Make Sight Words Fun Again!

3:00 PM

Hey there!

I'm Kristina Harrill from Sweet for Kindergarten. I'm so excited to share with you some fun ways to teach sight words in your classroom.

Sight words, high frequency words, Dolch, Fry, no matter what word list you use, as a K/1 teacher you know they are an important part of your curriculum map. Whether you are a brand new teacher or a seasoned veteran, here are four tips and tricks that I use with my students to make sight words fun again!

1. Teach the sight words at their own pace

The hardest part about teaching sight words is that all the students progress through the sight words at different speeds. There are the students who fly through them and learn them instantly, and then on the opposite end, students who are still struggling with "the" and "is" after a month or two. To tackle this problem, I let my students progress at their own pace. I have been using sight word rings since my first year teaching Kindergarten. Each student gets six sight words at a time, and once they know all of them, they get the next list. Some students will learn two lists in a week, while others will take two weeks to learn one list. I send a copy home with the parents to practice at home (their ONLY homework, yay!) These rainbows show the students how they are doing. We add a color when they master three sight word lists. They get so excited when they get to add a new color to their rainbow!

2. Make it fun!

There are so many ways to make learning sight words fun! Play-Doh mats, stamps, finger painting, puzzles, cut and paste, color by sight word, the list goes on! One of my favorite ways to help build sight word fluency is Roll and Read activities. I put these in sheet protectors and into a binder and give the students a big foam dice (I found mine at Target) and a dry erase marker. They roll the dice, read the word, and switch. It serves as an easy, last minute center, a fluency warm up before small group reading, or one one one instruction activity.

Find it here.

3. Have the students help each other

In my class, we do sight word partners at least once a week. I pair the students up with someone at a different level. The students who are doing well with sight words are partners with students who may be struggling with sight words. There are just three expectations: 1. They sit next to each other on a mat (no moving) 2. They use whisper voices. 3. They practice sight words the whole time. It is similar to the Daily 5 Read to Someone. I set a timer for about five minutes with instrumental music and the students work together. It is awesome to watch them help and encourage each other!

4. Make it simple and quick

Sometimes we are faced with an extra minute or so to "spare" before our next special, activity, recess, etc. We fill this time with quick sight word activities, like Mix-Pair-Share, a sight word song from YouTube (I like this one, this one, and this playlist), or say it, spell it, sing it chant. I use this mini chalkboard easel (found at Target!) and write a "Sight Word of the Day" each day. When the students leave the classroom, they have to say the sight word on it. It's the simple things that stick with them!

I hope you found something new to try in your classroom! I'd love to hear what you do in your classroom.

Thanks for stopping by!

by Sweet for Kindergarten

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  1. Great suggestions for teaching sight words! I love that the kids can track their progress with rainbows!


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