When I saw this sight word linky it brought up such a great memory of a game that we played in second grade called Stinky Feet.
Stinky Feet is a simple site word game. First, you write sight words written on cards shaped like feet. On some of the cards, you write ‘stinky feet’. Students take turns pulling a card. If they can read the word, they keep it. If they pull a card that says Stinky Feet, they loose all of their cards. One of the things I love about this game is that they can’t compare how many they read at the end because they keep loosing their cards. Sometimes the struggling students don’t like games because they end up feeling bad or embarrassed. This game eliminated that.
My memory of this game makes me smile, so I thought I’d share it with you.
In Oct. of 2011, my husband was very sick and almost died. (Yes, this will be a happy memory. I promise). When he was released from the hospital, he had a physical therapist come into our home and help him relearn how to sit up, how to walk… all the basics. He spent his days watching TV and sleeping. I knew he was getting depressed when he was excited to go to the grocery store with me for the first time.
As soon as he was able to sit up for extended periods of time and walk around the block, I told him I suggested that he come to school with me. I thought it would be more fun to watch kids all day than watch TV yet again.
In second grade, our day started with language arts. I had centers while I had reading groups and I had him sit at a center where the kids were playing stinky feet. He joined in.
I have this clear visual memory in my head. I’m sitting at my kidney table with a reading group. I have children sitting at their centers working quietly. Then, my husband yells, “Stinky Feet!” and starts laughing. My husband has a very loud voice.
The kids froze. Their eyes got big and they all turned to look at me. They clearly thought he was about to get in trouble for yelling in the classroom. The kids knew that the rule with that game was that if you got too excited and disruptive, I took it away. I heard one of the kids whisper to him, “Mr. Hutchens, you can’t yell inside.”
It took all of my willpower not to bust out laughing at them all for being so serious. I was just so happy to hear my husband laughing again. It might have taken me more willpower not to start crying.
I smiled and told them it was OK. I said, “Mr. Hutchens doesn’t know that we have to use private voices during centers. Let’s all show him.”
We all put our hands out in the air and said loudly, “Public.” and then put our hands towards ourselves and said “Private.” He just smiled at me. We both knew that there was no way he’d ever remember to whisper. It’s just not in his nature.
The next time he loudly said Stinky Feet (slightly quieter than the first time) the class just giggled.
Check out this post for more ideas about sight words:
You can find my sight word resources here.