Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Oughta Know About These Sight Word Games and Activities

What time is it?  Blog Hop Time!  I'd like to give a BIG thanks to Jasmine at Buzzing with Mrs. McClain for hosting and organizing the You Oughta Know Blog Hop.  

So what do I think you oughta know this month?  I think you oughta know about sight words.

Yes, sight words.  In the earlier grades (K-2) sight words are mainly comprised of the most frequently recurring words in English (a, the, of, is, in, like) as well as words that break away from common phonics rules (was, people, have, friend).  

As students progress through the grades more and more words should naturally be added to their visual sight word bank.  These are words that students have encountered enough times that when they glance at the word they know what it is (cat, dog, mom, dad).  

By 2nd or 3rd grade, most students should have a large bank of words that they just know as soon as they see them.  However, this is not always the case.  Sight words (especially the ones that break rules) can be tricky for some students.  Also, just because a students is in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade does not mean they have mastered all common sight words.  Plus, with new academic vocabulary demands as students age (think science, math, social studies, etc.) students are expected to grow that sight word vocabulary and read a wide variety of words on demand.  

So what can you do if you have students who need help devoting words to memory and building that sight word bank? 
Well, I think you oughta know about these sight word games and activities:

1) Sight Word Password: Make a "Password of the Day" or a "Password of the Week."  Every time students walk in or out of your room, they have to read the "magic password."  It builds in quick but fun  practice.

2) Sight Word Rubbing:  Simple and fun!  Use glue to spell out sight words on small pieces of paper.  Students then place a new piece of paper over the words and rub a crayon over the bumpy edges to reveal the sight word.  

3) Sight Word Parking Lot:  This is a great activity for boys and girls who love cars and trucks.  Print off or make your own "parking lot" and students park their car over the word you read.

4) Flashcards:  For some students using flashcards and doing daily drills with the cards can do wonders.  if you make two sets of cards, students can also play games like go fish and memory.

5) Star Sight Words:  This one I love.  I've made up my own batch of Star Sight Words - they look like fancy word wands!  In my class, students can grab a Star Word when they read a book and count how many times they find that word.  I also like to cut out newspaper articles and let students search through the article and highlight their star word as many times as they can find it.

6) Sight Word PowerPoint: Create a PowerPoint with your own students holding up large poster board-sized signs of your sight words.  Then run through the PowerPoint with your students - they will LOVE seeing themselves and it will help motivate them throughout the activity.  

7) Bowling for Sight Words: How fun does this look?  I think it would be best for small groups, and it could also be great for indoor recess! 

8) Sight Word Stomp: Spread sight word flashcards around on the ground.  Call out a word and the student(s) need to find it and stomp or jump or hop on it.  Lots of fun and lots of movement so it is best for small groups or one-on-one.

9) Sight Word Building: Do you have students who are very hands on and love to build things?  Well this is the activity for them.  Use open block letter sight word mats and lets students use cubes or Legos to form the letters of the sight word.  

Do you have a favorite sight word or vocabulary building activity?  If so please share it in the comments section below.  

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