Are you wondering how to teach sight words? You know that just practicing and memorizing them isn’t that helpful. So, what can we do to liven things up? We’ve gathered together our best tips. Perfect for kindergarten and homeschoolers. Click through to get our ideas.
One of the hot topics in the Simply Kinder Facebook group is teaching sight words. And no wonder really. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, we all have to teach sight words.
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Why Is It Important For Students To Learn Sight Words?
Before we start, let us go over the basics. Why do we even bother teaching sight words? Phonic instruction is important for early readers, but so are sight words. Sight words are high-frequency words. This means that they appear in the most text more often. Some of these words follow phonics patterns, and some of them don’t.
We want our students to get to the point where they recognize these words without having to sound them out. Teaching these words helps our students read more fluently. But more importantly, it helps them experience success in their reading. And they will be reading a lot in Kindergarten. Making that a positive experience is vital.
How to teach sight words to children?
There is no one way that seems to work over all the others. Every child is different and will respond to different approaches. One strategy that works for readers is teaching them the phonics part of reading. There are so many common patterns in sight words like open and closed syllables that will help your students be successful.
The one thing that does make a huge difference is to practice, practice, practice. The more our Kinders see and use those words, the more fluent they will read them.
We’ve gone to the teachers in the Facebook group and scoured the Internet to find out the best tips for teaching sight words. Are you ready to begin?
Our Best Tips For Teaching Sight Words
1. Practice them every day with these three basic steps.
2. Use our simple Sight Word Books: Each book highlights one sight word and uses a predictable pattern. This makes it easy for students to read and experience success. The bundle also includes worksheets, so the children can practice using the words.
3. Reinforce with Games: It takes a lot of practice to learn a sight word. We have loads of sight word games to make it fun. Try
- Editable Fall and Winter Games
- Mining For Sight Words
- Sight Word Train Center
- Egg Basket Sight Word Game
4. Play Kaboom! (suggested by Grace Goodson Johnson): Here is a DIY game that is very easy to prepare. All you will need is some craft sticks and a permanent marker.
5. Roll a word: Another DIY game that kids love. Tape a square box closed and write one sight word on each side. Kinders roll the dice and read the word. That’s all there is to it! Sometimes the simplest things work the best.
6. Jenga sight words: You will need to find/buy a Jenga game. Write one sight word on each block (use a permanent marker). Play the game, but each time your Kinders pull out a block they have to read the word.
7. Make it Active: Kinders have a lot of energy to spare. Anything that pairs movement and learning is going to be a big hit.
Writing and Manipulatives
8. Use Sight Words In Writing: Your students will benefit from using the words they learn. The act of writing helps reinforce the phonemes and builds muscle memory.
- Pattern writing on desks
- Sight Word Writing Activity and Game
- Writing in shaving cream (put on desk or on cookie sheets and students write words with fingers)
- Writing in sand
- Read it, write it, glue it worksheets
8. Teaching Sight Words With Manipulatives: Manipulatives are fun and can liven up learning.
- Sight Word builders and Rocks Game
- Sight Word Snap Block Center
- Build words with letter tiles or magnetic letters.
- Stamp them using alphabet stamps.
- A sight word activity using mini erasers
Practice Makes Perfect
10. Re-visit sight words constantly. As they say, practice makes perfect and repeated exposure will eventually make the word stick. Children need loads of practice reading and writing sight words before they finally learn them. Do this by introducing sight words in many ways. Check out our ultimate list of sight word activities.
11. Try a sight word app: Have you discovered the Sight Word Ninja app yet? It is an inexpensive and great way for students to practice, particularly struggling readers!
Related: The Best Free Kindergarten Apps for reading
Songs and Videos
12. Sing them: A lot of teachers in the Simply Kinder group recommended Heidi’s Songs. It is quite an investment, but worth considering if you have a parent offering to buy something for your classroom.
13. Sight word of the day song: Here is a free alternative for those of us that can’t afford to buy the songs right now. This brilliant idea came from Stacey Elizabeth in the Simply Kinder Facebook group. We will use the sight word could, but feel free to substitute any word of your choice.
Sung to the tune of B-I-N-G-O
There was a sight word of the day and could was our sight word.
c-o-u-l-d, c-o-u-l-d, c-o-u-l-d,
And could was our sight word.
Write the song out on newsprint or whiteboard and leave gaps where the word should go. Print the words on paper, cut out and add them to the song each day.
This works brilliantly for 5 letter sight words, but you can use words with a fewer letters. Just adjust the timing of the song.
14. Use You Tube Videos: There are loads of free sight word videos on Youtube. Here’s two of our favorites
15. Use Pinterest: Pinterest is a goldmine of ideas. Check out my Sight Word Pinterest boardSight Words
These are our best tips and we know that we will be adding to the list as we find more, so you may want to pin this post.
How do you teach sight words? Do you have a brilliant tip to share?