HOW TO USE THIS SIMPLE RESOURCE
• Small Group
• Whole Class
• Special Needs or Reluctant Learners
• Any age/grade (simply provide a list of appropriate level words or math facts)
• Staple the appropriate graph above (words or math facts) to ten sheets of plain paper. You can use content vocabulary (from curricula, such as terminology from Science/SS/Math/Music/etc, or high-frequency/sight word lists such as Dolch, Fry, Tyner, et cetera). Students also enjoy coming up with (purposeful) self-generated lists in small groups… or use math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.
• Challenge your students with a daily three-minute race against themselves. Kids whisper and copy the words/facts and write them as many times as possible in three minutes.
• Use one plain paper per challenge.
o date the paper
o read/write for 3 minutes
o add up the # correct (their own or swap with a partner/group member)
o graph it
• Run out of words mid-race? Keep going! Start over! Use the full three minutes to graph how many correct in the three-minute time frame; this keeps it intense, yet appealing.
• Change word/fact lists as appropriate/mastered.
• Activities like this are a great way to use time efficiently and also to teach routines that are great for structure, efficiency, independence, substitute teachers, portfolios, etc!
• Improve automaticity
• Provide speed practice
• Provide structure/routines that get students started
• Provide substitute teachers with activities like this (when students are independent, substitutes can be more successful)
• Focus students on out-performing themselves, not others
• Soak up time that may be used inefficiently (i.e. I have these set out for my Guided Reading groups with a dollar-store timer and students ‘get right to work’ even before an adult has approached them to begin the actual lesson.)
Just add a list of sight/vocabulary/spelling words or a list of math facts and you're ready!
Need word lists? Here are the five Dolch lists (Pre-Primer through Third Grade) but formatted to be appropriate to use for any age/gender: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Ungraded-Dolch-Sight-Word-list-sheets-great-for-older-beginning-readers
3-minute Sight Word or Math Fact Challenge
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