Sight words can be a great tool when teaching your child to read. But what are they and how can you use them?
Using Sight Words as a Reading Tool
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.
All children love to play games, so why not turn play time into learning time. Make two sets of flash cards 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 flash cards 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.