All About SIGHT WORDS

Hello there!  Sorry, I feel like a proper introduction is necessary.  HA!  I could ramble about why my blog has been lonely lately, but I won’t bore you!  It basically goes like this… summer sun with some summer trips and some summer R&R.  Even though I haven’t been writing on here I have still been busy working my teacher brain.  That darn thing just doesn’t have an off button!  You can obviously see what this post is about after reading the title and huge banner so let’s get started!

This past school year I was very confident in most areas of my teaching and if I wasn’t I had an “action plan” for the new year.  However, one area was constantly pulling me aside – -sight words!  We of course I know how important the study and mastery of sight words is in kindergarten, but how do you reach ALL the kiddos?  For me at least teaching sight words is that area that is evident that the students are picking it up or they are not.  So, before I share with you how I plan to tackle sight words this upcoming year I first want to go backwards a little and tell you the overview of sight words in my classroom!

My district requires us to teach 40 sight words.  However, I have added a few additional words so we actually learn around 50.  I’ve listed the sight words below and you can click to download the list if you’d like!  You can see that we initially only teach 1 sight word per week and then increase to 2 words per week.  I do feel for those that have to teacher 3-5 words a week.  Not saying that it is impossible…I just think about those sweet babes that can barely grab onto 1 per week. However, I have full faith in you warriors and you can make it happen! ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, so I told you how any sight words I teach now let me explain when/where/how I teach the words.  Each morning we start out at the carpet for calendar, poetry, and phonemic awareness.  At this time I also introduce the sight word{s} for the week on Monday.  We then review all of the sight words we have learned so far for the year at that time.  I go through the stack of cards in a normal fashion of my showing the cards and the students calling out the words.  We also add in a fun way to practice the word{s} for the week.  For example, we do a little chant called blast off.

{start down by the ground} T-H-E, THE! {blast off or jump into the air}
T-H-E, THE, THE, THE, I can spell, the! {make a fist and pump it into the air for each letter/word, point to yourself for “I can spell”}

You can download the sight word cards by clicking HERE!  They are a freebie! ๐Ÿ™‚

After I first introduce the new sight word I will then write it on the word wall.  I have my word wall on the whiteboard so I am able to just write the new words!  I have had a few ask how I was able to get the boxes on the whiteboard and I didn’t actually do it, I inherited it! ๐Ÿ™‚ However, they used black electrical tape!


Okay back to the subject…after introducing/reviewing sight words at the morning meeting I then review all words again at the guided reading table.  It depends on the group but I review the sight words one of two ways; I will either flash the card to all students and they answer chorally.  Or, I will flash the card to just one student and give them 3-5 seconds to respond.  If they are unable to respond I will state the word and we go on.  I of course never want to put the student “on the spot” with a word they might not know, but then it is very hard to know who is actually stating the words and who is repeating the words when answering chorally.

After we review our stack of sight words we play a game called mix it and fix it!  For this activity I have placed magnetic letters in a small bowl for each kiddo.  They take the letters our and fix the word correctly.  I will then have them mix it up, and fix it back up 2-3 more times.  After we have done this I will have them practice writing the word on their whiteboards.

I feel those first few weeks back at the guided reading table you are working solely on building up that beginning “base” of sight words.  We read several very predictable easy readers that are heavy on sight words. The book below is from my Introduction to Guided Reading packet.

Along with a sight word review and reading sight word heavy books…we also bring in our sight words to our guided writing during small group!  Below you can see how I lay the sight word cards out on the table for the students to start their sentence.  Remember guided writing is within guided reading so it is a shortened amount of time.  So, I like to give them the boost for their sentences.  Once students have masted that sight word I will simply turn the card over until they no longer need their cards.  I like to also use the cards as a way for students to visualize the spacing between the words {which is so important those first few months}.


Of course during whole-group writing we are working hard on sight words as well.  I realized it is hard and sometimes distracting for the kiddos to search the word wall for their needed word so I made them a mini word wall lists for their writing folders.  They started the year with a half sheet and eventually I switched them out for a full sheet.  If you’re wondering what shapes mean at the bottom…it is simply a way for my to direct them to find the word.  If they are looking for “we,”  I could say, “Did you check in the hear column for /w/ we?”


