Learning How to Teach Sight Words Is Key to Effective Reading Instruction
Learning how to teach sight words is key to effective reading instruction. The protocol is the same for teaching first grade sight words, kindergarten sight words, or those for any grade level.
The best way to get words to kids is to put them on
There is detailed information here on how to build them and also many
Word Wall Activities
Free Sight Word Games
because the words must be practiced and used daily in order for children to learn the recommended 1000 words per year.
But how in the world do you manage all those words?
When They Know Them, Take Them Down
It is important for the words to keep changing so that children do not memorize the words in the order they are on the wall. They are better at that than you can imagine so be sure to swap places with some of the words every few days. This is a good memory activity, too, so ask the children if they know which words have been moved. They like trying to figure it out, and someone always remembers.
If you start with first grade sight words, for example, put them up together on a separate wall and work with those for several days, playing
Sight Word Games
both on and off the wall.
When they seem to be reading the words automatically - about every two weeks -
each child's individual knowledge of the words and take down the words everybody knows.
The shrinking of the wall is a great visual for kids, evidence that they are learning, which is a great motivator. When the wall gets small enough, I move those words to another wall, one reserved for intensive work, usually on the classroom door where we can practice reading them as we go in and out.
In place of first grade sight words, then, I would put up second grade Dolch words and repeat the procedure with them.
Make Class Word Books
Place the words everyone knows in a photo album or three ring binder. I was surprised to discover how much my children loved to read and practice from these word books. They would often read them on their own!
Use Words They Know to Make New Words
Creating new words with those children already know means you are teaching in their context. Since the brain attaches new information to that which is already known, these words are learned quickly and easily.
New words can be formed by:
- Putting two words together to make compound words.
- Adding prefixes.
- Adding suffixes.
From these you can generate many new words which children already know, putting you well on your way to those 1000 words per year!
Return to Dolch Sight Words From How to Teach Sight Words
Go to Free Sight Word Games from How to Teach Sight Words