Sunday, November 8, 2015

Teaching Kids how to Read Sight Words

Hey everyone! I'm Amy from Cahill's Creations and I'm here to talk about different ways to teach sight words in your classroom and at home.
The reason I chose this topic was because I kept hearing other teachers say things like:
"My kids just aren't getting sight words.  What should I do?"
""HELP!  My kids don't get sight words!"

I'm here to share what works for me as a teacher and as a parent of a kindergarten student.
First, let me share what system works at our school. 
We use a sight word program called, I Scream for Sight Words and here's how it works:
*We start this program at the beginning of the second quarter when the kids are ready to learn sight words.
*We have broken up the first 100 FRY words into groups of 10.  Each student is given the first set of club words, which is the red club.  Once a student has mastered this list, they get to go on our red ice cream scoop in the classroom.  We also send a certificate home saying they passed the red club and are now ready to practice the orange club words. 
*Each time they have mastered a set of 10 words, they fly up our ice cream wall.  The goal is to read 100 sight words by the end of the year.  
Let me just say, this program is highly motivating and effective!  I've seen so much growth and excitement each year I've implemented this program.

Here's an example of what it looks like:
I attach the certificate and the next set of 10 words:
If a student tries out for a club and does not make it, I will send a note home and they can be tested again the following week.

*I have a notebook that I use to keep track of what words each student knows and what they need to practice.

Now here are the different ways I help my own child learn these sight words at home
(Note: kids learn in SO many different ways/speeds.  I'm just sharing things I've done with my own child that actually worked.)

*We raced each other to the sight word cones and she always beat me! :) When we got to the word, we had to do 10 jumping jacks and use the words in sentences. 

*We put the words into context.  This was SO important for my daughter.  She needed to understand the word and relate to it in some way.  We recorded ourselves using the words in sentences.  This was so effective!  I attached pictures to as many words as I could.
*I also found a really great app that actually has FRY's 100 sight words.  This app is great because you can hear the word, record yourself saying the word, write the word, and play games with the word. 

*We played games with the sight words by jumping on them. 
*I created little readers for her.  She was extremely successful at reading these little books because she was able to make the words make sense to her.
*We also built sight word towers.  I would say a word and she would have to take it off.  (It was kind of like playing sight word JENGA!)

Oh, this girl is gaining such confidence with learning sight words and I'm so proud of her hard work!  
You can find the I Scream for Sight Word Program here:

Thanks for reading!  I'd love to hear how you teach sight words.  


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