I agree with you! Heart words are such a simple thing- yet they make a huge difference in the rate a child learns to read and write! As we were writing today I was listening as students were helping one another with words – referring to the colors and which heart to look on. Such a powerful tool to support beginning writers.
I have many different formats for students to use- I have words taped to a big heart and they can find the one word they need and take it to their table, I have the words on my word wall, I took photos of each big heart and made cards to go into writing totes, they have the heart word cards in their own reading boxes, and I also have rings with the heart words on them. Students use what they are most comfortable with. I love the independence it gives my students- especially by the end of the school year.