Word Dogs! FAQs
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Why shouldn’t my students decode or “sound out” the sight words?
Many of these words can’t be sounded out by decoding rules, like the word “was”. If an early reader is sounding out each word in a sentence, the meaning of the sentence is lost. Since sight words represent a very large percentage of the words in a sentence, it makes sense to address fluency through sight-words and then decode the few remaining words. Furthermore, many of the sight words can’t be represented by pictures, for example: if, do, am, for, as, so, be. They are service words which give meaning and direction, e.g. here, there, now, then, on, at, in, over, today. Dolch sight words should be recognized on sight (instantly) for reading to progress smoothly.
Why should we teach sight words?
Sight words form the foundation for successful reading skills. If you can recognize on sight eight of the 10 words in a sentence, you can read that sentence and generally decode the remaining words by context, phonic, or illustrations. Most importantly, you can understand its meaning!
What does “Dolch” mean and what are “sight-words”?
The concept of sight words was created in 1948 by Edward William Dolch, a professor at the University of Illinois. Dolch identified 220 “service words” that children must recognize in order to read fluently, many of which cannot be sounded out and must be learned by sight. These words are commonly referred to “Dolch” word, sight word, lightening words for high-frequency words.
How many words does Word Dogs cover?
Word Dogs encompasses all 220 Dolch sight words:
How long should it take the typical kindergartener to learn their sight words?
Research indicates that the typical early reader must see and say a sight word between 20 and 50 times before he/she is fluent with the word. The learning curve is according to each individual’s potential. The way the subject matter is presented affects the depth, scope and speed of their potential. It is our belief that the typical student should be able to learn all 220 sight words by the end of kindergarten if the words are presented in a meaningful and engaging manner.
How is Word Dogs different than other reading programs?
Each Word Dogs music video enables a child to see and say any given sight word as much as 10 times upon one viewing. Because the videos are entertaining, students can interact with it in multiple ways.
The Guided Reading Big Books reinforce the learning process. A typical learning plan would include:
- Morning reading session with Big Book and corresponding music video
- Afternoon reading session with Big Book and corresponding music video
- Sight Word game
Using this method, students will see a sight word as much as 50 times in just one day. A teacher might find it challenging to keep a student’s attention on a flashcard that many times.
In addition, the Word Dogs program puts each word into context with a story and gives animated pictures to further enhance the meaning of the words. The melody and rhythm provide opportunities for learning through multiple modalities for visual, auditory, kinesthetic and other types of learners. Although each student learns at their own potential, WordDogs presents the information in a way that research indicates works faster and better. Try our free demo and test it for yourself.
Does Word Dogs work for ELL (English Language Learners) / ESL (English Secondary Language) students?
World Dogs can be leveraged as an ELL learning aide because it contains many ELL learning strategies, including:
- Multiple uses of each word
- Animated pictures for context clues
- Use of multiple modalities
- Variety of media such as books, videos and games
Do you recommend any tips or strategies when using Word Dogs to help my students?
Word Dogs is an excellent learning tool for students and a valuable resource for teachers. Here are some tips for using Word Dogs effectively with your students:
- Make everything a game. Choose a sight word of the day and start a hunt for the corresponding bone-shaped flashcard that you have cleverly hidden at the end of the paw print trail (see printable resources on product DVD).
- Segue to the corresponding Big Book that gives the words meaning through context clues, pictures and repetition.
- Have the students participate with the corresponding music video.
- Encourage students to hop or do cross-lateral movements as the words move.
- Help them feel successful during the TAG (Test Assessment Guide) at the end of the video by saying they word just before your students do.
- Pause the video at the end to check for understanding. Ask students to point to the word you say aloud.
- Short bursts work best. Play a video or Big Book with the students only once and then coming back to it later.
- Play one of the fun activities or games.
- After your students have gone through this routine a few times, have them read the word in print or on the screen. Track results on the progression chart.
How do I access the printable resources on the DVD?
To access the printable resources, simply “right click” on your DVD drive to view and open the folder containing the PDF resource files.