Dolch Sight Word Bingo

The Dolch Sight Word List is a list of 220 common English words that was originally prepared by Edward William Dolch, PhD for his in 1948 book, “Problems in Reading”. In order to achieve fluency in English reading, it is necessary for a child to be able to recognize each of these words, especially since none of these words can be sounded out phonetically.

The Dolch Sight Word List is divided into five levels:

– Pre-Primer: a, and, away, big, blue, can, come, down, find, for, funny, go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look, make, me, my, not, one, play, red, run, said, see, the, three, to, two, up, we, where, yellow, you

– Primer: all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came, did, do, eat, four, get, good, have, he, into, like, must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran, ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this, too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will, with, yes

– First Grade: after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, giving, had, has, her, him, his, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, were, when

– Second Grade: always, around, because, been, before, best, both, buy, call, cold, does, don’t, fast, first, five, found, gave, goes, green, its, made, many, off, or, pull, read, right, sing, sit, sleep, tell, their, these, those, upon, us, use, very, wash, which, why, wish, work, would, write, your

– Third Grade: about, better, bring, carry, clean, cut, done, draw, drink, eight, fall, far, full, got, grow, hold, hot, hurt, if, keep, kind, laugh, light, long, much, myself, never, only, own, pick, seven, shall, show, six, small, start, ten, today, together, try, warm

Whether in K-12 education, home-schooling or ESL (English as a Second Language), it is essential that students become not only familiar with all these words, but are able to immediately recognize them. Teachers and educators therefore should try to devise activities around these words, and encouraging their learning and recognition.

One common activity is to make use of flash cards in class. Another one, which is great fun for students, but also very helpful in encouraging learning of these words, is to play Dolch Sight Word Bingo. You can use preprinted bingo cards (although these can be expensive), or create bingo cards by hand (which is cheap but time consuming), or use a special computer program such as Bingo Card Printer to produce the cards.

A Few Words on Educators in Career Transition

Educators are people with Intestinal Fortitude. They are people with courage and perseverance to stand up in front of a group and speak to them with authority; not everyone can do that. Persistence, too, is a quality that is characteristic of Educators. They learn early in their profession that it is important not give up on people, but instead set clear goals and make every ounce of their energy available to others in order to help them reach those goals. Educators are also extraordinarily perceptive, trained to listen, to be sensitive to the reactions of others, and to gain feedback as to whether or not their message gets through. If the cliché is true that 90% of the problems of most businesses could be solved by better communication, then people with those skills would be in demand … and they are! You can find them leading programs within businesses and as public relations specialists and “change agents”.
Here are some other perspectives on Educators:

Educators are disciplined organizers who must learn early on in their careers to manage their time and that of others, wisely. Although their classroom hours may be structured for them, all that they do in the preparation and creation of new approaches and the monitoring, et al is performed in an unsupervised environment. This means that they have to set the structure themselves, on their own time, and maintain the discipline required to keep at it. Have you ever known an Educator who does not have strong scheduling, planning, time management and administrative skills? Just to be minimally effective requires careful planning as to course content, materials to be used, pace of learning, plus the optimum mix of role playing, testing, lecturing, drill, and more – very similar to project managers in business and industry.

Educators ARE project managers – and good ones too! They HAVE to be in order to get through the day, week and year. They are normally assigned duties beyond the classroom: Parent and teacher meetings; conferences; professional development workshops; associations meetings; coursework; and presiding over one or more student activities. It is left up to them to provide the organizational structure, goals, milestones for progress, and they are the final authority on matters that might be in dispute. At the same time, they have to understand group dynamics, build consensus, and enlist/enroll others to contribute so that they get the most out of the raw enthusiasm and talent that their students can bring to an activity. Too, it is they who see that things get done and the objectives are met, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, and minute-by-minute.

If an Educator fails to function well as an expert project manager and leader, the evidence is glaring and staring them in the face. A poor newspaper article, a yearbook that doesn’t come out on time, a junior prom that flops, an art show with unfinished projects, an archaeology club with no field trips… lack of results has immediate and harsh consequences. When you think about it, time after time and year after year, Educators as a group do turn in outstanding performances in these many roles they are asked to fill.

