At our school, high frequency word study is built into a quick ten minutes of each school day. With just 10 minutes I try to work in a rotation of 4 quick activities divided into two days. This means 5 minutes for each activity, if you include the transitioning time I think the total of our HFW study period would be about 15 minutes a day.
It is a tight period of time so I try to choose activities that are quick with little or no prep. I also try my best to include technology in one or two of the rotations.
Some of the non-tech activities that I have included are:
- Writing on small whiteboards (sometimes I like to get the kids to erase it with their fingers by tracing over the words again)
- Wet/dry chalkboards (either traditionally with chalk or small squares of wet sponges)
- Rainbow words (going over the word over and over again in a different color each time)
- Play Dough words
- Finger painting the words
- Stickers over the words
- Creating words with pipe cleaners
As you can see in all these situations, I just need to put the materials on the table and once the kids are familiar with each one, the moment they see the materials they know what to do.
Here are a couple of ways I have tried to incorporate technology into these rotations (I don’t include the iPads or SmartBoard when we have finger painting :))
Using apps from Duck Duck Moose such as
The children practice writing the words with a variety of drawing tools and a use a straightforward, kid-friendly way to record their voices reading the words. What I like about it is that when they touch their writing a blue dot appears so that they can show which word they are reading. Here is an example:
I can see this working with a variety of other drawing & recording apps such as Show Me or Educreations. However, what I like best about the Duck Duck Moose apps are that the works saves automatically! I don’t have to spend time at that table making sure the kids don’t lose their work or trying to save everyone’s work. I can go back at the end of the day and export the work that I want to use to put on their Kidblogs or on the class blog.
As for the Smart Board, I like to use the Keyword Dice found in the gallery of Smart Notebook and type in the words for that week. The kids take turns by lining up, tapping the board once, reading the word and moving to the end of the line. The kids love it so much that they do go through the entire 5 minutes at that station!
The other thing I have tried is having them write the words on the Smart Board using a lesson I downloaded from Smart Exchange. This is a place where educators can share and search for lessons they have created on the Smart Board. I particularly liked this lesson because it was simple enough to change the words, and it let the children practice writing using larger arm movements. I manage it the same way I do with the dice. The kids line up, they write the word on the line, erase it (they love doing the circle around and tapping!), then move to the back of the line. The next child gets to press the arrow to move on to the next word. When and if they get to the last slide the kids know to start moving backwards through the slides with the back arrow.