Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sight Word Frenzy!!

Today I'm sharing my collaborative blog post from over at Virginia is for Teachers. Enjoy!


It's a...SIGHT WORD FRENZY!! Spring is the time of year in our schools when primary teachers all over are working extra hard to get their students to sight word mastery. There's a little more than one more marking period left in the school year to reach this all important goal. Mastering sight words is essential for students to become good readers, especially in the primary grades. At this point of the year we are all in. We will do whatever it takes to help our students master their sight words.


My job in school is to do just that. I go into the primary classrooms and work with small groups of mostly ESOL/ELL students in the area of reading. Most of my time is spent helping them master their sight words. I use many different kinds of strategies and tools to help motivate these learners, including incorporating technology and games. Here are just a few that I use.

1. Sight Word Review

My students love learning with technology. They love anything colorful and that moves. I created this PowerPoint bundle with this in mind.


This Sight Words Review Bundle {PowerPoint} of almost 200 slides provides an attractive, fun and interactive experience for your young students to practice the PK, K, 1st, and 2nd grade Dolch Sight Words. The PowerPoint format allows you to set transition choices and speeds for your kiddos to maximize their experiences and to provide for differentiation as well. To use the powerpoint correctly, please set it to Slideshow mode.

2. Sight Word Phrases

Once students begin to master the sight words in isolation, I begin helping them learn to identify the sight words in phrases. Children also love games, so this classic GO FISH Card Game became an instant hit with them.


This “GO FISH” Sight Word Phrases Card Game is a fun way for students to practice and master the List 1-4 sight word phrases. 

Directions: First copy the fish cards page on the back of each sight word phrases page. I use colored card stock for a real card game feel. Once copied front/back, I cut the cards out on the cut lines provided. 


To play the game: Deal out a certain number of cards face down to each player. Put the rest face down in the middle of the table between the players. I differentiate which lists (1-4) to use based on student needs and mastery levels. Players then pick up their cards, and put down any “matches” on the table/floor. Starting with the first player, players ask: “Do you have “to the”, for example. If a player has this card, s/he gives it to them, who puts down the match on the table. If no one has the card the player needs, s/he draws a card from the top of the card pile. If it’s a match s/he puts it down on the table. If not the game continues with the next player. The game ends when all matches are found. The player with the most “matches” wins.

3. Sight Word Sentence Practice

Finally, after students begin to master the sight words in phrase form, I advance them to reading the words in simple sentence form. Since my students are motivated to learn using technology, I created another simple PowerPoint with simple sentences on them. 




This Dolch Sight Word Sentence Practice product is a great practice tool to use after students have mastered the sight words in isolation and then in phrases. I use this PowerPoint to reinforce the sight words as well as to increase their fluency. By setting different transitions and speeds to students' needs, students can work in pairs to practice. In small groups, you or a strong reader can read the sentence on each slide, while the other readers repeat it afterwards, call-and-response style.

The opportunities, strategies and tools that you can use to motivate your learners to mastering sight words are endless. I hope you got some good ideas or inspiration from these that I have shared. Good luck!

What do you do in your classrooms to motivate your learners to master their sight words?

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