Getting Sight Words to Stick: Color coding the words

Getting Sight Words to stick!  Color coding sight words to make them seasonally relevant and help struggling readers! As a first grade teacher, I have recognized that one of the biggest indicators of my students’ reading success is their sight word knowledge. This is especially important for my struggling kiddos because they are spending so much time and “thinking space” in their brains working to decode all the other words.

These struggling readers are also the ones who used to never ever use my word wall because it was full of a sea of words that all looked the same, few of which they could read without becoming frustrated.

In addition, I had this huge list of first grade words for the kiddos to learn, and I had to try to keep myself on track. A few summers ago I decided, mostly to keep myself on schedule, to write the sight words I wanted to focus on each month on a seasonal shape. This way I would know I had to get through the red apple words in September, and so on.

The result was much more interesting than keeping me on track.

Three awesome things that happened:

1. The students LOVED seeing what color and shape/image was coming in the month ahead.

2.The words were broken  up into smaller groups. Instead of a SEA of sight words, there were red apple words, and orange pumpkin words. Students were much less overwhelmed.

3. Students were able to locate them much more easily on the word wall. It was as if they had made more connections in their minds with a color and shape/image being associated with the words.

SO.. I continued my work over the next two years and developed some seasonal “word work” center activities to go along with words!

And now I’m (almost) ready to share them all with you!

I have JUST posted my September first grade sight word resource along with color by code, word strip puzzles, a roll and highlight game, and directions for a traditional match game.

Check it out here!

Sight Words all Year! Practice sight words seasonally!

I’ve also posted a growing bundle resource. You pay for what is available now (usually at a discount) and receive all future resources for FREE when I am finished putting the finishing touches on them!

Click here for the “All Year Long” growing bundle!


**Note- Customized resources are available! If you have a district required sequence or list you’d like me to create resources for, please contact me directly to discuss. :-)

To My Son’s Kindergarten Teacher


Dear Miss K,

Thank you.

Thank you for bringing him joy. Thank you for being the smiling teach who is “very pretty with golden hair.”  Thank you for the “good day sticker” smack dab in the middle of his forehead every day, evidence of a day filled with laughter and smiles. Thank you for calling him “handsome” and lighting his face up with a smile! Thank you for holding his hand on the way to lunch. Thank you for making him feel like he is your favorite student ever… I’m pretty sure that all your students feel that way.

Thank you for taking care of him. Thank you for helping him overcome his fear of self flushing toilets.  Thank you for giving him a big hug when he was sad on the first day of school.  Thank you for letting him keep the box of tissues on his table when he had that never ending cold. Thank you for sending get well e-mails when he was home sick, and for the check in e-mails when he was at school. Thank you for switching his star week when he was sick ALL WEEK LONG and missed out on the fun. Thank you for walking him down to parent pick up just to make sure he got there safely when he was cleaning up at his typical turtle pace and missed heading down with his friends.

Thank you for noticing. Thank you for noticing when it was a good time for him to check in with the nurse for his asthma. Thank you for noticing him standing with his hand up as everyone else was off playing because he “doesn’t know how to hula hoop”.  Thank  you for noticing his strengths. Thank you for noticing his new “cool” haircut. Thank you for noticing that he REALLY wanted his lunch in his “forgotten at school” lunchbox the day he brought his spare… and for taking the time to help him switch his lunch over.

Thank you for sharing with him. Thank you for sharing your lunchtimes with him. Thank you for sharing your mom and dad, the famous Mr. & Mrs. K. Thank you for sharing your recess time on field day playing blocks with him, rather than taking the break you deserved so very much.  Thank you for sharing Sawyer stories with him, and thus our entire family (even if it took  my husband months to figure out Sawyer is a cat… and NOT a student in your class).   Thank you for sharing your very yummy extra snack with him… Thank you for later finding his goldfish crackers under his jacket… and thank you for letting it go. Thank you for sharing your love and joy of learning with him. Thank you for sharing your Saturday with him and his classmates at his friend’s birthday picnic, where you even let them throw the water balloons at you!

Thank you for celebrating him.  Thank you for the “love notes” celebrating his helpful, kind, and hard working moments.  Thank you for acknowledging him as  a “kindergarten role model”, a job he takes VERY seriously!  Thank you for cheering him on as he ran around the field when he crashed your running club on Wednesday afternoons.  Thank you for running with him. Thank you for running to him, without hesitation,  when he fell down.  Thank you for celebrating the birth of his little sister with as much joy as he had. Thank you for celebrating as he “earned” each one of his reading super powers. Thank you for celebrating by getting “teary eyed” as he made big accomplishments.

Thank you for supporting us. Thank you for checking and answering my e-mails 10 minutes before school starts. Thank you for “keeping an eye on him” when we welcomed our new baby, and when his dad went out of town. Thank you for inviting me in to share as a mystery reader, and during centers.  Thank you for making the worry disappear because I knew he was loved and cared for.

Thank you for being the kind of teacher who gives us so many wonderful things to remember.

We all love you Miss K!

Thank you.