cindy Cupp

Section A – Fluency and Comprehension

Section B – Hop’n Pop or Sight Words

Section C – Phonics

Section D – Grammar 
 

Section E - Every Day Activities Parents Can Do

Section F - Parent Activities to Help Children Succeed in Kindergarten

 

Section A: Fluency-Comprehension Activities


Teaching Tips and Games - Free Comprehension Games to use with very beginning readers

Sunday Cartoons

Teacher notes from Dr. Cupp:

  The January/February/March 2003 edition of Reading Research Quarterly (Volume 38, Number 1) has a great research study on using wordless books to help beginning readers develop comprehension strategies and oral language.  The title of this research article is “Assessing Narrative Comprehension in Young Children.” 

 Problem:   In order to implement many of the strategies mentioned in this article, the teacher needs wordless books.  I have found it  both expensive and difficult to find a large selection of books without words. 

 Solution:  The cartoon section in most Sunday papers is in color.  Ask your friends and family to save the Sunday cartoon section for you each week.  If your largest reading group has eight students, you will need eight copies of the cartoons each week.

 In the cartoon section of last week’s Atlanta Journal and Constitution, I found three cartoons I considered appropriate to use with five-and six-year- olds to develop oral language and comprehension strategies.  The cartoon should show a story line that the young child can follow.  One cartoon had a few words.   I used white out and eliminated the words.

Steps for preparing the cartoons:

    1. Read the cartoons and decide the ones appropriate for your students.  Cut out the cartoons you have selected, glue the cartoon on cardstock and place a number in the box of each picture segment of the cartoon. For example:  If the cartoon is divided into six segments, then number each segment beginning with one in the first box and ending with the number six in the last box.  By placing a number in each box of each cartoon, you can discuss with the student what is happening in that particular box. 

    2.    Laminate your cartoons for the week and place them in an 8x10 mailing envelope with one copy of the cartoon pasted on the outside of the envelope.  Place a number on your new Cartoon Comprehension Activity.

Steps to use during instruction:

    1. Give each student in the group a copy of the cartoon.

    2. Have students look at each picture from the beginning of the cartoon to the end.

    3. Tell students there are many possible stories that describe the cartoon.  Students need to know there is not one right answer.

    4. Each student takes a turn telling what he or she thinks is happening in the picture.

    5.   Variation  – The teacher may have students cut the cartoons in segments and put the cartoon back together back again.


 

Oral Fluency Practice

If students are not fluent readers, the following suggestions might be helpful:

1. “Sing” Hop’n Pop - When students practice saying their words during Hop’n Pop, ask them to sort of sing the words. Their voices should not stop between words.

2. Tape record reading - Tape record students individually reading a paragraph from Dr. Cupp Readers® booklet. Students should practice the paragraph and then tape record their reading again.

3. Echo reading – One student reads the paragraph or sentence.  The teacher calls on the next student to echo back or re-read the text.

4. Buddy Reading - Students take turns reading the paragraph to a buddy.

5. Reading for an audience – Students think of a situation where they might orally read in front of an audience, brother, sister, etc.  Students practice reading and then actually read in front of an audience. 


Comprehension Games and Teaching Tips

Beat the Tiger

Beat the Tiger is a game we play for comprehension.  The following cheer is a new twist for the game:

As students practice reading stories, the teacher records the score for Beat the Tiger.  The goal of the game is for the kids to earn all the points, and the Tiger to have a score of zero.  If the Tiger does not get any points on pages 2 or 3, students and the teacher have reason to celebrate.  Reading success is based on hard work and many opportunities to celebrate successes.  A celebration for two days of no points for the Tiger might include:  The successful group members stand in front of the entire class holding a pompom.  The class does the Beat the Tiger Cheer in honor of the successful group.

Teacher:  “Who Beat the Tiger?”   Successful Group: “We Beat the Tiger!”  Repeat line

Whole Class:  “Way-to-Go!  Way-to-Go!  Go-Kids-Go!”   Kids shake their pompoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


Oral Fluency Practice
 

If students are not fluent readers, the following suggestions might be helpful:

1. “Sing” Hop’n Pop - When students practice saying their words during Hop’n Pop, ask them to sort of sing the words. Their voices should not stop between words.

2. Tape record reading - Tape record students individually reading a paragraph from Dr. Cupp Readers® booklet. Students should practice the paragraph and then tape record their reading again.

3. Echo reading – One student reads the paragraph or sentence.  The teacher calls on the next student to echo back or re-read the text.

4. Buddy Reading - Students take turns reading the paragraph to a buddy.

5. Reading for an audience – Students think of a situation where they might orally read in front of an audience, brother, sister, etc.  Students practice reading and then actually read in front of an audience.

6.  Modeling by the teacher – The teacher listens to the student read.  The teacher then reads the text back to the student.  The student rereads the text to the teacher.

 





Catch on to Reading by Mandy Walker

This is a game that can be used all year long to increase fluency in reading.

