Learning sight words and high-frequency words is a massive component of the kindergarten and first grade curriculum.
Whichever list is used, there's always the same expectation. Students will know a certain amount of words before the end of the school year.
Most teachers choose a multisensory approach to learning sight words. There's solid research to show that when your sight word program focuses on the visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile pathways, children find it easier to learn their words.
The visual element is easy. The kinesthetic-tactile pathway involves writing and making words. So how do we ensure that the auditory part is covered?
It's easy to write, trace, daub, stamp a word without being able to read it or hear it being read.
Some kids can go the whole year using a wonderful sight word program and yet finish up not being able to read many of the words on the list.
We need to make sure kids are reading as well as writing, making and finding those words.
How can we do this?
1. Pair your students for sight word activities
Many sight word activities can become partner work, especially worksheets that use a paperclip for a spinner. Child one spins and says the word then child two has a turn. Using activities in this manner also helps develop turn taking skills. You can even save paper and use the same sheet.
When my kids play ‘Spin, Read and Write' I get them to choose three dice and color them. These three words belong to them. My kiddos take it in turns to spin a die, read and write the word. It doesn't matter if it's their friend's word they write down, they're helping each other win!
The activity above can become a game too. Just like the previous game, my kiddos choose three columns and color the dice. They take it in turns to spin and read the corresponding list. If they get their words correct they can color a star. Whoever gets two columns
Even if you're not pairing children, have them spend a minute at the end of the station reading their words aloud to the other children at the table.
When you set up your stations, include activities that get kids to write their words.
Teaching kids to not only read the word but to spell it is important. Most sight word programs use the words children use in their writing. And writing down words strengthens the neural pathways.
2. Put games in your literacy stations
Board games are a great motivator for learning sight words. To be able to move ahead on the game, students need to read the word to their teammates.
It's even better when the games are editable and you can have the exact words your students need.
Encourage independence in centers
Whether your students are working individually, as pairs or small groups, You want them to be able to complete activities independently.
Having a visual instructions card for your activities makes it easier for kids to work without teacher help. As soon as kids become confused, they tend to go off task and the time you've set aside for independent learning becomes less effective.
Grab a Freebie
Get started with editable sight words for spring. Download these two free sight word practice activities.
Editable activities for any sight words list
If you’re looking for more fun spring sight word activities, you’re going to love this pack of editable sight word centers as much as I do.
Because it's editable, you use only use the words you need.
Each activity allows for up to six words. If you’re only covering two or three new words that week, use the remaining spaces to include revision words. There are no guarantees that once you’ve introduced a new word to a child one week they’re going to remember it the following week.
It's important to include revision words with your activities. Studies show that the average child requires between four and fourteen exposures to automatize the recognition of a new word.
With editable packs, it’s easy to make all the resources you need to ensure your kids are getting as much exposure to the words they need.
What's in the pack:
- single worksheet to focus on one word only
- 15 worksheets to focus on six words of ANY length
- ‘I Can' visual instructions
- 2 board games that can include just the focus words or focus and revision words. (Includes one game in color and black ink only.)
- I Have, Who Has card game – this game requires 6 focus words and 12 revision words.
- 8 bingo cards. These cards require 18 words – 6 focus words and 12 revision words.
- A multisensory activity using your 6 focus words – children read the word, build it with play dough, make it with letter tiles and write the word with a whiteboard marker.
- Editable word list
Includes British English.
You can pick up a pack of spring-themed editable sight words from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.