Friday, February 12, 2016

Motivating Readers with Sight Word Money (Freebie Included!)

We all know that when children are learning how to read, sight words are a very important part of the process. These words are a big part of the reading material we use in the classroom, but many of them do not follow the basic phonetic rules, therefore they can't be sounded out. Some children learn their sight words quickly and others have no interest at this time. So we were looking for a fun and engaging way to motivate our children to WANT to learn their words.

So we talked and talked and thought about many different ideas and came up with sight word "money".
Who doesn't love money? Who doesn't like to earn something for their hard work? 

Seriously, best ever!! Our children are so excited to learn their sight words and earn their sight word money! They are excited, they are motivated, they are learning, AND they are reading!!!!

We teach many sight words throughout the school year, however, we have a list of 50 words that are assessed on our Kindergarten Literacy Assessment. These are the words we chose to track for the school year. We made 50 "dollar bills", each one with a different sight word shown. We also added a back side to the money for the children to write their name and the date they earned it.

We decided to make them black and white so the children could color their money and give them their own personal touch. We want them to show their pride in a job well done!

We also made a "Sight Word Wallet" for the children to store their money and to keep track of the words earned. We put the list on the back of the "wallet."

One of the great things about the Sight Word Money is the ability to differentiate expectations based on the child, the marking period, or any other criteria you would like to use. Our goals are based on the words taught during that marking period as well as what the child's reading level is. We highlight the words for each marking period using a different color highlighter. When the word has been mastered, we check off the word and the child earns their dollar.

We like to "try" (haha) to be organized at the beginning of the school year and get as many things copied as we can. We run off a class set of the money in the beginning of the school year and cut them apart. We don't cut them out completely, we let the children do that part. We found the most perfect storage folders at Target. You will need a few of these to store you sight words if you do many words like we did. They are easily accessed and they were stored best in ABC order.

In addition to receiving their money, we also reward the children in other ways. We want to keep them excited and keep them learning also. Some of the different incentives we use are:
brag tags
terrific ticket
free book
special snack with teacher

We also give them a brightly colored and adorable certificate when they read all 50 sight words!

We asked the children what they thought about the sight word money. Here were some of their answers:
"I love it!"
"I think it's awesome!"
"It's cute!"
"It makes us rich!"

How true that last statement is! It makes them rich in so many ways!

These proud faces say it all:

Lastly, we have a special treat just for you!
We are offering these Sight Word Money templates to you for FREE!! Oh, and they are editable! This way you can personalize them to your class!

They will only be free until February 29, 2016 so don't miss out!
You can download your freebie here or by clicking on the picture below. We hope your students enjoy earning "money" as much as ours do! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!


  1. Thanks do much. This looks awesone. My son will love this.

    1. Thank you!! Our children are having so much fun with it. They are even being quite competitive too! Haha. Enjoy!

  2. Thanks do much. This looks awesone. My son will love this.

  3. Thank you for this freebie! I can't wait to try it out!!

  4. Thank you so much! I absolutely love this idea!

    Teaching in the Tropics

    1. Thank you!!! We hope your children have as much fun with it as ours do!!

  5. Love this! Thanks, can't wait to use it.

  6. Love this! Thanks, can't wait to use it.

  7. Absolutely love this!! I am a first year Kindergarten teacher and need all the help I can get. Thank you!!

    1. Thank you!! Enjoy! Kindergarten is the best!! It is a lot of work, but so rewarding. The first couple years are the hardest, hang in there. Let us know if you ever need anything!

  8. Awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing!! :)

  9. what a great idea, my son loves to play with money (who doesn't?). This could be the motivation we have been looking for!

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