Sight Words via Lessons Learnt Journal

“Mum, my name is a sight word,” says Mr M. My mind is foggy most days (sleep deprivation and multi-tasking does that to you apparently). I had no idea what he was on about – “Huh???”. Then I heard myself in his reply, “If you sound it out it doesn’t make sense”. Term 3 of Kindergarten Reading. Well done, son. Well done.

Sight words, or irregular words, are words that can’t be read by applying the letter-sound correspondence knowledge that kids learn in reading programs. E.g. “was” is irregular because the typical sounds for “a” and “s” do not apply. (By the way, words that are irregular at one point in the year may not be irregular later on in the year because children may be taught to associate other sounds for letters/letter combinations later on in the year).

Sight words are basically words that children need to learn to recognise on sight.

My default method for teaching sight words is to look, cover, write, check, and use the word in a sentence. Practise, practise, practise.

However, for various reasons, there may be times when children aren’t quite up to the task of writing yet. E.g. they are just learning how to write so the task of writing and learning the actual sight word is a double whammy for them.

Here are some other (more creative) ways to learn sight words that don’t involve writing.

Sight Word Alphabet Threading

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I have a set of these in my classroom and at home. There are commercial sets with sight word cards, beads and pipe cleaners ready to go. However, I have seen people create their own beads by writing letters on beads.

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Sight Word Pebbles

So easy and fun. All you need is a bunch of pebbles, a sharpie, some index cards and something to store it all in. Children have to find the pebble with a given sight word.

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Giant Keyboard

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I have just created this to use with the Kindergarten classes at my school. To make this giant keyboard, you’ll need a plastic table cloth or plastic shower curtain and a sharpie. Tape the giant keyboard down to your classroom floor and have kids spell a given sight word using their feet.

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Need More Sight Word Activities?

Practise, practise, practise is the key with sight words. After more sight word activities? Check out these playful ideas from my blogging buddies.

N&M: 6 years 2 months
August 2014
Activities for Children Life With Kids Lessons Learnt Journal

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About the author

Pauline Pauline & Lessons Learnt Journal is all about life with kids. Pauline is an Aussie mum and teacher who shares her love for play, math games, writing and reading activities. She believes that #playmatters, values curiosity & wonder, wisdom, obedience and respect. She also needs naps. When not blogging, she may be found virtually hoarding on Pinterest, trying to decide which Instagram filter to apply, or compulsively refreshing her Facebook feed.

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