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Sight Words: Classroom Tips for Practice

When you teach your students to read, you open the door to endless possibilities. Not only will your students have a stronger vocabulary, their imaginations will grow as well. One of the best ways to turn your students into excellent readers is to work sight words into your daily routine. 

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What is a Sight Word? 

A sight word is a term that is commonly seen in reading. These words often have more than one meaning. When we talk about sight words in k-5, we are typically looking at a set of a few hundred words. Who, the, and he are just a few examples of sight words that will help students become stronger readers. 

Why Sight Words? 

Sight words are beneficial for a variety of reasons. Some of the biggest benefits of teaching sight words include: 

  • Building confidence
  • Freeing up time to learn more difficult words 
  • Comprehending texts better

All of the above will not only make your students stronger readers, it will also make them better critical thinkers. When you teach students how to use what they do know to their advantage, they can take on bigger challenges and learn how to problem solve! 

Using Sight Words in Your Classroom

There are so many different ways to use these words in your classroom throughout the school year. From worksheets to games, the possibilities are really endless! Here are a few ways you can use sight words in your classroom this school year! 

Post It!

A fantastic way to always have your words in mind is to display them in the classroom. Having your frequently used wordson a “word wall” can be a great reminder for you to use them, and it can be a resource for your students. If you’re not sure what sight words you should be teaching, check out my Sight Word Bundle to get all the words you need and some great resources as well. 

Using the words printed on 3×5 index cards can give you the words you need for your word wall practice!

sight words
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Print It! 

One simple and easy way to work on getting sight word work into your students’ hands is with printable worksheets they can take home and practice with. When you use these worksheets, you want to hit as many “learning styles” as possible. On the worksheets, you can have students trace, write, and cut and paste words into sentences. Beyond rewriting and placing the words in a ready-made sentence, you can challenge students to write their own sentences as well.  

Work It!

Another way to work in these words is to utilize WBT (Whole Brain Teaching) activities. One of the benefits of teaching these common words is the fluency that comes with it. When you are teaching students sight words, challenge their whole brains with guided reading activities that feature those fantastic frequenly used words! When you use WBT activities you will create stronger fluency, comprehension, and word recognition. 

sight words

Race It! 

Finally, a great way to get your students into their sight words is to make working on them into a fast paced game that anyone can get into! While challenging the students’ whole brains, do a “Super Speed Sight Word” activity.

Not only is this a great way to fill in a little extra time if something gets done a little earlier, it’s also a great way to get your students thinking fast about these commonly used words. When you get students thinking on their feet, they begin to recognize the words quicker. This skill will translate back when they encounter these frequent words in texts. 

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Sight words are a vital part of your classroom. Not only will learning these words make your students more fluent readers who can comprehend a text better, it will also make them better critical thinkers in the long run. Give your students the best gift you can give them: the ability to read. When you teach a student to read, you teach a student that anything is possible. 

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