A Bit About Me

Monday, December 3, 2012

First Grade Lesson: Usernames and Sight Word Practice

Just last week, I completed this really awesome first grade lesson that combined the creation of safe usernames with a fun, sight word game. I cannot even begin to describe how great it was, but, I'll give it a try.

For the first part of the lesson, we discussed the importance of Internet Safety and Privacy. We reviewed the previously taught lessons on information that should be kept private (name, phone number, address, school, birthdate, etc.). Next, we discussed the process of creating usernames based on some of the students' favorite things (like their favorite colors, words, animals, pet names and numbers). After writing a few demo usernames on the board, students were given a pencil and an index card where they were to write down their own unique username. This is where the fun began!

I gave the class 5 minutes to think of and write down their username. [If you're going to try this, make sure that you're very clear about having them write their own, real name first].

The list below shows some of the goofy usernames that the students came up with:

Making the usernames created so much laughter in the classroom as the students would crack up over the silly names that they and their peers had created. 

For the remainder of the class period; in order to put their usernames to good use, the students were directed onto Sight Words Recognition which is a relatively new game that can be found on www.ABCya.com

The game has been so great in so many ways. First, it enables the students to put their usernames to good use. Second, it helps the students to build their sight word recognition levels.

All the students have to do is:
1.   Enter their username.
2.   Click 'join' to join a game, or simply create a new game.
3.   Click 'Start Race'.
4.   When the race starts, click on the written version of the word that you hear.
5.   At the end, you'll see a results place that tells you your rank, your time, and the number of words you got correct within one minute.
6.   If you make a mistake in the game, then you're simply prevented from jumping onto the next ball of yarn.

Below are some screenshots of the game.

 This is where your kitten avatar bounces from word to proceeding word based on spoken version of the word.

 If you are the first one to jump on the couch, then you get a picture of three stars with the word 'WINNER' displayed on top of your kitten's head.

 The results page shows your place, your completion time, your accuracy percentage, your rate of words per minute and any questions that you may have missed.

All and all, I would give this lesson and the Sight Word Practice game two thumbs up, as it's important to hone in on key 21st century learner skills from a young age, while also improving upon their literacy through the Sight Words Practice portion of the activity.

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