Best Way to Teach Sight Words

There are many ways to practice high frequency words/sight words.  Since these words are essential to fluent reading. Repeated exposure and memorization are crucial for students to read fluently and consistently. Students must be able to read these words quickly or decoding will take too much time and effort.  When reading takes too long, readers become frustrated.

Click here to find the 50 words needed by Kindergarten.  You can cut them apart to make small words cards to help you sort.

 Recognizing high-frequency words by sight primarily involves memorization; and memorization comes most easily through repetition. Remember:  PRACTICE! PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  Students need to read and write high-frequency words as often as possible. Remember to read/write as quickly as possible.
Sort the words into words columns.  One column of words that can be read in 5 seconds and one column of words to work on learning. Be sure to count and discuss the words known. Look for an increase each day.

Play Games

 Make 2 copies of the words and play "Memory" with the cards!  Don't forget to read them as quickly as possible.

Make Flash Cards

 REMEMBER: only practice 3 new words mixed up with 7 words you already know.  It can take between 25-55 times before you can remember all of them!  Click on the picture to find the words to make.

From Radford University:

One strategy to consider when teaching and learning discreet skills is “Drill Sandwich” (Browder, D.M., & Roberts, M.L., 1993).  The steps are simple but so worth the effort!

Drill Sandwich:
The drill sandwich strategy is a way learners can practice and learn any information (new sight words, math facts, vocabulary, spelling words) by mixing what they know with what they need to learn. This method is typically more motivating to any learner because the new information is next to something known so it helps alleviate frustration. Only three new pieces of information needs to be the focus, while reviewing  recently learned material to help send it to long term memory. Why? because of the repetition of course!  Learning information in this manner is much more manageable for students, and will help them learn quickly.

How to build a Drill Sandwich!

1.) Make set of flashcards for the information to be learned. (sight words, math facts, letters, numbers)

2.) Go through the complete stack of cards once, separating the list into two piles – knowns and unknowns. (Hint: Cards are marked known only if the information is automatic. If the learner has to think even for a few seconds ( I usually try to count to 5), then the card should be placed in the unknown pile for more repetition of the information.)

3.) Build a “sandwich” using seven knowns and three unknowns. Be sure to follow the pattern below. (K = known; U = unknown)      (KUKKUKKUK)

4.) Have the learner practice identifying all items in the order of knowns and unknowns.

5.) As the unknown items are learned move them into a known section of the sandwich by removing well-known knowns (be sure it is automatic....no guessing!). Add new unknowns and begin the learning process again. Some students need more time that others. Don't move on until the words are really known!

Remember to make it fun! 

What do you do to help students learn site words? Leave a comment and let me know!

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