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How to Teach Sight Words

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As a teacher of 5 year olds, sight words are something we discuss daily in our routine. There are a variety of ways that sight words can be taught and implemented:

  • Small Group
  • Large Group
  • Games
  • Exit Tickets
  • Morning Work
  • Digital Task Cards

You get the idea. I try to teach sight words in various ways to students. I know that all children learn and their own pace however as an educator it is our job to ensure that not only do they learn these words but that they also retain them. I am going to share with you 5 ways to teach sight words! These are engaging ways to teach and I hope that your students enjoy them as much as mine do!

What are Sight Words?

What exactly are sight words? Sight words are words that are sometime decodable but often occur frequently. Students will see these words a lot (ex: the, she, was, you) and they need to be memorized so that the students can recall them quickly. These are words that are going to help your students when it comes to reading since they will already be familiar with them.

How to Teach Sight Words

There are a lot of different ways that sight words can be taught. The most frequent question is how to teach sight words in Kindergarten because that is when we usually start to introduce them. Teachers will often think outside the box when it comes to teaching sight words. Can you imagine just writing a word over and over again? NO WAY! That is not fun for the children or for the teacher. If you want to teach sight words in a way that is engaging and exciting well then you better be ready to go all in with it. Get pumped! I like to teach sight words as a small group activity as well. This always gives me more insight on what the children are excelling in and what they might need for help in. The great thing about all these engaging sight words games is that they can be used as a whole group activity, or small group. Some of them can even be used as a partner activity or even independently if you have a fast finisher!

How to Teach Sight Words Activity #1: Editable Sight Word Games

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We all know that life is a lot more fun when games are involved. The same goes for school. Think back to when you were in school. I remember when I was in 2nd grade we used to play a game called “Around the World” It was SO much fun. I loved when we would play that game. I started up editable sight word games for teachers. What I love most about these games is that students get the chance to get up and move around! That is what so many of our students need. I place the words around the room and students need to walk around to find them. When teaching sight words it is so important to remember that we are teaching kids, and kids LOVE games.

Each month comes with 5 games for you. I tried to work it out so you can have a new game each week to play. You plug in the words that you want to use, print out the cards, laminate and have the students play! For each game I offer a suggestion on how to make the game even more fun. There is a great write the room page that comes with each of the games also so that your students can record the words that they find. You can use this word to test them at the end by asking them to read each one. It works for a quick informal assessment as well. I have this FREE EDITABLE SIGHT WORD GAME in my shop so head over and grab it now!

How to Teach Sight Word Game #2: Spelling Sight Words

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These games are great for the classroom as well as your students! What I love best about this is that not only do the students need to know the sight word but they also need to know how to spell them. Another awesome aspect of this sight word game is that there are 330 words that are already done for you! If you are in need of a different one though, it is editable so you can also add your own. This activity allows you to also differentiate your learning. Every year I have students that fall into 3 categories: those who know sight words, those who know sounds and those who know letters. This game is great for all levels. You can have students build and spell the sight word, you can have students pick a letter and tell you the sound that it makes, or you can have students pick a letter and say the name of it! I love that I can use one game for three different groups. There are also more than enough words to go around so that you can have several groups going at once. That is what is awesome about this. The variety of words that is offered really helps you fine tune what your students need. If you are interested in this game and want some more information please head over here to check it out!

How to Teach Sight Words Activity #3: Sight Word Readers

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What better way to teach your students that sight words are in print than by using these books? I created a variety of these books to meet teachers needs. These sight word readers do so much more than just help students master a new sight word as well. Each page has a sentence that is predictable for the students to read. Students will love that they are reading when they use one of these books. I don’t want to forget the clipart that goes with these sentences. The clipart is fun and exciting. Students will enjoy coloring it. I love the color aspect of these books as well since it allows the students to also work on their fine motor skills. This is a skill that all students need to master throughout the school year. If you are interested in using these sight word books in your class head over here to check them out!

How to Teach Sight Words #4: Mini Foldable Books

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It is ALL about low prep or no prep when it comes to my centers in the classroom. I love to have things that are printable and ready to go. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good craftivitiy as well but those are not always feasible everyday. These printable mini books are so easy for teaches and they offer a variety of ways for students to learn the sight words. Like the interactive books there is a fine motor element to these books. There are also 243 words for you to choose from! Each book has the child do 3 things: Color the word, write the word and find the word. These are great for small group but also work well for fast finishers. Simply grab and go. You can also make sure that the child knows the sight word by asking them which word they have picked up. If you are going to do them in a small group, you can also ask students to use the word in a sentence.

How to Teach Sight Words #5: Sight Word Review

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These pages may not look very exciting but when I use them with my class they go BANANAS! They love these pages. What I really like about these pages is that there is a cut and paste element to them. Students are able to practice their cutting skills as well as their letter differentiation. At the end of the activity they need to cut out their letters and paste them to make the word. This is a great activity to start the day off with if you do morning work. I use these pages during group time with my class. This allows me to work with the students in a small group and really see what words they know and which ones they are struggling with. These are a great addition for extra help too!

Engaging Sight Word Day!

Another great idea for you is to host a sight word day with your class! Could you imagine having all your groups engaged and learning sight words together? It would make for such a fun day! There are so many other games for you out there so I encourage you to branch out and see what you can find! If you use these games please tag me on social media @classroomsandcats so I can see the fun you are having. I LOVE to see the games in action. If you have an idea for a fun sight word game I would love to hear it! Email me at Erin.merrill@gmail.com and tell me your ideas.

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