Looking for some simple ways on how to teach sight words? These simple tips will help!
Teaching sight words is an important part of any reading lesson. These are the words that kids will read over and over again, in almost everything they read. Knowing them will help your kids read faster and with more accuracy. They’ll be able to read more fluently and fluidly. It will also make it easier for them to learn new words and write more effectively.
What Are Sight Words?
Sight words are the words your kids will be able to recognize and read just by seeing them. Over time, your kids will be able to instantaneous read them. These words should become automatic.
Sight words, sometimes called high-frequency words or popcorn words, are taught in kindergarten. If your child is starting to read before kindergarten, it’s never too early to start teaching sight words.
Did you know that you can use sight words as a reading tool to help your child learn? In fact, it may be a great way to help them learn how to read even quicker than you thought possible!
Sight words can be a great tool when teaching your child to read. But what are they and how can you use them?
Sight words are words that students easily recognize and are able to read without having to sound out. Fortunately, about a hundred of these sight words are frequently used so it not only makes it easier for kids to learn to read, but it builds their reading confidence.
Once your child feels comfortable with the alphabet, you can start introducing sight words. There are a variety of ways to teach sight words; you may want to try a few or a combination since no two children learn the same.
When it comes to teaching sight words, repetition is key. The more your child sees the word, the easier it will be for them to understand it and recognize it. Here are some great lessons you can use to start teaching sight words.
How to Teach Sight Words
Start with a list of sight words so that you know which words you should focus on. Here’s a great list of 300 common sight words to get you started.
Find the Words in Print
You can start teaching sight words while reading your child bedtime stories or during their daily reading lessons by pointing them out in the stories. Seeing the words in print in the text they’re already reading, surrounded by other words, will help them learn the words faster.
First, start with pointing the word out, telling them how to pronounce it, and showing it to them over and over again. Once they start to recognize, stop reading the word for them and let them start reading it. As you read, move your finger along the page and when you get to a sight word, stop and let them read it.
Doing some kind of physical activity with the recognition of the word can help them remember it, like clapping their hands or stomping their feet.
Create a Sight Word Board
Having sight words in view will help your child’s brain take in these words even when they’re not focusing on them. Create a bulletin board with index cards or use a dry erase board to write on. Each time you teach a new sight word, add it to the board.
Occasionally point out a word and ask your child to tell you what it is and use it in a sentence. When you’re reading a story and see a sight word, have your child point it out in both the book and on the board to reinforce the word in their mind.
In order for kids to fully understand the words they learn, they need to see them change and they need to build them or put them back together themselves.
Use magnetic letters or letter tiles to spell out a word then change it. For instance, spell out “can” then remove the “a” and replace it with “e” so that it’s an incorrect word. Have your child point out which letter is wrong and replace it with the correct letter.
You can also mix up the letters and have your child put them back in the correct order.
Doing this over and over will help reinforce these words for your child so that they can not only recognize them but spell them.
The key to teaching sight words is repetition. Teach them using a variety of methods to help reinforce the learning. You can act out action words to make them easier to learn.
Depending on how quickly your child learns the new words, teaching 2-3 new words a week will help them learn at a pace where they can not only learn, but retain the information. As their vocabulary starts to grow and learning sight words becomes easier, they may be able to learn more in a shorter time.
Using Sight Words as a Reading Tool
Here are just a few ways that you can use sight words as a reading tool.
All children love to play games, so why not turn playtime into learning time. Make two sets of flashcards for the sight words you want to teach your child, then play games with the cards. For instance, you can play Go Fish with word cards instead of number cards. You can also play Memory; just shuffle the cards and lay them face down. Your child will pick a card then try to find or remember where they saw the matching card. Word Searches are another great way to help your child start to recognize sight words.
If your child loves to sing, making up spelling songs for sight words will help them interact. Pick a few words you want to teach your child then let them help create a tune and a song to go with the word. By creating the song themselves, they’ll be more engaged with learning.
Create a word wall to help your child visualize the words you want them to learn. Make large flash cards to place on a bulletin board with pins or Velcro to make it easy to move the words around. Also, make a large frame that will fit your flashcards and attaches to your board. You can use the frame to highlight special words you want to work with. Play games with these words and encourage your child to move the flash cards around to create sentences.
Create sentences each day using the sight words you want to teach your child. Read the sentence aloud then have them circle the specific words they are learning. For instance, if the word they’re learning is “my” and you write the sentence “I like my dog” they would need to find the word “my” and circle it. They can then practice working with these words by rewriting the sentences themselves.
As your child starts to learn more and more sight words, their reading ability will increase and their confidence in their ability will become stronger. Creating a habit of learning new sight words every day is the best way to encourage your child to become a better reader.