Sight Word Practice

This summer has been hit or miss with “playing school” as Cooper calls it at home.  I am consciously trying not to push academics on him because he is fine academically for his age and I don’t want to squash his enthusiasm for learning.

But back in the Spring, Cooper begged to play school one day…we had dropped our short run or structured/forced school time at home for the sake of letting him be little.  When, I asked him if he wanted to reading or math he said, “Yet’s do weading, Mommy…but wif wuhds not just yetters!” {Forgive my spelling, but I just can’t type it correctly when it so much cuter sounding how he says it! ;)}  So, I caved and we practiced sight words for a few minutes…because he was begging…and how does a teacher mom argue with that?

And he loved it!  Here’s a look at how we practiced sight words that day…perfect for any preschooler at home, kindergartener, or RTI intervention group.  Plus, just make the words a little more difficult and it works for first graders too.

Review sight words we know

Cooper’s favorite way to review sight words is the fly swatter game.

He loves to play it by himself and he also loves to race Daddy! 🙂  Of course, this is a classic game in elementary school with a TON of ideas for reviewing skills, but I love that it’s easy to do at home.  The sight word cards are from my iTeach Tots packet, but this could easily be done with sticky notes and a pen too!

We also review with reading races:  I flash the sight word cards up and see how fast he can read through all of them….this one always produces giggles galore! 🙂

The third way to review is reading and sorting:  Cooper reads a word and sorts it under the number of letters in the word.  Then, he rereads all of the words under each number!  My kiddo loves this one…and teacher mommy loves that he’s learning sight words and concepts of print (differentiating between letters and words) at the same time!

These are just a few of a million and one ways to review sight words, but right now they’re our favorites and what Cooper asks for the most!

Introduce New Sight Word

Once we spend 2-3 minutes reviewing sight words {seriously, the length of that video was all we did that day for review!}, I introduce the new sight word.   Right now, we are using these sight word pages from my packet for this.

He seriously is obsessed with these right now!  After we did the first one this summer, he begged to do a new one every single day until we left on vacation!  And after the first few, I was able to get him started and he finished on his own while I finished up a few things around the house.  It takes my almost 4 year old a good 15-20 minutes to to all of it on his own.  #thankyouJesus

We read the new word together and spell it as we build it with something fun…whatever we can find around the house!  We’ve used yarn, beans, pasta, spaghetti noodles.  There are so many fun options!

Then, he reads each word in the Read It! section and circles the sight word we are working on.  He loves using my flair pens too…a boy after my own heart! 🙂

Then, we build it by cutting the letters from the bottom to build the word in a sentence.  We find it by choosing the letters in the correct order to spell our word.  Last, he traces and writes the new word!

Read it in Context

This is the most important part to me as a teacher.  In first grade, I see kids all the time that can pass their first 100 sight word list, but still can’t read past a Guided Reading Level A or B.  So, while I think sight word practice is crucial for many kids, it means nothing if they can’t transfer that learning into reading.  That’s the end goal!  At home, I practice this with Cooper after we learn his new word.  And it looks very similar to how I practice this with first graders too!

We play fly swatter again with the new word included.  And I call on the new word more than the others to give him more practice with the new word.

Then, we build sentences with our review sight words including our new sight word.  And he loves to use that stinkin’ fly swatter as his pointer! 😉

I try to mix it up and do several sentences with the new word.  And then we stop when he is done.  Because we all know, it doesn’t do anybody any good to keep going past the “over it” stage! #keepinitreal

I’ll be blogging more about practicing sight words in context with my sight word readers (also included in my iTeach Tots packet) later this month so check back in for more sight word work!

What’s your favorite way to practice sight words?

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