Educators are also creative professionals. They continually find new and refreshing ways to present material and make it interesting. They are adept at thinking on their feet, solving problems, taking on new challenges and managing “surprises” such as the audience that looks for inconsistencies in an attempt to trip them up if can – it makes news.

Educators are Public Relations, Communications and Community Affairs professionals as they are regularly involved with group and individual sessions with parents/providers/administrators/unions/board members… Often different aspects of the community are touched by Educators’ activities, thus tactful and carefully thought-out communications is a must. This has become especially critical in recent years as schools have been asked to take over more and more of the roles formerly filled by families and the community. For those who are creative and/or thrive on new challenges, it’s a jolt of adrenalin every day.

Educators are Counselors and Consultants. They are expected to provide the psychological and emotional support that many of their students AND families require. They also counsel and consult with each other. This requires the qualities of a good listener, advanced communications skills, a person who gets beyond the symptoms to the causes, a perceptive person who is supportive, compassionate and bold … all these come to the foreground in the Educators who function as counselor and consultant. And finally…

Educators are trainers, motivators and coaches too. They take bodies of information and then design and implement procedures to make sure that audiences (clients, classes, teams) absorb that information. But they do more: They teach people to think for themselves and to develop the skills they need to learn on their own. This creative group of leaders, public relations professionals, program managers and trainers instill a desire in their listeners to take an interest in the subject matter and to work hard at mastering it. When you consider that they do not always have a willing audience, and that the subject matter is not always of the greatest interest to the audience, their motivating feats can be appreciated more fully! They are what’s more, the ideal trainer.

Many formal Educators are General Managers who have started and run small businesses during the summer. It makes little difference whether it is a concession stand at the shore, a landscaping or house painting company, part ownership in a local restaurant; a summer camp, a basketball clinic or running tours for students. In any of these businesses, they learn what it means to meet a payroll and what cash flow and generating revenue are all about; and they learn to deal with the pressures involved in making a profit. They understand the importance of systems to control operations, costs and quality, and tat of good customer service … and “selling” too. They oversee operations, plan direction, serve as spokespersons, train and organize, recruit and motivate, and more. They know how to “act in the moment” and make adjustments when things aren’t going as planned. These Educators also understand logistics and supply chain and many other aspects fundamental to running a business. In general, they can do almost anything good managers of successful small to mid-size businesses can do, and accordingly, for all the Educators who have run or helped others run businesses, there are tens of thousands of potential employers, and that include just about every small and medium-sized business in the U.S.

There you have it … just a few words on Educators! Hopes this helps someone.

Yours truly!

RT

Do You Know the Power of Your Words As an Educator?

This election season has proven divisive among Americans, creating deep wounds from the words that have been used. The rift between groups in America are not going to heal just because the election is over with and it will take time for the nation to recover. Now consider how this election season has affected your students. They have surely felt the impact of the negative rhetoric. Have you addressed this in your classes? More importantly, have you considered how your words as an educator influences your students and their worldview?

What you say and what you do as an educator shapes how your students view the world, how they participate in the learning process, and more importantly, your words have a direct impact on their level of motivation, determination, and persistence. Do you know the power you have given to your words right now?

As you reflect upon your work in the classroom, along with interactions you have with your students, do your words reflect what you see in your class, what you believe as a person, or what you hope your students will accomplish? While it may not seem possible to make a distinction between these perspectives, there is a difference as we all hold one primary lens through which we view our students. And during a volatile time, especially when emotions are running high, it may be difficult to override personal feelings while interacting with our students.

Now more than ever is a time to reevaluate the words we use in higher education. We can either give those words the power of influence and inclusion, or we can leave them unfiltered and create division, separation, and feelings of discouragement. What I want to share with you are strategies you can use to self-assess how you communicate with students, which I have also utilized now during a time when so many students may be feeling uncertainty or fearful about the future of our country.

Words Create Worlds

The Center for Appreciative Inquiry coined a phrase, Words Creates Worlds, and this acknowledges the influence our words can have on us and others. How do we realize the impact of our words? When there is a large-scale event, such as an election, it shows us the multiple realities that exist as people share their view of candidates and our nation. In a college classroom, words create worlds during interactions with each other – especially during class discussions. Those words are felt and internalized within the spirit of our students. Regardless of where they begin academically, or where they are at now academically, every student can continue to grow and develop. Yet an instructor can cause that spirit to flourish or become diminished based upon the words that are used.