You can download the sight word lists for your kiddos below!

 PDF version or EDITABLE version

I decided that the one other area of our day that we could utilize to hit sight words hard would be Daily Five or literacy centers!  I had a few packets that could work, but nothing that would hold their attention for very long.  I needed some activities that were more engaging and FUN!  So, I set out to create some fun and engaging sight word activities that would hold my students’ attention next year and be meaningful at the same time!  What I realized about sight words is they can hardly be “taught.”  I mean we can do our part by introducing the word, but then it is up to that repeated exposure for it to “stick”.  Some students might only need to see the word 3 times to have it memorized and others might need to see it 30 times. Also, so many sight words do not follow the “rules” so it really is all about memorization.

You can see below the new sight word activities I whipped up for my new batch of kiddos!

How about some sight word caterpillars?  Those set off the cute radar for sure!  The caterpillar head has the sight word listed…so the students just need to find the matching letters to spell the sight word.  You can then have them record their answer on the recording sheet {optional}.

And what about a little “grown up” sight word search? The kiddos have the sight words listed at the bottom and then must find the words within the search.

Just important as recognizing sight words is being able to place them within sentences!  This built and write sight word activity has students unscramble the pieces and place them back into the correct order!  There is a small picture in the corner to help students know what words they are working with.

Below is my search and circle sight word practice sheets…same concept  – -just having students recognize those words repeatedly!  This one also throws in multiple fonts so seeing the word and recognizing it even if it looks slightly different as the other around it.

Oh, sure you are saying coloring and sight words?  Yeah right!  Well, again….sight word recognition is just seeing it over and over again.  Why not see it over and over again while coloring?  Of course the kids are NOT going to think they are learning at all with these!  

Now the teacher wants me to practice my sight words AND play with a bingo dabber?!  WINNING!  Again, students must see those sight words multiple times and we make it fun…we are making more meaningful to them!

Why not throw in a spinner while we are at it?  For this “interactive” sight word sheet the students will spin the spinner and then color that matching word.  Fun? YES!  Still learning?  YES!

I also made these sight word lists…now they are for sure not as fun, but still serve a purpose!  I will be using these by placing them on a metal ring and using them for review out in the hallway!


All of the activities I shared above are in my ENDLESS Sight Word MEGA bundle.  The endless part means that as I create additional sight word activities for my kiddos I will be placing them into this bundle.  So, once you own the bundle you’ll own all the free updates too!  Also, this bundle is editable so you can edit the sheets to match your kiddos’ needs!  I am offering a special “buy in” price of $15 for the sight word mega…  The price will increase on Monday, July 20th at midnight and then again as the mega bundle grows!

If you’re interested in snagging it you can click below!

I’m also obsessed with these cheesy videos for the beginning of word work time to practice sight words! They recently updated them which helps a lot! ๐Ÿ˜›



Alright, that is all I have for now…have a super weekend!

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20 Comments

  1. I just love all your ideas!! Thank you for posting this. I appreciate you sharing how you teach sight words in your class. Do you start the first week of school? I am definitely adding this bundle to my cart!

    1. Debi-

      My district does follow Journey's 40 words. However, I add in 1-2 new words on the review weeks like mom, dad, love, first, last…those words the kiddos will need to know for reading/writing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Tara

  2. Thank you so much for your ideas! I bought the endless sight word packet and I'm excited to use it this year with the kids. I am planning to have 15-20 minutes blocked out just for sight word centers and these will be a big part of it. Thank you for the sight word videos! My 2 year old was singing along with it so I'm sure it will be a big hit by my kindergarteners!.

  3. In this post you talk about you student's writing folders and this is where you store their mini sight word lists for them to access while writing. Can you elaborate on that for me?? What does their writing folder consist of, how do they use it, etc??? It seems like a great idea from the little you mentioned above and I would love to know more.

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