A Helpful Guide To Teaching Sight Words

"That," "it," "who" - these are some examples of common sight words. They do not follow any types of syllables or rules of spelling, and that is why they need to be memorized. Young readers must be taught how to recognize sight words simply by looking at them and to learn them entirely and master them to the point that the readers are able to read these words without seriously thinking about them.

Simply put, sight words are those words that are taught to children to learn by heart. If they had to spend a lot of time trying to decode these words while they were reading, it would impair their ability to be able to write and read. In reality, many people are not aware of sight words. So in this article, we will be explaining what any teacher or parent will need to know about being able to teach young readers sight words.

1Sight Words Do Not Replace Phonics

Sight words are not a substitute for phonics instruction but a supplement to it. Phonics teaches children the rules for reading and decoding most words. Sight-word instruction is a kind of strategy to focus extra attention on those words that most frequently occur, so your child will not need to stop to decode each word.

2There's A Daily Word Limit When Teaching

What we recommend is that you begin by teaching your child thoroughly three to five words per lesson. Introduce three to five brand new words on the first day. Then on the lesson on the next day, start by reviewing the words from the previous day. If those first words are remembered by your child, then move on so that three to five brand new words are introduced. If your child is struggling with, say, two of the words from the previous day, go through the entire teaching technique sequence with these two words and introduce only one to three brand new words.

3Sight Words Require Mastery

A child should be able to recognize the target word at least three consecutive times for three days consecutively. Your child needs to be able to quickly identify and say this word. This will show that he actually knows this word by sight and does not need to sound the word out letter by letter.

4Teaching Sight Words Requires Materials

Several different supplies can be useful to teach sight words. These include blank index cards, magnetic lowercase letters, dry erase marker, and dry erase board (magnetic if possible, although that is not a necessity). Write the word so that it is in full view of the learners.

An index card can be used for covering the word up, then reveal one letter at once. Have the child name each of the letters as you uncover them; use the dry erase marker to write the word. Have the child name the letter that is missing or let him fill it in using a magnetic letter. Then erase the word and repeat it with different missing letters several times.

Give the child the letters needed to make the word. Have him or her unscramble the letters in order to form the sight word. Mix the letters up and then make the word again. After the child has formed the word, have him or her name each of the letters, and then push them up one letter at a time. Have the child write the word with his finger while he is looking at the word.

5Make Corrections Without Being Negative

As children are learning the sight words vocabulary and playing the sight words game, inevitably, they make mistakes where they give a wrong answer and cannot sight read a word. Feedback is provided by the corrections procedure so that the child knows he has given the incorrect answer and has chances to practice learning a new word. It takes only 20 seconds to conduct the corrections procedure; this provides the chance for the correct word to be repeated 6 times.

The reason for conducting the corrections procedure is helping the child learn the sight word. It is counterproductive to focus on punishing, discouraging, and shaming the child since it just draws the child's attention away from the task in front of him. Instead, emphasis should be placed on the child properly learning the word that he is having a hard time with.

Every time that the child says this word, you should move your finger rapidly under the word that is on the card, moving left over to the right. During this correction phase, move your finger underneath the printed word and draw the attention of the child to the word so that the connection between the spoken and written word is cemented. The word should also be used in a sentence in order to help the child better understand what the word means.

6Sight Words Vs. High-Frequency Words

The terms high-frequency words and sight words are often used interchangeably. Many high-frequency words might be sight words as well, but there is also a difference between them. Sight words must be memorized since they don't fit any standard phonetic patterns. High-frequency words, on the other hand, are words that are found most commonly in the written language. Some may fit into standard phonetic patterns; however, some don't.

For teaching purposes, a majority of teachers treat high-frequency and sight words as the same thing. Both kinds of words are used consistently in written and spoken language and appear in stories, textbooks, and books constantly. After students learn how to recognize those words quickly, it becomes easier to read.

7You Can Teach Sight Words In Many Ways

There are many engaging and fun ways that sight words can be taught. There have been dozens of books published on the subject, and resources such as flash cards, manipulatives, and games are also available in teacher stores online. Word walls are used often as a favorite tool for teaching primary grade levels. You can write the word and then ask your child to read the word and then form it using letters. Use a game or flash cards to review words that have been previously learned.

It takes a great deal of repetition to learn sight words. Children all learn differently and may respond better to flashcards and games than simple instruction. Tons of materials are available to help parents or teachers change things up.

In this article, we took you through the various realities associated with teaching an emerging reader sight words. From ensuring that you have the necessary materials for making the proper corrections to being prepared before you start sight-word lessons, these techniques will help you and your child. You will both have a much better experience.

Nicole Ross

Nicole S. Ross is passionate about using stories in early childhood education. She wrote our Alphabet Book Series to help children fall in love with reading while learning the alphabet.