As an instructor, consider the impact of your own views. As you read or hear the news you are going to process that information through filters you’ve created, which includes biases and opinions. If something negative has been reported, you will process it through these filters; and it may influence your worldview. The challenge is preventing negativity from influencing how you see your students and remaining neutral regardless of the rhetoric used. While you are in the classroom it is vital to remain open-minded, see individuals as people rather than groups, and remain objective and rational (rather than subjective and emotional) – if you are going to create a welcoming atmosphere.

The Connection to Learning

Learning involves more than what goes on in the classroom. It is much more than the process of reading a textbook and memorizing information for an exam. Instead, the learning process centers on what occurs in the mind as it is a cognitive activity. Cognition involves the mind receiving input, processing it, and producing some form of output. The input is the subject matter, the context provided, the instructions or criteria stated for completing the required learning activities. Cognitive processing occurs when effort is applied, energy is expended, creativity is initiated, and the intellect is engaged. The output consists of thoughts, ideas, analyses, written papers, plans, etc.

However, it is important to consider that the mind is not a machine and is influenced by feelings and emotional reactions. As students are involved in the class, they may experience negative emotions or reactions. A common emotion that students experience while working on assignments is frustration. This in turn influences and often disrupts the cognitive process, and it may discourage their creativity or reduce the effort they put into an assignment. In contrast, if students experience positive emotions and feelings while interacting with the class and their instructor – they may feel encouraged to put in more effort and become more creative.

Here is an example: An instructor hears negative rhetoric about a particular group of people on the news and through internalization of words heard, this instructor develops negative feelings about that group of people. Once in the classroom the instructor sees students who are part of this group that they hold negative feelings about and are unable to remain unbiased as they interact with those students. It is very likely that the words used while communicating with those students will then reflect that negative view, which can cause those students to feel diminished in some manner.

The Power of Your Words

When students begin a class, they have varying degrees of academic preparedness, willingness to participate, and readiness to learn. Even while they are engaged in the learning process they may have varying levels of motivation. This is where an instructor’s words can have the greatest power by shaping the disposition of your students. What I am referring to are not just the words used while presenting a lecture or answering questions during class time. These are the words used to communicate and interact with your students. For example, I have seen the most academically under-prepared students excel in many ways when it is not seemingly possible – if they have been surrounded by powerful and encouraging words. The words of an instructor create the views and perspectives that our students have about learning and their school.

How to Self-Assess Your Words

Below are some questions that you can use to self-assess your disposition, attitude, and mindset as a means of discovering what influences the words you use.

Diversity, Equality: Do you view all students as being equal, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, and other characteristics used to classify individuals? Do you believe that every student has potential, or will only the academically prepared students succeed? What words do you use to describe the characteristics of your students?

Individuality: Do you see your class as one group of students or do you see individual students with unique characteristics? Here is an example: “I have Caucasians in my class” versus “John and Emily are in my class” – which one would you choose? In addition, how do you describe your students? For example, do you use words like “they” or do you refer to students individually (he/she)?

Request for Assistance: When you receive a request for assistance, what is your initial reaction? For example, do you feel happy that a student has asked for help or do you feel a sense of dread? Does the student who asked the question make a difference with regards to how you feel? You will find that how you perceive the request will influence the words you use when you respond.

Class Disposition: Do you see your class as being energized right now? Or do you see students as wanting to get through the class as quickly as they possibly can? Do your students have a positive or negative attitude about learning? In other words, do you believe that the class has a collective mood? How you see your class will have a definite impact on the words you choose when you interact with them.

These self-assessment questions will allow you to gauge what you experience and feel, which in turn will help you determine what influences the words you use while you are working and interacting with your students. Your disposition, attitude, and worldview all give power to your words, either in a positive or negative manner, and those words can either bolster or diminish the spirit of your students. I have learned that even the most seemingly casual conversation can have a direct impact on how students feel, perform, and respond to class conditions. You can cultivate words with a positive impact if you are willing to set aside your own biases and look for the best in each and every student. This disposition will help you choose words that sustain your students and encourage them to persist – even when they feel challenged.