All About the Program
One of the easiest ways to help a young child become a strong reader in the primary grades is to provide practice in learning the high frequency words, also known as sight words. Learning to read these words quickly and correctly develops fluency and comprehension. It also promotes self-confidence and motivation.
Sight words make up close to 40% of all the words in a primer book. Various lists have been compiled with the same basic words, such as The Dolch Word List, Fry’s Word List, and the High Frequency Word List. We have divided the words into groups of 20 for ease of learning.
We hope this little booklet will help many students learn these words in record time!
Dominate Those Pesky Words!
Sight Word Busters use the word dominate to describe how the student needs to learn to read each sight word, quickly and without hesitation.
We explain how some of these words are pesky and often trip up children. Making the word the culprit places the blame on the word, not the child, and encourages a challenge to master each of the words. We assure each child that we will practice the word until s/he dominates the word every time s/he sees it.
How to Use the Booklet
My Little Sight Word Success Booklet is the primary tool used by our Sight Word Busters school volunteer program. In this program, five adults assume responsibility for one classroom of 22-25 children. Each volunteer works one day a week for approximately one hour. For children to master these skills in record time, they should have the opportunity to practice daily in kindergarten and first grade, and several times a week in second grade.
The volunteers works one-on-one with each child in short practice sessions we call the "Two-Minute Intervention". Teachers appreciate that children are away from the classroom activities for only a brief period of time working with the adult. The intervention takes place quietly in the back of the room. Materials needed are kept in a basket on a shelf. Each basket has one booklet for each child and a baggie for the volunteer that contains a pencil and sheets of small reward stickers.
Our Program is a Two-Minute Intervention Using The Buster Shuffle Teaching Strategy
The Buster Shuffle is a quick and easy teaching strategy that can be used to help a child learn new words on the Word Lists. The following are the directions used by the volunteers implementing our program:
When you start a new Word List you will want to find out which words the child already knows on this list. Do a Pretest.
Turn to the new Word List.
Ask the child to read each word on the list.
Circle the words s/he reads without hesitation.
Tell the child you will help him or her learn all of the words on this list one word at a time.
This concludes the Pretest.
THE BUSTER SHUFFLE
During the next session, do the Buster Shuffle:
Turn to the Word List page with the Post-it flag and say “Let’s find the Word of the Day.”
Ask the child to start reading the words on the chart beginning with the first word in the first row. Immediately stop when you discover the first word the child does not read quickly and explain that this is the Word of the Day.
Point to the Word of the Day and say “Today we are going to practice this word.”
You say the word and ask the child to say it.
Now point to a circled word on the same list and have the child say that word.
Go directly back to the Word of the Day and have the child read it. S/he may need your help to read it. This counts as the first practice read.
Point to another circled word and ask the child to read that word.
Go directly back to the Word of the Day and by now the child may be reading it without hesitation. If not, help him. This counts as the second practice read.
Have the child read two circled words and then return to the Word of the Day. This counts as the third practice read.
Continue this shuffle until the child has read the Word of the Day five times.
This concludes the session. Short, focused, effective.
Do not circle the Word of the Day during this session. Successfully performing the Buster Shuffle, reading the Word of the Day correctly five times, does not mean the child has committed the word to long term memory. If the child can read the word without hesitation during the next session, the word is circled. Most children need to practice a new word numerous times before they dominate it.
When the child can read every word on the list, without hesitation, celebrate by having a certificate signing ceremony!