Wednesday, June 22, 2016

My Favorite Tips, Tricks, and Games to Teach Sight Words

Sight Words

I love to teach children to read. To me, it is the most rewarding subject to teach, especially in the younger grades where they excel so much over a short period of time. I have worked with advanced readers, and extremely low readers, and I have found that the key to being a better reader is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE your sight words! 

Whether you are a Mom at home with your kids after school, a homeschool Mom, a tutor, or a teacher, these tips, tricks, and games are a fun way to teach sight words!

The Door Trick

At the beginning of each week I place 4 new sight words on my classroom door. If you are at home, place it on a door that you often go out of with your child together. Now the trick is simple, every time you walk out of that door with your child or students, have them read the words to you. It is their "ticket" out the door. The first day or two they may need you to tell them the word. I simply say the word and they repeat it back. I have found that for 90% of students having to repeat these words to me a couple of times a day as they leave the classroom helps these words stick and sink into their permanent reading treasure box. Every Friday I include the 4 words for the week plus I include a couple of review words. Repeating this throughout the entire year really helps those sight words sink in. You can use basic words or even your hard vocabulary words for the story for the week. It is a fun trick to use!

Beat Mrs. Falkner

This is by far my students favorite sight word game: "Beat Mrs. Falkner." You, of course can change the name to "Beat Mom" or whatever your name is. This is simple. I keep a large stack of sight words at our reading center table. Every day during reading groups we practice the sight words. At the end end of our few minutes review or at the end of groups I set my timer for 1-2 minutes. (I always let my students choose the sound of the timer going off...they love to help with this and look forward to the game more!) To play I start the timer and hold up a card in front of one student. They read the word. If they get it correct, they keep it, if they miss it in goes into my pile. I continue with this pattern around the group. My pile and their piles slowly add up. When the timer goes off we count how many cards we all have. If they "Beat Mrs. Falkner" by having more cards than me they get a happy smile, a high five, a sticker, a "Hooray!" or a treat from the treat box. 


I imagine most of you have played memory before. This is simple, yet fun for students to work together. I print off two sets of my sight word cards. I combine students in groups of 2-4, trying to put my higher readers with my lower readers. They lay all the cards upside down. On their turn they flip over two cards and read each of the words. If they match they keep the cards and go again. If they don't match, they turn them back over and it moves to the next person. The game continues until all of the matches had been found. 

I hope 3 of my favorite tips, tricks, and games have been helpful to you. They have really helped my students excel in reading sight words. If you are looking for fun black and white or colored sight words check out my teachers pay teachers store here. 

Please leave comments with some of your favorite sight word tips, tricks, and games! 

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