Here is my 3 step approach to teaching sight words!
Practice sight words EVERY DAY!
That’s right, practice sight words every, single day. Repetition is one of the keys when tackling all of the words children are expected to know everyday. Practicing words they are learning will keep them fresh in their mind and practicing words they have already mastered will help to build confidence! One of our favorite things to do is watch movies for the words; there are so many out there! Have Fun Teaching has TONS for individual words, practicing word lists, and practicing in the context of sentences!
There are many ways to do this. Here are some ideas:
- add motions to your sight words to create kinesthetic meaning
- practice during calendar time so it’s part of your routine
- do flashcards while you are lining up
- print current sight words onto a page and give to students to practice as an early finisher
- post them on your word wall so they are always up
Make learning sight words fun!
Yes this is how all learning should be, but when you are talking about concepts you teach every day of the year it can be hard to keep that creativity and engagement alive and well! Now, this is not to say that we should not be doing printables or worksheets, because in my humble opinion, there is a time and place for this as well! But we all know when kids are having fun they are more likely to retain the information!
I have a whole Pinterest board filled with amazing sight word activities. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
- building sight words with snap cubes
- writing sight words on the backs of puzzle pieces (matching them to the matching word on the puzzle board)
- Sight Word Ninja app where you can customize the words on the game
- sight words in shaving cream (put on desk or on cookie sheets and students write words with fingers)
- sight word popsicle stick puzzles (write the full word across 2 sticks and the students match them)
- sight word cup stacking (write sight words on cups and students stack them as they read them)
Involve your families in learning sight words!
Parent involvement is key to all learning, but especially when taking on the hundreds of sight words children need to know! Communication is key here. If you have a student who is struggling with sight words, contact the parent and ask them specifically for help with this. Give them ideas and strategies they can do at home to help.
Families can practice sight words in many ways. Here are a few that we do in my room:
- nightly homework with sight words
- reading decodables with sight words on them
- practicing flashcards with sight words on them
- have families write words in Jello, pudding, or sugar
- have families circle sight words in magazines or newspapers