I knew it was time to start introducing sight words with Drew. He is capable at this stage of his learning, he is eager, and he wants to begin to learn how to read! This is what has been working for us…
I came across some old teaching supplies of mine when we moved. I knew they would come in handy with my own kids someday. I decided to organize the sight words by alphabet (A, B, C, D) and devote a week (or shorter or longer) on each letter.
I pull 6 or 7 words for each beginning letter sound. All of the words are laminated and have a piece of Velcro on the back. This makes for attaching to a piece of felt and throwing it on the fridge very easy. You could easily recreate this using index cards, cardstock, felt, Velcro, or whatever supplies you have on hand. Because they are always in sight, it is easy to practice them.
I introduce the new words, and we go over them daily. He begins to learn them and sound them out. As the days pass, I rearrange the words so he doesn’t just memorize them. We will go over them a few times a day which takes just a few seconds/minutes.
Once he knows the words, I then introduce the “parking lot” game that I found via this great blog. I put all the sight words on a large sheet of paper and ask him to “park” his car in the right space with the right word. As you can see, I also added his first, middle, and last name to the board to practice. He loves this game.
Once he is confident that he knows the words by sight, the completed words go in a plastic bag to be reviewed later on. Now that we are just finishing up “D” words, all of the A, B, C, and D words go in the bag. He then plays the game of choosing a word out of the bag and saying it out loud until he gets all the words. This is to review all the past words from previous weeks and also requires a little more effort in sounding out the word as the beginning letter sounds are all different.
I am finding that introducing a few words at a time, with the same starting letter seems to be working for us. We are averaging about 5-7 days on each letter depending on what our schedule is like. I know this is working because he is starting to point out all the words he knows when we read to him or when he sees them as we are out and about.
He is also learning the correct way to sound out words and gets better with it every day. He is so confident that he will be able to “read” soon and that makes him so excited!!! He is 4.5 y/o, so this is not meant to be intense and we are casual about our pace. If he doesn’t want to do the words, we don’t do them. Drew is always up for a challenge, so this is working for us.
If you are interested in a full list of all the words we will be using for each letter, please send me a note! I would also love to hear your successes with teaching sight words!