All About Sight Words

Every primary teacher knows how important sight words are to beginning readers.  When many of these words show up in our reading material, all phonics instruction and rules get thrown out the window.  I mean, seriously, who decided that have should be spelled with an e?   Why is it not spelled hav?  So, how do we practice sight words in our classroom?

Sight WordsFirst off, I assess what the students know.  Thankfully, I have a parent volunteer that has been pulling students out to assess their sight words.  This is such a huge help, and it saves me so much time.

Have a way of tracking sight word progress.

I give each child a Sight Word Bookmark with words for them to practice.  These are great because the students can practice them anytime they have an extra couple of minutes.  I went ahead and started each of my students on the first two lists (copied front and back).  This way, as they learn their lists, I can place a sticker on the bookmark, present them with their next color, and send that bookmark home. You can find my Sight Word Bookmarks HERE.

Sight Word BookmarksThey love working their way through the different colors of bookmarks.

Sight Word BookmarksSight Word Bookmarks

Hands on practice with sight words is key.

The students love it, and taking a kinesthetic approach to sight words is going to fit a lot of students’ learning style.  Build words with blocks or Legos.  Have them make words with letter blocks.  If you’re brave, you can have students write sight words in sand, salt, sugar, flour, or shaving cream.

Sight Words IdeasSight Words Ideas

Use games to practice sight words.

I absolutely love using games in the classroom.  The students love them, and they learn so much.  I use my No Prep Sight Word Games to practice.

Sight Word GamesThese are great for work stations, small group instruction, parent volunteers, or just partner the entire class up and play.  You can find my Sight Word Games HERE.

Sight Word GamesSight Word GamesSight Word Games

Practice sight words in small group, whole group, individually, and work stations.

Sight Word Sentence Trees are a great way for beginning readers to practice sight words and fluency.  You can find my Sight Word Sentence Trees HERE.

Sight Word Sentence TreesDid you know that the first 300 Fry Sight Words make up approximately 65% of all written material?  Do I expect my students to sit down and memorize 300 sight words?  Absolutely not.  In reality, many of the sight words on the list can be stretched out phonetically, which greatly reduces the amount of sight words that have to be memorized.

There are so many great ways to practice sight words.  Check out the Sight Word section in my store HERE to find games, poems, and more.

 What are your favorites ways to practice sight words?

These activities and games make learning sight words so much easier!

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  1. Assessment question – you said you have a parent help but do they dictate words to kids who wrote them on white boards or paper. It is just me and I am wondering how to manage it. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated.


    1. For now, I am just having my volunteer see if the students can read the words. I haven’t been assessing spelling the words yet.

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