You guys, I’m not going to lie… this working, teaching, and generally “staying at home” thing is killing me. I love teaching. It is in my blood (literally, my grandfather was a teacher and so are quite a few of my cousins!) But, homeschooling my son these past few weeks have been hard. We’ve got a great routine set up, but sometimes there’s only so many fun and engaging activities one person can come up with. That’s why when it comes to practice sight words at home… I am all about low commitment. It’s gotta be easy or it isn’t going to happen, am-I-right? So, today I’m sharing 5 different ways we’re practicing sight words at home in very easy-peasy ways.
These suggestions are for activities that can be done at home, but many can be used in the classroom. Looking for more sight word ideas? Check out this post for more classroom ideas!
Set Up for Success
Before you can dive into practicing sight words at home, you need to make sure you have a list of required sight words for your student. Many school districts post this information on their web pages. You can also contact your child’s teacher. If you’re still not sure, there are lists available from Fry and Dolch (these are the most common)
Now that you have your list, it’s time to make some flashcards. These babies are very simple to make. Index cards and a marker are all you need. You could even get a little fancier by changing the color of the marker for each list (if your list is sectioned). Then, place the lists in quart size zip baggies and place all those into a gallon-sized baggie.
But, let’s be honest… the word of the game: keep it simple.
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Activities to Practice Sight Words with Flash Cards
Sight Word Memory
This is a personal favorite of my son. So simple… select 5-10 sight word cards. Create a double of each word. Then, mix up the cards and lay them down in neat rows and columns. From there, taking turns, select two cards to turn over. Have your student read each word pair. If they match, they get to keep the pair. If they don’t, turn the cards back face down. Play until all cards are matched. My son loves to read all his matches at the end.
“I Spy” Sight Words
This is a fun play on the classic “I Spy” game. To complete, lay 10-15 cards down face up. Then, describe a word that’s on the card, using the words, “I spy…”. For example, for the word America, you might say, “I spy a word that begins with a capital letter A”. Play until the word is guessed. Have your child point to the word, then read the sight word and keep it if it’s correct. Play until all the cards are collected. Don’t forget to read through the cards at the end.
Sight Word Scavenger Hunt
This version of a scavenger hunt is perfect for when the littles need to get up and moving.
To play, tape up 15-20 sight words around your house. ( I like to limit it to 2-3 rooms) Then, have your child walk around and “find” the words. When they find them, have them say the word and collect the card. Play until all the cards are collected. Review the words at the end.
For an easy extension, have your child select 4 words and write them in a sentence on a sheet of paper or in a sight word journal.
I know sometimes pulling out the sight word flashcards can be a little much, that’s why I’m sharing a few activities you can play without actual cards.
Activities to Practice Sight Words without Flashcards
Sight Word Hunt
As students’ abilities in reading grow, they are excited to see words they “know” in text. After reading a book, have your student go on a “sight word” hunt for specific words. Once they find the word, students can read the sentence it belongs to. Alternatively, you can have students keep a tab of the words they’ve found by writing them on a sheet of paper or in a sight word journal.
Remember, this game is about finding the sight words, so it’s ok if they can’t read the book they are using on their own. Be sure to encourage your reader as they move through. Also, keep length in mind… too long and your child will lose interest. One to two pages is probably enough or when they’ve found about 10-15 words.
Read, Spell, Read, Spell, Read
This last one is a great way to not only practice sight words, but it’s also a way to help students how to spell sight words. Many sight words are not easy to “sound out”, leaving students struggling when it comes to using them in their writings. This simple strategy helps to combat that by including a letter by letter practice part.
To complete, students need a piece of paper and a pencil. Then, say the word for the student. Have them say it back, then spell the word out loud. As you spell it, the student will write it out. Then, have them read it again (swooping their finger below the word) and then spell it letter by letter again. Repeat this until it has been read and spelled three times. Continue to the next word.
This strategy is effective, but can easily be overused and tire out the learner. Keep this activity short with reading and saying only 3-4 sight words in a session.
So those are just a few super low commitment ways you can continue the learning while staying safe at home. Sight word practice while at home is an important part of helping our learners stay on track. Do you have another activity you’d like to share? Be sure to comment below!
Other Helpful Blog Post
Looking for more helpful ideas? Check out these posts below!
- Building Sight Word Fluency the Easy-Peasy Way
- Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd Grade
- Prefix Word Study
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