Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Inspiration from the Blogosphere: Sight Words

Brick by Brick: Sight Words
In my new adventure in first grade, I've learned a lot of things...and a lot of things have become more prominent to me. One area that is now looming large in my awareness - sight words. In the past few weeks, I've seen that knowing these words can really help my readers. I have some low level readers that just don't know many words. They can use their knowledge of sounds to figure out unknown words. They can use context clues and illustrations to get those "tricky" words. But their reading would improve if they just knew the sight words, those recurring words that sometimes defy the rules of phonics.

My goal in these last (?!) weeks of school is to help those readers move forward. One way I'm going to do that is to help them gain a few more words. We'll practice at school and I'll try to help them practice at home. So, I've been gathering ideas from the blogosphere.

One idea that we've already been using it sight word parking lot. I first read about this game on Simply Centers. I filed the idea away in my brain for a while. And recently decided to use it with my readers. I had used these Word Wall Bingo cards in the past. (My cards are laminated.) I wrote sight words on the spaces with wet erase markers (to be more durable but still erasable). I would call out words and the kids used cars to mark the words they found. We would continue until we had three in a row. They loved this. We will be playing this again...and I'll make a center for pairs to play together.

Here are some other ideas that I've seen recently that I want to use with my readers:

Sight Word Guess Who (This Reading Mama) - The post is older but someone just linked to it recently and I discovered it. A reading version of the Guess Who board game. Players must guess the secret word of their opponents.

Sight Word Path (Classroom Game Nook) - This game is adaptable for sight words, vocabulary words, or any other word learning you need.

Teaching Sight Words (Make, Take & Teach) - This post is full of ideas and games for sight words. The one that I definitely will incorporate quickly is Fiddle Sticks, words on craft sticks. Kids draw out words from a cup and keep the ones they read. If someone draws out the marked stick, he must return all his sticks to the cup. Fun!

High Five Sight Words (Growing Kinders) - I like the simplicity of this idea. It can help all my readers, with reminders of words they know or focusing on new words we are working on each week.

I have lots more ideas in my file...and find new ones each week. Do you have any particular favorites in helping readers?


  1. We have a program at my school (mostly bilingual) where they give us pages with 100 words on each page, of the "most common" english words. We practice it FOUR TIMES a day! (well..thats the goal :) Normally I hate "drill and kill" and its really annoying to recite the same words FOUR TIMES a day, but I have to admit that it is REALLY helping my kids read! My kids are still reading in spanish, but now I notice that they are starting to read everything they see in english! It shocks me every time! Pretty awesome

    1. Yes, we've been doing some of that, too. I've sent cards home and encourage parents to do that with their kids. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Scott my class likes to play the Oops game to learn their weekly word wall words. Here is a blog post about it. It's quite popular in my classroom.

    1. Thanks! I'll definitely use that game. I appreciate your sharing it with me.

  3. Have you tried Sing and Spell the Sight Words? I hate to toot my own horn, but you can look at some of the YouTube videos and see if you think your kids would respond to them.