Tips for Teaching Sight Words in Pre-K and Kindergarten
What are sight words?
Sight words are words that are immediately recognizable and do not need to be decoded. Some examples of sight words are come, does, or who that don’t follow the rules of spelling. These words need to be memorized because decoding them is difficult.
When teaching reading to youngsters, it helps for them to have these sight words memorized because these are common words they will come across frequently.
Sight Word Facts:
- Sight words are the most frequently used words in the English language. These are considered high frequency words.
- Sight words make up about 50% of any written text.
- Students will be able to read more fluently if they have learned to recognize sight words instantly.
Heidi Songs Sing and Spell vols. 1-5
One of the most important things to remember when teaching sight words is to make it both fun and memorable; HeidiSongs Sing and Spell the Sight Words DVDs offer a unique way to do just that. Heidi has a song for every sight word and each song is so catchy your kids will beg to sing them again and again. What makes Heidisongs unique is the multi-sensory aspect. Each song features movements that the students make with their bodies as they sing the songs. This method works well because it incorporates the different learning styles. When children are seeing, hearing, saying, and moving they are more likely to remember.
I have had such great success using HeidiSongs with my classes I can hardly believe it. The parents could hardly believe it either, their children were learning the sight words so quickly and were singing the songs non-stop day and night. Many parents asked for the lyrics to the songs so they could help their children practice the words at home.
Heidi Songs was such a big hit I decided to incorporate the songs into our homework routine to spice it up. Using flashcards, the students sing the corresponding HeidiSongs each night to their parents. I also incorporated Heidisongs into my Rainbow Words program (see pictures and explanation below).
Rainbow Sight Words
Rainbow Words is a unique combination of a sight word motivational tool, an organizational system, and a tracking system all rolled into one. It is difficult to remember which words each student knows. I use assessment checklists but it is time consuming to go around the room and look at the list, then figure out what each student needs to be doing. Rainbow Words is a fantastic solution to this problem.
Basically, it’s a large rainbow you place on your wall, each color of the rainbow is assigned certain words that stick on the rainbow with Velcro. Their words follow a certain sequence that our district does not so I just re-arranged the words on the rainbow to suit my needs. You don’t even have to use their words, you can make your own and stick them on the rainbow. I color coded all of my sight word cards to match the words on the rainbow.
Now during word work time each student has their own ring of color coded sight word cards (see picture below) and I know that they are working on the words that they should be. It’s also easy enough for the kids to follow too, they always know which color they are working on.
Rainbow Sight Word Cards
I purchased the matching colored baskets at Really Good Stuff
The motivational aspect of Rainbow Words is another great feature. The students start out at the bottom of the rainbow on purple with words like “I”. They are highly motivated to move up the rainbow to the next level and so on. Each time they reach their goal and learn all the words of one color they get a certificate of achievement in that matching color. There is also a cloud and raindrop bulletin board motivational system you can create.
Sight Word Resources
Disclosure: Pre-K Pages is a participating member of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.
More Literacy Resources from Pre-K Pages