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June 2, 2017

Teaching Sight Words to Kindergartners

By Andrea Maurer
Grades PreK–K

    It is almost the end of the school year and I have a couple of students who are struggling with learning their sight words. It is really affecting their reading fluency and frustrating them to no end. During these last few weeks, I am focused on making sure these students meet this essential kindergarten benchmark.

    Needing a more effective way to meet my students’ needs when teaching sight words, the Sight Word Songs Flip Chart and CD caught my eye. Integrating music across the content standards is something I do on a weekly basis and this flip chart and CD combination fits in perfectly. Each song focuses on two sight words. The songs immediately capture students’ attention with their fun lyrics and bright illustrations. As we are learning the songs, I have the students use highlighter tape to place over the sight words. The students love going back and using a pointer to read the songs.

    This fun and funny book has inspired several activities, all of which have gone a long way to reinforce the sight words my students need to go on and become confident readers.

    Singing the first song, “Monster Food,” led to this easy prep, too cute, open-ended art project for the students to do independently. I call it:

    The Sight Word-Eating Monster

    1. The students create their sight word-eating monster at the collage center using paper that would otherwise been thrown away.

     

    2. I cut two, 2” slits on each side of the mouth, three inches away from each other.

    3. Cut one, 18” by 1” piece of construction paper (any color will do) per student.

    4. Download the pdf of my sight words or create your own using the sight words your students mostly need to learn. Print one copy for each student.

    5. Have the students cut and glue the sight words out and glue them one finger space apart from each other. Use the other side for more sight words. Let dry.

     

    6. Thread the strip in between the slits on the monsters mouth.

    7. Have the students read the words on the strip.

    What I love about this project is that it can be used all year long with a different set of sight words. Next year, they will be creating their monsters at the beginning of the year!

    Around the World Sight Word Game

    I know we don’t have much time to spare in kindergarten, but “Around the World” is a game we play before recess or before dismissal and it is one of my students’ favorites. Here is how we play.

    1. Write the sight words you want your students to learn on file cards.

    2. Have your students sit in a half circle. Have one student stand behind the other.

    3. Two students at a time, show the students one sight word. Out of the two students, whoever says the sight word first, goes on to the next student. The other student sits down. Around the World is a game that really motivates the students to learn their sight words with an added healthy competition element.

     

    Sight Word Chart With Sticky Notes

    1. Make a T-chart on large chart paper with two of your most challenging sight words written on each side of the chart. Write those two words on many sticky notes. Place the sticky notes around the chart. Have the students place each sticky note under the correct sight word.

     

    Sight Word Pipe Cleaners/Letters

    The students string letter beads on pipe cleaners to form the desired sight words. You can use any type of letter beads and of course any type of pipe cleaners. I loved how engaged the students were and how they worked together to make sure everyone found the letters they need to create the sight word.

     

    Sight Word Hands and Feet

    Initially, I bought these cute foam hand and feet shapes on sale at Michaels. I wasn’t sure what I would use them for, but I knew I would someday. With that in mind, I am constantly trying to think of new ways to integrate more kinesthetic activities while trying to have the students meet their academic standards. I ended up using them for the following sight word activity. I wrote the sight words twice, once on a hand and the other on a foot. The students had to step on the foot and match it to the corresponding hand with the same sight word on it. Think of the game Twister combined with an old fashion dance chart. I placed the hands and feet all over our kindergarten rug.

    We still have two weeks of school left. I am determined to do whatever I can to help my students meet this kindergarten standard!

    It is almost the end of the school year and I have a couple of students who are struggling with learning their sight words. It is really affecting their reading fluency and frustrating them to no end. During these last few weeks, I am focused on making sure these students meet this essential kindergarten benchmark.

    Needing a more effective way to meet my students’ needs when teaching sight words, the Sight Word Songs Flip Chart and CD caught my eye. Integrating music across the content standards is something I do on a weekly basis and this flip chart and CD combination fits in perfectly. Each song focuses on two sight words. The songs immediately capture students’ attention with their fun lyrics and bright illustrations. As we are learning the songs, I have the students use highlighter tape to place over the sight words. The students love going back and using a pointer to read the songs.

    This fun and funny book has inspired several activities, all of which have gone a long way to reinforce the sight words my students need to go on and become confident readers.

    Singing the first song, “Monster Food,” led to this easy prep, too cute, open-ended art project for the students to do independently. I call it:

    The Sight Word-Eating Monster

    1. The students create their sight word-eating monster at the collage center using paper that would otherwise been thrown away.

     

    2. I cut two, 2” slits on each side of the mouth, three inches away from each other.

    3. Cut one, 18” by 1” piece of construction paper (any color will do) per student.

    4. Download the pdf of my sight words or create your own using the sight words your students mostly need to learn. Print one copy for each student.

    5. Have the students cut and glue the sight words out and glue them one finger space apart from each other. Use the other side for more sight words. Let dry.

     

    6. Thread the strip in between the slits on the monsters mouth.

    7. Have the students read the words on the strip.

    What I love about this project is that it can be used all year long with a different set of sight words. Next year, they will be creating their monsters at the beginning of the year!

    Around the World Sight Word Game

    I know we don’t have much time to spare in kindergarten, but “Around the World” is a game we play before recess or before dismissal and it is one of my students’ favorites. Here is how we play.

    1. Write the sight words you want your students to learn on file cards.

    2. Have your students sit in a half circle. Have one student stand behind the other.

    3. Two students at a time, show the students one sight word. Out of the two students, whoever says the sight word first, goes on to the next student. The other student sits down. Around the World is a game that really motivates the students to learn their sight words with an added healthy competition element.

     

    Sight Word Chart With Sticky Notes

    1. Make a T-chart on large chart paper with two of your most challenging sight words written on each side of the chart. Write those two words on many sticky notes. Place the sticky notes around the chart. Have the students place each sticky note under the correct sight word.

     

    Sight Word Pipe Cleaners/Letters

    The students string letter beads on pipe cleaners to form the desired sight words. You can use any type of letter beads and of course any type of pipe cleaners. I loved how engaged the students were and how they worked together to make sure everyone found the letters they need to create the sight word.

     

    Sight Word Hands and Feet

    Initially, I bought these cute foam hand and feet shapes on sale at Michaels. I wasn’t sure what I would use them for, but I knew I would someday. With that in mind, I am constantly trying to think of new ways to integrate more kinesthetic activities while trying to have the students meet their academic standards. I ended up using them for the following sight word activity. I wrote the sight words twice, once on a hand and the other on a foot. The students had to step on the foot and match it to the corresponding hand with the same sight word on it. Think of the game Twister combined with an old fashion dance chart. I placed the hands and feet all over our kindergarten rug.

    We still have two weeks of school left. I am determined to do whatever I can to help my students meet this kindergarten standard!

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