Tips For Teaching Sight Words
Sight words are important for developing reading fluency. Using sight word games and activities will help engage children in learning them. The English language is complex and many words are not phonetic and need to be learned by sight. Other words are phonetic and can be decoded, but fluency and comprehension will be affected if too many words need to be decoded. Being able to recognize high frequency words by sight will improve fluency and comprehension.
It is important to make sure that the children are ready for learning sight words before starting. They need to know their alphabet letters well. Phonics should be taught at the same time so that they have the phonemic awareness necessary to decode when needed.
Tips For Introducing and Practicing Sight Words
Introduce only a few words at a time and do several activities and games to reinforce them before adding in more words. Review words that are already known before introducing new words. It is important to keep revisiting these words as you add new ones so they don't get forgotten.
Children will progress at different speeds, so they need to have some individualized instruction to make good progress. Small group activities can be done, but only as the kids are ready for them.
Doing activities during guided reading can also help. Usually the kids are of similar ability and they would benefit from some directed teaching of the sight words.
Tactile activities can help kinesthetic learners. Try using playdoh or wix sticks, tracing letters in sand, or moving around letters on a magnetic board. The goal is to practice the words in as many ways as possible to imprint them into memory.
Another great tool is a sight word ladder. It is a folder with pockets that hold sight words. the goal is to move the cards up the ladder as the words are mastered. The basic sight words are divided into groups and assigned colours. When all the cards of one colour are mastered, the student moves on to the next colour.
Sight Word Games And Activities
Once they have mastered several sight words, it is time to add in some more games and activities. Memory games, bingo, letter scrambles, word searches, puzzles, etc.
I have created several sets of themed sight word cards and some bingo cards as well as sight word practice activities for 220 high frequency sight words and 95 common nouns. You can check them out by visiting the Sight Words Category in my store.
Here is a sampler activity to try.
I hope these tips are helpful. I would love to hear what you use to help kids learn their sight words.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.