In this post, I’m sharing heart word center activities that will give kindergarten, first and second-grade students the cumulative practice and review they need to commit high-frequency sight words to memory.
Lately, there has been a shift in the ways we teach students their sight words. Instead of relying on flashcards and rote memorization, we are listening to what science tells us about how students learn to read. We are now integrating irregularly spelled high frequency into our phonics lessons using the Heart Word Method.
Using word mapping strategies, the Heart Word method teaches students to decode the letters and sounds that follow traditional phonics rules and learn the tricky parts by heart. It offers students explicit and systematic instruction which we know they need for mastery.
When I first created my Heart Words Resource, I knew that in order for instruction to be fully effective, students must be given extensive opportunities for practice and cumulative review. In the resource I included practice activities for whole group, guided and independent practice. But as I continued to study the science of reading, I learned that when it comes to learning high-frequency words, students need 1-4 exposures to a word before it can be committed to memory. Our struggling readers may need 20+ exposures! That’s a lot of practice!
Upon learning this I became motivated to create MORE activities that offer students practice and cumulative review of the Heart Words you have taught. Today I’m excited to share the details about these Heart Words Word Mapping Centers and Activities. It is a NO PREP bundle of activities that offer your students a variety of engaging ways to practice the heart words you teach them!
Leave behind those flashcards and boring word lists! These science of reading based literacy centers are truly what your students need to store heart words into their sight word memories.
My Heart Word Centers and Independent Activities were designed to be used after you have explicitly and systematically introduced heart words to your students. They offer students the repeated exposure they need to commit the words to memory.
With this bundle, you’ll get FOUR NO PREP heart word center activities. Each activity helps students build phoneme-grapheme associations and work on phonemic awareness skills. They are self-checking and provide immediate feedback to ensure students are practicing spelling their heart words the correct way!
Let’s take a peek at each center activity included in the bundle:
In this digital center, students first hear an audio clip of the word. Then they read a sentence and map the word by moving a chip for each sound they hear. Next, they graph the word by spelling the word with graphemes (letters). Finally, they identify the “tricky” part of the word that they must learn by heart.
Students first read a sentence to hear the high-frequency word used in context. Next, they map the word by placing counters/cubes in the sound boxes. They then graph the word by spelling the word with graphemes and finally, write the word three times.
In this activity, students map the word by popping a dot for each phoneme they hear. Then they graph the word by spelling out the word. You can use the pop-it printables that are included or purchase your own. Either way, this activity is highly engaging for students!!
Here students identify the sound represented by each picture and blend the sounds together to identify the mystery heart word. You’ll get 56 game mats that include 220 words- enough to last year all year long!
In addition to the activities, this bundle also includes information about Heart Words and a high-frequency words list and scope and sequence to help ensure your instruction is systematic and informed.
One of my biggest takeaways, as I learn about the science of reading, is the importance of giving students extensive practice and review in order to help them master the skills we teach them. I hope that the activities I’ve shared today will make it easy for you to provide your students with the practice they need to commit their sight words to memory!
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