Friday, April 12, 2013

Seeing Red: Red Word Method for Sight Word Instruction

 Happy Friday!  
 I am not here today, but you can learn a little more about me over at Fantastic First Grade Froggies




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Please welcome my guest blogger, Melissa, from the special education blog, Mrs. Krumm.

 She has a very informative post on the "red" method for sight word instruction that I just know you are going to love!  Enjoy!


 Spring Caterpillar


I am excited to be featured as a guest blogger on Teacher Mom of 3! I met Lauren through a Google+ community I joined as I was building my Personal Learning Network and she has given me some great ideas. Hopefully, this post will share some good ideas with all of you. I teach in an elementary self-contained special education classroom and have been conducting an action research project on high-frequency word instruction for this past school year as part of my thesis for my Master's Degree. I have been studying the effectiveness of Orton-Gillingham's Red Word Method. This is a multi-sensory, structured, and sequential approach to learning "Red Words" or words that cannot be sounded out phonetically and do not follow phonemic rules. We have our 15 minute "Red Word" lesson every day and I am happy to say my students have made significant gains using this method to learn their high-frequency words. To get started you need a classroom set of your high-frequency words written in red, red crayons, and red canvas.

Red Word Materials

I teach two words a week and target both words each day using the following procedure:
  • Hold the word in your (non-writing) hand.
  • Slide your pointer finger (of your writing hand) under the word while you read it. Repeat 3 times.
  • Take that same finger and trace the letters while you spell the word, then slide your finger under the word while you read it again. Repeat 3 times.
finger point
  • Now, extend your non-writing arm out in front of you while holding the card in your hand.
  • Place your writing hand on your arm and slide it from your shoulder to your wrist as you read the word. Repeat 3 times.
  • Spell the word, tapping once for each letter down your arm. Then read the word again while sliding your hand from shoulder to wrist. Do this 3 times.
Arm tap
  • Give each student a red canvas, a small blank piece of paper, and a red crayon. Instruct them to write the word (saying the letters aloud as they write) and underline the word as they read it. Do this on both sides of the small blank piece of paper.
  • When you collect all of the supplies, have the student read the word to you.
  • Repeat this for each word you teach during a lesson.
extra supportThis is the basic framework of a "Red Words" lesson. I also try to use the word in as many sentences as possible during the lesson. I also spell and say the word as I hand out the writing supplies. Aside from the multi-sensory approach (body movements and writing on the canvas) it is also extremely repetitive - which is so important for children with cognitive disabilities. The repetitiveness also allows students to stand up and lead the lesson as well! The final thought I will leave you with is that even though my students have made amazing gains, there are still some of the "red words" that are tricky. So, we give the word a high 5 each time we leave the classroom!

 If you try this method or already use it, let me know what kind of improvements you see!

18 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I used to work with a teacher who has trained in Orton Gillingham, and one thing I love is using the red canvases (We call them bumpy mats) to have student practice writing sight words or any words we're practicing. I have them write it in crayon first and then trace it with their fingers. It seems to work really well.

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  2. Martha- Where did you purchase the canvases? I love how tactile this method is! :-) Lauren

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  3. I love the method, but would not be able to use red or green. I'm among the 1 in 76 people in the USA who are red/green colorblind. Things written in or on these colors simply disappear. If you notice a Student failing to.respond, you might try a different color.

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  4. I use needlepoint grid. Paper is folded in half and the grid is in between. You can print Red Word Paper off the site.

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  5. This is IMSE Orton-Gillingham's Red Word strategy. The steps aren't exactly what we have researched, but close. We also do not recommend a red screen because one of our steps is to place the paper underneath the screen and finertrace. You can't see the letters properly if they are under the red screen. Thanks for sharing. Happy arm tapping!
    Director of Professional Development at IMSE's Orton-Gillingham

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  6. Anxious to try this when we return to school in january. Thank you

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  7. Do you have a list with the order in which to teach the sight words?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I have been in touch with the author of this guest post, so hopefully she will be bale to answer your question. Thanks for stopping by! Lauren

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  8. I too will be giving this a shot with my Special Ed Kinder students after the break. Thank you!

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  9. Thank you for sharing this great technique. My kids love singing the sight words. Check out Reading the alphabet on thisreadingmama.com it has great sight word printable activities, sight word books, and songs.

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  10. I wish you had a video of you doing the entire lesson! It would be neat to see.

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  11. Replies
    1. Hi! I have been in touch with the author of this guest post, so hopefully she will be bale to answer your question. Thanks for stopping by! Lauren

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  12. You can get the canvas at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or other craft/sewing store!

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  13. I just use whatever sight word list my school district is currently using. We started with a Houghton Mifflin set, then moved to Journeys, and now we are using FAST.

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  14. This looks like a good idea. There is only one comment to make: all the words that I see on your blog, like "me" and "for" are high frequency, but they can and should be taught phonically. There is nothing irregular about them. Some irregular words are: "said," "to," "of" and "through". If you stick to truly irregular words, and keep putting them in context, then your list of "red" words will be quite short, and you won't be putting out a double message which is "Use phonics, except memorize all of these frequently used words." I think you will find you have even better results. Research shows that kids who do well on high frequency assessments are better at phonemic awareness, which suggests that they are using their phonics skills.

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    1. I just completed an OG training and the instructor explained the rationale for including phonetically regular words as red words. The red word list is fluid. Some phonetically regular words are on the list until the students learn the rule for it. Once they learn the rule, it comes off the list.

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