At the beginning of each school year, I ask my classroom parents to tell me their Cheers & Goals for their children. Learning to read is always one of their (and my) top three goals.
Teaching a child to read is one of my greatest joys and sight words are just a part of my literacy-rich classroom environment. I begin sight word instruction the second week of school even while we are working on letter identification and letter sounds. I see a great amount of growth in confidence and ability in just a few short weeks.
We work on three sight words each week and send home flash cards for the kids to practice with.
We have a variety of ways to practice reading and spelling sight words and the kids love being able to choose how we practice. Here are a few ideas for sharing, whether in a classroom or at home:
- Ghost Voice – Using your spookiest voice, say the word and then spell each letter. End by saying the word again.
- Mouse Voice – Use a small, squeaky voice. Say the word, spell and end by squeaking the word again.
- Opera Voice – Using your best opera voice (we use our arms to help project our voices). Same process as above.
- Rocket Ship – Crouch down on the floor (your launch pad). Say the word and spell. Stand up a little taller when saying a letter. Jump off the ground and say the whole word.
- Letter Picking – Sit on the floor. Say the word and pretend to pick a letter from above and then placing it in your lap. Use across-the-body movement. Arms in the air after spelling and say the word.
- Can You Dig It – Pretend to have a shovel. Say the word and then pretend to dig up and toss each letter over your shoulder. Remember to say the word once you’ve spelled it.
- Disco – Get your groove on! Get in disco stance and say the word. Your pointer finger and arm move down on the first letter and then up for the next letter. Repeat as needed until the word is spelled. Once it is, say the word and clap.
- Flashlight Friday – I post sight words around the room and we turn off the lights. One students call out a word and another shines the flashlight on the word. Of course, you’ve got to teach flashlight etiquette first!
Get ready for reading-hungry kiddos and giggles galore. Especially with Opera Voice!