Some of you have asked what I was referring to in previous posts when I wrote Lexie used her “shapes ring” or “sight words ring.”
Lexie (4) is a phonetic reader- she can look at a word, sound it out in her head or aloud, and read the word fluently. But despite the fact she can read phonetically, she comes across words that cannot be read phonetically, “rule breakers” as AAR calls them; or sometimes we just haven’t made it to the rule yet. Some educators believe sight words are effective, others do not. We choose to use sight words, because it allows her to expand what books she can read. Some of our sight words can be read phonetically, they are just words we see over and over so we add them to our sight word ring.
Then, we have the shapes ring. I found some great shape flash cards by doing a google search (but can’t find the exact ones I used to link here. sorry!), printed them off, and did the same thing as with the sight words. Each time we do math, the first thing Lexie does is flip through her shapes ring and names each shape aloud. This is also how she is learning the names of 3D shapes, like prisms and cylinders.
I keep the sight words we have NOT yet learned on their own large ring (the top left in the picture) and the shapes we have not yet learned on their own ring (top right picture).
Flash cards are another controversial topic in education…
Can they be boring? YES
Can they encourage rote memory- YES
But there are effective ways to use them; I like to take the rings Lexie is using and mix up the words/shapes so she doesn’t get used to seeing them the same way. Also, little hands love to flip through cards or pages, and it can give them a sense of confidence and ownership.
This is something SO easy that can be used while you work with other students, get your morning coffee, or sort your teaching materials. Max has some personalized ABC flash cards he likes, so I am going to laminate them and put on binder rings so he can be like big sister.
This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this sight. =)