Written By Suzy Koontz, Founder and CEO of Math & Movement
If you have attended one of my workshops, then you may remember me sharing one of my favorite quotes from my mom, (a retired reading specialist). After teaching thousands of children to read, my mom’s best advice for teaching and learning is, “Abundant Practice at a Level of Comfortable Success.” This wonderful advice from my mom inspired a vision that is now a reality in one school! For years, I have dreamed about words, wonderful words, in hallways for students to jump and practice! We created mats with the Dolch Sight words for this purpose. Setting this up in the hallway allows for a morning exercise program and buddy programs where older students help younger students with sight word recognition!
WHAT IF THE WORDS COULD BE THERE PERMANENTLY SO THAT NO SET UP OR TEAR DOWN IS REQUIRED?
This past week, we began a pilot program of the 210 Dolch word floor stickers (floor decals) at a school close to Ithaca! Before Thanksgiving, our team organized the sticker mats based on the school preferences and laid them in the school hallways. Afterward, the custodians waxed the floors. The floors had 4 days before school resumed.
The Monday after Thanksgiving, the students discovered that their hallways had been decorated with colorful words! They began to practice reading while walking in the hallway, while waiting in line, and as a brain break!
As they walk to lunch or specials, Pre-K students are locating their newly learned letters! A teacher shared that she had never had such organized and straight lines! Students walked on the sticker mat to help make a straight line. Another teacher shared that her students were working very hard to learn new words! After working with a third grade group, I am pleased to share that they LOVE jumping the words, over and over again! Soon, these third graders will develop their leadership skills by teaching words to the first graders. My vision has become a reality in this school. My hope is that all students across our great nation will have many opportunities for Abundant Practice at a Level of Comfortable Success.