Vocabulary assessment is ongoing and necessary when teaching sight words
Vocabulary assessment is an ongoing and necessary part of teaching sight words with word walls. But how do you do a sight word assessment for word walls?
to teach sight vocabulary and content area vocabulary has revolutionized my teaching. Words must always, always be practiced, used, and assessed regularly. But how does that work?
Subject Area Word Walls
Words on my
math word walls
are assessed both formally on tests and informally each day when we play
with the words.
The words for learning
stay up all year but will be moved around frequently as a
and when we need to emphasize or revisit words which are already on the wall.
Missing words on this math word wall
and this one
have been pulled and placed in a separate area for more intensive study.
Science and social studies words, plus (hopefully!) words on walls in art, music, and PE, probably will not stay on the wall all year. These are generally assessed at the end of a unit, then taken down. It is a good idea to place them in a notebook or photo album for later review, however.
Sight Word Walls
Word walls used for teaching
Dolch sight words
and other sight vocabulary must be assessed more specifically, and words are taken down when everyone (or almost everyone) knows the words that are on the wall. So vocabulary assessments must be done more carefully and individually.
Disclaimer: These assessments were used for the sole purpose of managing the words on my word walls. No state tests were harmed in this process!
To assess words on walls containing Dolch or Fry words, I printed out a copy of each list in large print for each child to read, generally while the others were busy doing art projects related to instruction such as pictures for the
Dolch art paragraphs.
On a separate copy in smaller print, I placed a tally mark beside each word every time it was missed.
When we finished, I looked at the list and took down words having only one tally mark, placing them in notebooks for later review. When the wall contained fewer than 10 or 12 words, I moved them to the classroom door for intensive work and put up the next list of sight words.
Other Sight Words
In order for children to learn the recommended 1000 words per year, there are going to have to me more sight words than just the Dolch or Fry words.
An easy way to start is to form new words with prefixes and suffixes. Other natural "spin-off" word walls could be:
Separate walls for nouns and verbs
Funny or silly words
Holiday and/or seasonal words
Partner reading words
To regularly assess the words on these walls, I printed them on a piece of paper, made a copy for myself, then used tally marks to determine which words to take down and place in a word book (notebook or picture album.)
Go to Teaching Reading to Children from Vocabulary Assessment
Go to Word Walls from Vocabulary Assessment