Have you had any V-8 moments in your teaching career? One of my biggies happened when I was teaching kindergarten. I later used this when I moved to 1st grade. At the time, there wasn’t much curriculum for kinder kids who needed enrichment. Thanks to quality preschool programs and involved parents, I was fortunate to have quite few strong students. They were able to read some words, but needed to learn sight words to fill in the gaps. Through trial and error, the Bubble Gum program evolved. I thought I’d pass along some of the things I learned along the way.
I organized my materials before school began. If you teach kindergarten, you may not have a student that needs this program the first week of school, but at some point of the school year you might. It is nice when you are ready to go. Plus, if you have a parent that ask you at Back to School night how you are going to challenge their child, you can whip out your handy dandy tub of Bubble Gum materials and show your parents that you are very capable of enriching their child. It gives them peace of mind and you a peaceful year.
In my tub, I keep a class set of each list of words, the BINGO games, my Bubble Gum scented stickers, reminder notes, homework folders (premade and ready to go), and all the other necessary materials.
I copy the lists on colorful papers. It seemed to motivate my students to get a new color when they finished one list and began a new one. It is also easier for the students to find their list at the Bubble Gum word work center when you color code the lists. I copied the list above on cardstock, the same color as the students’ word list and put the cardstock list on a ring. Students can flip through the ring of lists until they find their list to complete the assignment.
Each Friday during journal time, I called my students in number order (I assign each student a number based on alphabetical order) to come to my table and get tested over their Bubble Gum list. Students are encouraged to learn at least one row of words (3 words) but they can learn as many as possible. I stop testing when they come to the first missed word. For each row of words that they read correctly, I give them a bubble gum scented sticker in the square at the end of the row. This is a differentiated program.
There are 4 different assignments included. Students work on the following skills: use a BINGO dauber to highlight vowels, use letter stamps to practice spelling words, write real and nonsense words that rhyme with Bubble Gum words, and write words 3 times.
Sometimes students will forget to bring their folder on test day. I send home the reminder note with those students. I only test on Fridays. If we don’t have school on a Friday then we skip that week of testing. There is also other parent communication included. There is a parent letter explaining the program and a parent note asking for supplies. Sometimes your PTA will help you with supplies, too.
There were 3 big V-8 moments for me when I taught kindergarten. I saw made a major difference in the growth of my students when I incorporated the Popcorn Sounds, Bubble Gum Sight Words, and Home Journal Writing Homework program. It was amazing to see how my students bloomed when all 3 of those programs were in place. I just wished someone would have told me about it sooner!
The 1st Grade Bubble Gum (Dolch) Sight Words program
1st Grade Bubble Gum (Fry) Sight Words program
2nd Grade Bubble Gum Sight Words program(Dolch)
Popcorn Sounds – read more about it in this post
Home Journals – read more about it in this post
I have recently revised my Bubble Gums the 1st grade Dolch Bubble Gum and Popcorn Sounds program. If you previously purchased them, you may go to “my purchases” to download the revised version for free.
By request, I added the additional page with the Bubble Gum machine. Students can now see their progress on the word page and the bubble gum machine page. Students earn a stamp or sticker on each row of words that they read correctly. When students have read all of the words on the word page, they will fill in that number of bubble gum on the machine page.
Goal setting is a skill that should be taught throughout the year in all grades. One easy way to teach goal setting with primary students is with a “Wall of Fame.” You need a fairly large wall or you can also use windows. You will need several different categories or goals that your students will work to achieve during the year. Try to have a mixture of simple, moderately challenging, and challenging goals. Start with a simple goal that students can achieve right away so they will buy into the Wall of Fame. I wrote about this HERE. Sight words are a perfect goal to use with the Wall of Fame. I added the 2 signs and bubble gums (in the picture above) that you may use with it.