How to Use SnapWords® Independent Sight Words Centers

August 03, 2016 0 Comments

How to Use SnapWords® Independent Sight Words Centers

Year-Long Sight Word Centers Facilitate Student-Led, Differentiated Instruction

"I am so excited to present our brand new SnapWords® Independent Sight Words Centers! These are powerhouse kits that will create instant Teacher Bliss! When you get your hands on a Kit, you will be able to easily structure an independent sight word center with all the tools that will allow you to run it from across the room while you are teaching a different reading group.

the Center Kits will work for you because once you introduce sight words (using either the 306 SnapWords® Teaching Cards or 607 SnapWords® Teaching Cards), you will assign Sight Word Activity Cards to each pair of students and each set of partners will work on their own level, at their own pace. Differentiated Instruction anyone? The way this Kit is designed will allow you to train your kiddos on how to use the center and then it will pretty much run itself - with students reporting to you on their progress through the Lists of SnapWords.® The review and practice of sight words will be totally student-driven, which empowers and engages kids in learning. But hey, there is great detailed information below."

Sarah Major


A. Begin with SnapWords® Center Cards.

Separate them into levels (refer to the colored, numbered dots in the lower corner of each card) and fasten each level with a book ring (included in the kit). You will ring the cards that you are teaching or have taught so the students can review and practice with a partner in the center.

B. Choose partners for students.

The center will have six children, each paired with a partner. It is possible to accommodate 8 children, but it might be crowded.

C. Locate your activity cards and plastic stands. 

One side has instructions for the teacher and the other side has some basic instructions for the students. Be sure and run through the activities with the kids before turning them loose at the center!

There are six activity cards provided:

1. Learn Picture Words - one level at a time
2. Learn Plain Words for the same level (repeat these two steps for all 5 levels in the target List
3. Practice 5 Levels of one List (A, B, C, etc.)
4. Peer Pre-Check - Students will listen to each other read one whole List of plain words
5. Peer Practice Reading - Using the pages of Sight Words in Sentences (provided) take turns reading the sections that match the colored dots on the SnapWords® Center Cards.
6. Peer Reading Check - Children take turns reading the corresponding pages in Sight Words in Sentences, noting problem areas and then report to you how their partner did. If they need to, they will go back to revisit the SnapWords® pictures and then plain words again.

D. Introduce SnapWords® a Level at a time 

to your whole class using SnapWords® Mini-Lessons (in the 607 SnapWords® Teaching Kit). As you teach Levels of SnapWords® to your whole class, children will practice with their partner in the Sight Word Center. Just follow the sequence in SnapWords® Mini-Lessons and if some children learn the words very quickly, encourage them move on independently in the Center.

E. Use Sight Words in Sentences. 

Two of the activity cards will involve Sight Words in Sentences. This book will help partners practice reading for fluency. Then it will serve as a pre-test resource as the partners check each other's readiness for passing up to the next level of SnapWords®. Students will report to you as they feel their partner is ready for you to test him/her.

F. Use the TOOBALOO® 

These are provided in the Kit and are sound amplification devices that serve several purposes in the Independent Sight Word Center.

1. The child who is reading will hold and use the Toobaloo, which will help him/her focus on reading.
2. You may do a quick visual scan to see who is reading and who is listening. The Toobaloo will be your signal as to which child is reading and which is listening.
3. The Toobaloo is useful because it will amplify the child's voice and keep the focus directly on the content he/she is reading.
4. Because they are focusing on the sound of their own voice, children who read with the Toobaloo will be able to pay close attention to the individual sounds in words and to reading fluency. Share with them that fluency is their goal as they read Sight Words in Sentences.
5. Children will be able to read more quietly because they will be able to better hear their own voice as they read.
6. Having the child who is reading hold a Toobaloo will keep his/her hand busy and keep the focus on their task of reading and listening. For Kinesthetic learners, this detail is important because where their hands are, so is their focus.

G. Assess each child

once they have had time to practice and once their partner has reported that they know their List of words. Use our TRACKING SHEETS on a clipboard for a handy recording/reporting tool or simply listen to the child reading the appropriate section of Sight Words in Sentences and make informal notes about the child's reading habits. Does he stumble over particular words? Revisit the picture cards. Use our printable CERTIFICATES to reward each child as he/she finishes a List of SnapWords®!