Objective:  To help students gain fluency in reading.

Materials:  Fish bowl, marker, and foam shaped fish (these can be found on the scrapbook isle at Wal-Mart) 

Players:  3-6 

How to Play:  If the student reads his/her Jack and Jilly story with accuracy and fluency they will be able to put their name onto a foam fish and drop it into the fish bowl.  At the end of the day, the teacher will draw a name out of the fish bowl and that student will receive a prize from the prize box.  (Small treats that have been placed in our Treasure Tub)

 

 


Section B: Sight Word Activities



Teaching Tips and Games

Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop

Objective: To help students’ transition from reading words on cards or on lists to reading words in text.

Why will this game help some students?  If students have been practicing sight words using index cards or word lists, some students have trouble reading the same words if the words are placed side-by-side on a page of reading text.  Students are not accustomed to seeing the sight word with other words coming before or after.  In order to help students make this transition, Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop has been helpful for some students.

Material needed:

Timer and Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop practice sheet.

Steps to make this game:

    1. Select the sight words students will practice.

    2. Make a Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop practice sheet (see below).  Line one has four spaces between each word; line two has three spaces between each word; line three has two spaces; and lines four and five have one space.

    3. Each student has a copy of the Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop practice sheet.  One child is selected to read the lines.  The teacher sets the timer for 30 seconds and the selected student tries to beat the 30 seconds.  If the student can read all words in 30 seconds, the student catches Hop’n Pop.  Each child in the group will have a turn.


Side-by-Side™ Hop’n Pop 


 

1.   my    cat    can    see    you    Can 

 

2.   you   cat   my   see   can   Can   You

 

3.   can  you  cat  You  see  my  Can 

 

4.   Can you see my cat?                    

 

5.   You can see my cat.

 

Student’s name_______________________

Directions:  Set the timer for 30 seconds.  Students try to read all the words in 30 seconds.  There are 30 words. Enter the number of words read within 30 seconds.  Begin in box one and write the score for the first attempt at reading all 30 words.  Continue to enter the score in boxes 2-10 or until they can read all 30 words in 30 seconds.

 

1

 

2

3

4

5

6

 

7

8

9

10

  
 




Pop-It-To-Me

This game is taken from the new Readiness Teacher’s Manual for Pre-K and beginning kindergarten students using Dr. Cupp Readers®. 

Pop-It-To-Me is designed to provide a fun way to practice alphabet letter names, letter sounds, and basic sight words.  It may also be used to teach punctuation marks as well as math facts or any information you would like for students to know automatically.

Directions for the game Pop-It-To-Me:

Teacher preparation

Make a deck of Pop Cards

Make three decks of Practice Cards – sound deck, letter deck, sight word deck

Pop Cards

The teacher needs 8 blank index cards.  These eight cards will be called Pop Cards. The teacher writes the following on the Pop Cards:

2 cards – write the word Letters

2 cards – write the word Sounds

2 cards- write the word Words

2 cards – write the words Wiggle and Jiggle  (both words on each card)

These Pop Cards are folded and placed in a container.  In Step 3, students will take turns drawing a Pop Card from the container.


Practice Cards
- The teacher will need to make three decks of Practice Cards.  The teacher will need a deck with letters, one with sounds, and one with sight words. 


Steps to play the game

   
1.    All students sing the Pop-It-To-Me song and make the hand signs.

Note:  In future lessons, this song will be the “hook” to help students understand punctuation marks.  During this lesson, the terms:  period, question mark and exclamation mark are not used.

Before the lesson begins, the teacher writes the following on chart paper:
 

        Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me Now.

        Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me How?

        Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me,  Pop-It-To-Me WOW!
 

The teacher “sings” the first line of the song, and the students sing the line back.

        The teacher “sings” the second line of the song, and the students sing the line back.

The teacher “sings” the third line of the song, and the students sing the line back.

        The teacher then repeats the song.  The students sing back each line to the teacher.
 

“Now, I am going to teach you how to make a new hand motion at the end of each sentence.  When you say the word Now, I want you to make a fist with one hand and place it in the palm of the other hand.”  Students will make their fist look like a period.

“Now, when we sing the word How, I want you to shrug your shoulders and make your hands go palm up.”  Students look like they don’t know the answer when someone asks them a question.

“Now, when we sing the word WOW, I want you to raise one arm like you are saying YES!  Students will look like they are an exclamation mark.

The teacher and students repeat the song with the hand motions. 
 

    2.    After singing the song, a selected student draws a Pop Card from the container.  There are 8 Pop Cards to choose from (see 1 above).   When the first student draws a Pop Card from the container, the teacher will read what is on the card, and all students will participate in the answer.  Example:  If the first student draws a Pop Card that says Sounds, then the teacher picks up the card deck that has the sounds the students have learned and all students say the sounds for letters.  If the next student draws the Pop Card that says Letters, the teacher picks up the card deck that has the letters the students have learned and the students say the names of the letters.   If the next student draws the Pop Card that says Words, the teacher picks up the card deck with all the sight words the students have learned, and the students say the sight words.  If the Wiggle and Jiggle Pop Card is drawn, the students stand up and wiggle and jiggle. 

