Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Sight Word Conversation

It seems that during conferences every year, I have the same conversation with parents.  "Practicing sight words is a very important skill that I need you to be doing every day.  Remember that these are the words that are difficult or unable to be sounded out, knowing them by sight is instrumental to your child's reading ability.  Making this practice engaging will be necessary." Insert head nod from parent/s.  This is when I start listing ways to make this "practice engaging."
Let's back up for a second, why are sight words so important?  Well, they are the most frequently seen words in text and do not follow traditional spelling patterns.  When words do not follow the "sound it out method" you need to be able to recognize them quickly based on sight memory.  When sight words are mastered it allows for increased fluency of reading.  An increase in fluency does not automatically mean that comprehension becomes stronger, but it does support it.
So back to ways to make sight word mastery engaging...

  • pick a word and search for it together at the grocery store or while driving in the car
  • play Oh No! or Race to the Finish or a huge favorite Bust the Burglar 
  • add sight words to games like Chutes and Ladders, Candy Land, or Sorry
    • when you land on a square read the word
  • good old fashion flash cards work for some kiddos
  • use magnetic letters on the fridge to practice words or have fun with alphabet cereal or pasta
My students end up making great sight word growth with the practice they receive at home and the learning that takes place in the classroom.

What do your kiddos do to learn their sight words?

No comments:

Post a Comment