Monday, July 1, 2013

Sight Word Snapshots

I believe every student deserves to be a GREAT writer! In kindergarten, mastery of high frequency words (sight words) is a huge step toward independent writing!  In my classroom, I call sight words “camera words” because students should recognize them instantly!  I created these Sight Word Sentence Writing Mini-Books 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. 

My BUNDLE of Sight Words Snapshots is a great value!! You get 11 Sight Word Snapshot mini-books with 99 total pages. But wait...there's more! ;) Each time I add a mini-book, you will be able to download the updated bundle for F-R-E-E!! That's a lot of bang for your buck!! Buy NOW to SAVE BIG later!!  

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 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?")  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!!

After using these books all year, I noticed significant differences in my kids' writing.  They were writing more fluently, more confidently, more accurately, and with more enjoyment!  Best of all...the kids absolutely LOVED it!!  They felt successful and they were able to add their own personal touch to each page.  Here are a few pictures of my kids in action.

The open letters on the cover provide a great opportunity for direct instruction and visual learning.  We reviewed the digraph "wh" and colored those letters the same color to remind students that those letters make 1 sound.  Then, we noticed the sight word "at".  But, a-t doesn't sound like "at" in the word WHAT.  So, we colored each letter separately to remind ourselves that those letters don't sound like the word chunk "at".

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!!


  1. Great post. I love the idea that it is differentiated and the student checklist with the visual is awesome!! I am a firm believer in visuals. Thanks for the awesome freebie!!


  2. These are awesome! I just wishlisted it and will be sure to print them out when school starts.
    Thank you so much.

    Kindergarten Corps

  3. What amazing work! I appreciate the concept behind these mini-books. Thanks for posting!