Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sight Words

Hi Everyone!

I hope you had a fabulous Christmas and a very Happy New Year! Can you believe it is 2013?? It's going to be a good year, I can feel it!

This post was inspired by a friend of mine. Erin from City Mouse in a Country House was looking for ideas to help her kindergarten daughter to learn her sight words and I thought I would put a few ideas together here. 

Sight words are words that your children will see the most in texts that they read. They are words that cannot always be easily decoded (or sounded out), which is why it is important for them to be memorized.

You can find lists of sight words broken into grade levels here

Your student will need to be able to read and write these words in a variety of contexts so when you practice with them, keep that in mind! 

Here are a few ideas that I have used in my classroom or have seen other teachers do throughout the years.

  • Most elementary classrooms have a Word Wall. You can make one at your house too. It can be as simple as a list of words on a piece of paper and taped somewhere for your child to access easily.
I used to make one out of file folders for each student to personalize. Throughout the year, add their new words to it. Or add words they want to know how to spell. 

  • Flash cards. Simple enough to make out of index cards or torn paper. You can help make flash cards fun by playing games with your student. 
Source (and some game ideas)
There are millions of things you can do with flash cards so google around and I am sure you will find some better ideas than what I post :) 
  1. Use a flashlight to point to the words.
  2. Make a pointer together and point to the words.
  3. Use special site word sunglasses.
  4. Cut up the flashcards and have your kiddo put them together (you can even make it into a puzzle).
  5. Tape the flash cards around a wall and toss a bean bag at them as they are read. Or turn it into a game of Hop Scotch or even Twister.
  6.  Use a fly swatter and when you say the word your kiddo has to swat the right word. How fun if you wrote the words on bug shaped paper and swatted them with the swatter?!
  7. Play Go Fish with the flash cards.
  8. Turn them into a Memory/Matching game.
  9. Turn them into Popcorn Words. I did this a few times and the kids loved it! Check out this blog as an example. I did some similar activitites.

  • Practice site words by writing them in different ways. Remember that your kiddo won't just be expected to read their site words, but write them in their journals. Use stamps, chalk, markers, magnetic letters, white boards, a salt tray, etc. Let your student fill in the missing letters.
  • Use clothes pins and let your kiddo make site words with them. 
  • Create site word sentences and have your student fill in the missing word. Or come up with notes and silly stories using all the words they know how to read.
  • Create a site word Bingo game.
  • Play Hide and Seek. Hide the words around a room and have your child read them to you as he/she finds them.
  • Here are some cute games using a muffin tin and other simply household items.

Okay, that seems like a good list to start with! I don't want to bore you.

There are SO SO many ways to help your student at home.

 Just remember these three things:
  • All people learn in different ways so be sensitive to your child's learning style(s).
  • Your student will need to practice their site words so that they can easily identify/read them AND write them.
  • Learning should be FUN! Keep it simple and keep it fun.
I hope this was helpful to some of our readers! You can start practicing with your kids even in preschool :)

Do you have any fabulous ways that you help your kids at home? Please share in the comments!

XOXO Sarah


  1. What awesome idea for sight words? I was wondering how to start this with Hayley! Thanks so much!

  2. Learning site words in pre-K really played a major role in helping him learn to read. Looking forward to trying some of these with my daughter when she gets a little older :)

  3. Thank you for this. We're having issues with site words. My son keeps wanting to sound most of them out, and we're getting bored with our flashcards.

  4. These are great ideas! My Mom taught English/Reading for 30 years, so a lot of these tried-and-true tips are familiar to me!!

  5. This is so great! I never even thought of half of those ideas with flash cards. :)

  6. This is awesome! I am certainly pinning this and trying one out asap! :)

  7. Just about everything you have pictured I have in my basement. I recently stopped teaching and one of my "plans" is to teach my youngest to read. Her favorite is to play Candyland with Dolch words.

  8. Such a great post!!! I used to teach preschool, so a lot of these ideas are familiar but it's always nice to have a refresher. And I LOVE the bingo, haven't seen that one before. Some of my favorite recommendations for learning sight words are of course the word wall, like you mentioned, and also labeling things around the house. :) Thanks for sharing! xo

  9. These are great ideas!!! Brings me back to my teaching days!! =) Pinning to my education board!

  10. This is AWESOME! I know my 3 year old is dying to learn how to read and this is a great way to start. Thanks!!! Pinning now!