Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writer's Tools - Sight Word Dictionary

This year I decided to give my students  tangible "tools" with many of the mini lessons I teach during Writer's Workshop.  Each student has a Writer's Tools folder to store their tools.  The folders are plastic two pocket/three brad folders that have a few plastic page protector sleeves inside.  

gwhizteacher, sight word dictionary, writer's tools folder

The kids store their sight word wall list, word collector, finger spacing "spaceman," handwriting chart, writer's idea book, trick word dictionary, and editing checklists inside the sleeves and pockets.  We plan to add many more tools to their folders as I introduce more strategies for the planning, editing, and revising stages of Writer's Workshop. I am surprised by how much the kids enjoy using their folders.  It seems that just simply having the folder open reminds them of the mini lessons and strategies that we've learned and they are more likely to use those strategies in their writing.

gwhizteacher, writer's tools folder

In a previous post I shared about the class word collector poster I use with my students to help meet our CAFE goal for "Expand Vocabulary."  Students LOVE this tool and anticipate their turn in the free writing Morning Daily Five station (see previous post for morning word daily five cards).  Students take out their Writer's Tools folder and record the words we've added to our class word collector poster onto their own word collector.  I actually heard a little girl say to another little girl, "I am going to add forlorn and murmur to my word collector tomorrow morning!"  That's something you don't hear every day!  In the words of Kevin Henkes, "Wow!  That's about all I can say.  Wow."

gwhizteacher, word collector, CAFE

Download the sight word dictionary I use with my students and add it to your own Writer's Tools folder.  Let me know what you think! 
gwhizteacher, sight word dictionary, writer's tools


  1. Hi April,
    thanks for sharing your sight word dictionary you use with your kids. I use a similar idea and have the kids writing goals on the other side then I laminate them. However it was another thing to lose especially those children who seem to lose paper as soon as you have passed them out.
    My new idea for this year is to have it stuck into the front cover of their book and with a blank one for those children who can proficiently spell, adding differentiation is a big push in our school.

  2. Used this last year with my special ed 3rd grade class that had a hard time with spelling during writing. love it, glad to have found it again.