Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend a training by Dr. Larry Tihen, who worked in my school district as the ESE coordinator. He was an amazing leader and teacher and was always looking for ways to improve student achievement. One of the tools he shared in this training was something called Rapid Word Recognition. I had always done flashcards with my students, but was never sure it was worth the class time. Dr. Tihen shared a method that is easy to implement and manage and requires 100% of your students to be engaged the entire time. I don't know about you, but any time I can get 100% authentically engaged, I'm sold. I've used this method in my Intensive Reading and now with my ESE students. I thought I would share this with Blogworld. Maybe, it will help you. :)
Step 1 - Select 3-5 words for each student in a group. Make flashcards. Preteach the words to this group. Once the students are familiar with the words, give each one 3-5 cards. Practice with each child individually to make sure they know their words.
Step 2 - Once students know the words on their flashcards, it is time to start Rapid Word. Select an area in the classroom large enough for the group to sit across from each other. I have done this by having students sit on the floor and by positioning chairs. I find the chairs help the students stay in their space, but it does require more set up time. The diagram shows how my group is set up.
Step 3 - Students on whichever side the teacher chooses "teaches" and the students on the other side "learn". "Teachers" begin by showing the first flashcard. They say, "The word is _____. What's the word?" "Learners" repeat the word. This is done three times. Then, students move on to the next flashcard. Once all of the cards have been done, the "teachers" quiz the "learners". If a "learner" misses a word, the "teacher" says, "Sorry, partner. The word is ____". Once the "learner" has read all of the words correctly, the students switch roles.
While the students are teaching and quizzing each other, the teacher works with students sitting where Student 1 and Student 2 are sitting. The teacher should have flashcards that contain the next set of words students will be using. This way, teachers are able to pre-teach upcoming sight words. Once students know the next set of words, distribute these flashcards to students. I try to limit the number of flashcards students are working with to 5-7. So, whenever I add new words, I remove some of the words the students had.
Step 4 - Once both sides have finished, students rotate to the next place. Students continue rotating until everyone is back where they started.
I would love to hear from anyone who has used this and how you've used it. Or, if you try it out, I hope you share how it works for you.