Miss Literacy

for the love of reading

Teaching Sight Words

Sight words are high frequency words in written language that do not follow conventional phonics rules. Children can learn sight words through repeated reading and spelling activities. Sight words should be introduced in isolation and through conversations about why the words are tricky. For example, if you examine the word was you will conclude that the w does what we would expect following traditional phonics rules for making the /w/ sound in beginning position, but the a and s have different sounds. Discussion should take place about how that makes no sense! After you have established the inconsistency, you would sky-write the word together to put it into their muscle memory for a minimum of 3 times. You would follow this with tracing and writing word on their own, seeing it in isolation, and in context. Revisit the words every day and add to the word wall and word-ring. Daily review is key to memorizing sight words.

For struggling learners that are not grasping sight words easily, try the following procedure in small group:

Teach 1 SIGHT WORD at a time. After following the procedures above, try these activities:

What’s Missing?
Write the word on the WB/magnetic letters in front of the students (left to right construction). Tell word and ask to look at each letter. Spell as you point (teaching scanning left to right)
Say: “This was a word in the story. (write it) The word is ____.”
Secretly erase/remove a letter and ask, “What’s missing?” When they tell you put it back. Repeat 2/3 times with different letters.
Ask: “Now spell the word for me so I can write it.”

Mix & Fix
Give each student the letters to make the new word. They check the model for accuracy. Students check the word by sliding under as they say it. Pull each letter down to make it again. Mix up the letters and make again.

Table Writing
Students use finger to write the word on the table. The finger tracing helps them remember the word. Encourage the student to say it as they write it and then check it with their finger.

Students use finger to write the word on the whiteboard, saying it as they write. Teach same word on day 1 & 2 or until they have it. Do not teach a new word until they know the one begin taught.

Sight Word Review-
Choose 4 review words including the one from yesterday.
Ask the students to write the word from yesterday. If they are struggling, say: “Think about what it looks like.”
If child can not write it give clues:
It has 4 letters, do you remember 2nd letter? It is a.
Intervene before misspelling. What letter comes next? Tell him if necessary. Repeat for all 4 words.

No Comments »

Teaching With Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practices, Taking Action- Book Study

Welcome to the Teaching With Intention Book Study!  I am very excited to have this opportunity. We will be meeting in person too, but for those who are not able to schedule it in, we can share our thoughts here.

You’ll have to order the book and set up your journal (love this idea from Teaching With Style) or grab a notebook. If you are not the crafty type, don’t waste your time. I plan to continue with hosting book clubs for teachers, so I am making a notebook to keep a record of my thinking.

Our first post will be discussed on Monday, February 8th. Please refer to the meeting dates and times in your email. I will post the question/discussion prompts here Monday before. The first post will go up Monday, February 1st. You will have until the 8th to post. Each entry will be titled by the chapter(s) and you will be able to comment what your thoughts are. If you do not want to blog in addition to our meetings, that is fine too. You have to do what works for you so that you can get the most out of this book.

I believe that Debbie Miller is a grounded educator with dedicated to teaching children how to become lifelong readers/learners.  Reading With Meaning was a pivotal book in my teaching career. She believes, as I do, in the craft of teaching reading to children opposed to a reading program.  Additionally, we have the video series Happy Reading and if you teach K-1 should definitely view.I was very excited to meet her last year at the Rutgers Reading conference!


If the links do not work, just google the titles or refer to your email. See you Monday!

No Comments »

Free Beanie Baby Reading Strategy Posters on TPT

Do you have old beanie babies lying around? Try these reading strategy posters!


No Comments »

Moving into Math Stations (Debbie Diller)

Years ago I used Debbie Diller‘s books to revamp my small group and center time. her book, Making the Most of Small Group is A M A Z I N G and has taught me so much about being effective in small group. When I felt my centers were not as effective as I had hoped, I purchased Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work. Both books have so many great resources to use for small group time.

She has been working on a book called Growing Independent Learners and it is just unbelievable. She talks about strong whole group reading instruction and WAIT FOR IT—ANCHOR CHARTS (another obsession of mine). She moves the mini anchor chart into the workstation and claims that is lifts the level of independence in the children.


End Rant

I’ve been thinking a lot about math lately… And then I came across this: Moving Into Math Stations.  This link gives a really good overview of the video system. If I can obtain these materials, would anyone be interested in trying it out? We can start a video transformation of your math block. (Don’t let that scare you! If you do not want to do the video-it is OK!)

LINKS: Because the hypers aren’t working!

https://debbiediller.wordpress.com/about/   or http://www.debbiediller.com/







1 Comment »

Daily 3 and MAGIC Math in 1st grade

This is so interesting! This amazing 1st grade teacher has used Daily 3 math and shares her management of it. I want to try it! If you’d like to start thinking about doing this, let me help you! Post a comment or email me.


No Comments »

Daily 5, CAFE, and Math Daily 3

Sooo… I have always been obsessed with the two sisters! If you are with me in this, think about attending thier workshop this summer in New Brunswick! Watch the video. It is so refreshing.


Let me know if you are interested!

Daily 5:

No Comments »

Literacy Inquiry

Do you have a question about literacy in your classroom? Please allow me to work with you to figure it out!

Have you tried to teach a certain skill, but not getting the results you’d like?

Are you unsure of how to implement centers in your classroom?

Do you have a vision for your reading block that you’d like to create?

Do you have questions about assessment, small group, questioning, close reading, emerging literacy, content area reading strategies, etc?

Feel free to post your questions here or contact me through email at cmcgettigan@lehsd.k12.nj.us

No Comments »

Close Reading

Close reading, or ‘reading with a pen’ is a strategy that deepens comprehension. Each reading allows students to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) supplies clarification useful for teaching with Common Core standards in mind:

Close, analytic reading stresses engaging with a text of sufficient complexity directly and examining meaning thoroughly and methodically, encouraging students to read and reread deliberately. Directing student attention on the text itself empowers students to understand the central ideas and key supporting details. It also enables students to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold; and the development of ideas over the course of the text, which ultimately leads students to arrive at an understanding of the text as a whole. (PARCC, 2011, p. 7)

Close reading is not meant for every lesson. Teaching children to read closely is important for answering text dependent questions created to provide opportunities for students

to dig deep into a portion of text.


Hello world!

Welcome to your brand new blog at Edublogs!

To get started, simply visit your blog’s dashboard, edit or delete this post and check out all the other options available to you.

Like more help?

We can walk you through step-by-step in our guide to getting started with your blog.

Happy blogging!

1 Comment »

Skip to toolbar