 

    3.    All Pop Cards are put back in the container, and the game then starts again.  The students sing Pop-It-To-Me and four more students are selected to draw Pop Cards.

 


 


Old Friends and New Friends


When the PayDay Updates came in for September, I saw that the kindergarten sight words scores at Cleveland soared.  I called the folks at Cleveland and asked them what they were doing to cause such an increase in sight words. Cleveland teachers responded with the following idea that they call “Old Friends and New Friends.”  

Ashli Williams, kindergarten teacher at Cleveland Elementary in Fayette County, Georgia writes: 

When students start Story 1 in Dr. Cupp Readers®, they are presented with a “reading box.” The reading box is a plain VHS tape container.  A poem (see below) and a silver ring are place inside the reading box.  After introducing the first four sight words (Jack, Jilly, can, play), the words are written on index cards and placed on the child’s silver ring.  The reading box goes home every night Monday – Thursday for practice. As a student passes Hop’n Pop and moves on to a new story, four new words are added to the ring.  By the time a student reaches Story 30, he or she will have 115 words on the ring.

   

 The reading boxes are color coded by the students’ small (reading) group.  Some boxes have purple labels (average/on-grade level readers), some have yellow labels (slower readers), and some have orange labels (higher readers).  I use the boxes during reading instruction at least one time each week.  By Story 6, students have enough words on the ring to begin making simple sentences.  We use the cards for many different activities.   The reading box is a wonderful assessment tool as well.  At the end of each nine-week period, I assess each student on all cards on his or her ring.  This makes report cards very easy.

 

 

 

 

POEM: “Now That I Can Read”

I used to need somebody,

to sit and read to me.

I’d look on every page they read

and listen carefully.

 

But now that I am in Kindergarten,

I’m filling up a shelf.

With stories, poems, and other books

that I can read myself.


-Author Unknown

 



Christy Kable, Sara Harp Minter Elementary School,  Fayette County

I was working with teachers at Sara Harp Minter Elementary School in Fayette County when Christy Kable shared this idea with me.  Instead of just saying the words on Hop’n Pop’s page, her students sing these words to the tune of “Happy Birthday.” The teachers in training tried this, and we had a great time.  We even sang sight words to “Row, row, row your boat!”
 

    

From Christy Kable:

Here is my idea about singing the Hop'n Pop words to the tune of "Happy Birthday."  I use this tune because you can sing it a little slower if needed.  If the tune runs out on word #19 on Hop’n Pop’s page, then we start it over immediately.  In other words, we keep singing and singing and singing.  We may go through the words 6 or 7 times and the children don't even realize it.  They absolutely love doing this and it's a fun change-up from just saying the words over and over.  Plus all children succeed!  The pictures above show my children happily singing Hop'n Pop words.

Christy Kable, Sara Harp Minter Elementary, Fayette County 


Game - Hop’n Stop
 

This is a game variation for Hop’n Pop.  Students work as a team to catch Hop’n Pop in their reading groups.

Preparation:  The teacher needs a timer and a list of sight words.

Steps:

1. The timer is set for the Goal Time for saying the sight words.
 

2. The timer is started and the first child goes down the first list of words and says as many words as possible.  If the student makes an error, the teacher stops the child and helps the student correct the error.  The next student then picks up where the first student was stopped.  The second student says as many sight words as possible until an error is made.  When the second student makes an error, the error is corrected and the game is picked up by the next student.
 

3. Students continue to say the words as quickly as possible until either the timer goes off or the word list is completed and the Goal Time is met.
 

4. If the students beat the timer, they catch Hop’n Pop!  If one student says all the words without missing a word, then the team gets a bonus point.  The game continues until all students have a turn.
 




Sight Word Games and Teaching Tips 

1. Variation for Hop’n Pop

Usually, students are recognized when they catch Hop’n Pop.  Try this variation:  All students attempt to catch Hop’n Pop on the first round.  The scores are recorded.  Students are told a prize will be given to the student who can improve the most.  Award a special prize to the student who increases his or her score the most.  A prize might be leading the line, a smiley face drawn on his or her paper, etc. 

2. Sight Word Graph – Adairsville Elementary School, Adairsville, Georgia

Submitted by Dawn Caldwell

This great idea is from Adairsville Elementary in Adairsville, Georgia.  To make a strong connection between mathematics and reading, graph the Hop’n Pop words.  When students learn five new words, they can color in a box on their graph.

 

 

Joe

T.J.

Faith

Sonia

Mimi

100

 

 

 

 

 

95

 

 

 

 

 

90

 

 

 

 

 

85

 

 

 

 

 

80

 

 

 

 

 

75

 

 

 

 

 

70

 

 

 

 

 

65

 

 

 

 

 

60

 

 

 

 

 

55

 

 

 

 

 

50