Setting our Sights on Sight Words

Sight words often get overlooked. We often think of them as simple and easy, so we send them home for homework, put them up on the word wall and call it a day. But sight words are an important part of helping students read. 80% of words in A-E texts are sight words, if students knew them, think of what they could accomplish!

We often think students know sight words if they can read them, but sight words are so much more than that. There are four levels of true sight word mastery. 

1. Does the child recognize the word out of context?

For example:

  • On the word wall
  • On a word card

2. Does the child recognize the word in context?

For example:

  • In shared reading
  • In “just right” books

3. Can the child write the word out of context?

For example:

  • Teacher says the word, child writes it

4. Can the child write the word in context?

For example:

  • In independent writing

 

Of course there are tricks and tips to help students with mastering each level of sight word development.

 

For 1:

– Put sight words on a ring and practice reading them

– Play word wall games, such as “find the word” or “read as many as you can”

– Look, Say, Spell, Cover, Write, and Check

 

For 2:

– Little word wall quizzes where students try to write the words on the  word wall

– Look, Say, Spell, Cover, Write, and Check

 

For 3:

– Sight word hunts in their book baggies

– Sight word hunts in shared reading

– Writing the sight words on popsicle sticks and having students match them in their books

 

For 4:

– Sight word hunt in writing folder

– Editing their writing using the word wall

 

Try to get them to look at the word wall as much as possible. I put Christmas lights around mine to make it pop. I also used name tags that have word wall words on them. Always remember word wall words are their high frequency/sight words. The words that show up all the time. You can use the TC sight word list or another list. ImageImageImage