can help reinforce classroom learning through fun, exciting games at home
ways that kids will never even know they are still learning!
your new reader, here are a few ideas to practice sight words:
Hide and Seek
Using Post-It Notes, cardboard, construction paper, deck of cards
or note cards, write one letter of
the sight word you would like to learn in marker, crayon or pen in large block
letters in the center of each piece. You can add the small letter under
each capital letter, if desired. Practice the word in a chant or
song before you begin. "T-H-E spells THE!" You can even
clap to each letter as you point to the corresponding letter. Incorporating
body action with memorization helps memory retention.
Then, let the word play hide
and seek with your young reader. Who knows where the word might be
found! Sitting on the bathroom or kitchen sink, in a window ledge,
stuck to the refrigerator door, on a dinner plate, on top of a bedroom pillow,
in a doorway, etc. Let your imagination go! As your child finds the
word, help fill the discovery with excitement and cheering along with practice
of the word... T-H-E spells THE! Prompt your child, "Where do
you think "the" will go next? We better keep an eye out for
him!" Move the word around to different spots until your child
recognizes the word quickly and easily. It will be so exciting to see the
accomplishment and pleasure your child will develop as they learn new words.
After the child has
learned the word, have the word appear in a stack of cards. Let the child
place the letters in the correct order. Repeat, T-H-E- spells THE!
Continue with the same process for other words.
For the next three games you will
need to make a set of flashcards. Using the sight word list from your
child's class, create an individual card for each sight word. Write each
letter in large block letters in the center of each card using a dark
color. You can also create sight word cards on the computer (as seen in
the pictures below.) Cards can easily be created with a package of
note cards , card stock paper or a deck of cards.
Fishing for Sight Words
This game requires a little more
preparation on your part, but can be adapted to so many different activities,
it will be worth the time! (See Magnetic Fishing post from June 12, 2012)
You will need:
-A stick or rod with a
string/cord tied to one end. The string should be long enough so
that when your child holds the stick about waist level the magnet on the end of
the stick should be able to reach the ground to "catch" fish.
-A magnet that can be tied to the
bottom of the string. This is your "hook".
this case, it will be sight words. You can use the list from your child's
teacher to add one word on each "fish". You can make fish
shaped cards or use note cards, or colored paper. Place a paper clip to
the end of each card.
A fun thing to do is use a blue
towel or rug for your fishing "pond". This defines the area of
play. But, it is not necessary to
play this game. In the pictures below we just played on the storeroom
floor, just to see how it would work... It worked great by the way! Kids
aren't fussy, if the cooperating adult presents the attitude of fun,
exploration and adventure!
As you "catch" fish
practice the word on the card. If the child gets the word correct, they get to keep their fish. If they do
not know the word, practice the word with them. ex. S-H-E spells she.
Point out letter and letter pair sounds. ex. S-H-E the SH
says shhhh. These words are released back into the fishing pond to be
caught again. Play until all the fish are caught and can be kept.
Start with just a few words and work up to all the sight words in the
Kids love flashlights! So, why
not use them to learn. In this game you are still using the sight word
flashcards. No paperclip is needed on the cards, but can remain on the
card if you have created them for magnetic fishing. Spread the cards on
the floor in a designated area. Turn off the lights. Turn on a
flashlight and let your child "tag" a word. If they read the
word correctly, they get to keep the card. If not, practice and move on
to another card. Continue until the floor is picked up! Meaning
they have correctly read each word in the game. What a sense of
accomplishment they will have!
And while you have the flashlight
turned on, don't forget to make designs on the walls or ceiling with the light
beam. Turn on a flashlight yourself and join in the fun creating a light
Use your flashcards like a deck of
regular cards. Hold them in your hand with the words facing you and
fanned out. Let your child take turns picking a card. Have them
read the card they picked. If correct, they get to keep the
card. If the child gets the word incorrect,
help them decipher the word. Spell it out. ex.
T-H-E-Y spells "they". Then, use the word in a sentence.
Add the card back into your hand to try again. When your hand is empty
and your child's hand if full, the game is over. Begin with just a few
cards and add as they learn more words.
An old deck of cards can easily be transformed into a set of
sight words (or even math problems!)Or,
pick up a deck of cards with a fun picture on the back.A picture of something that is of interest to
Search and Find
Use your flashcards to randomly
select one word. Then start searching.
1. You can use a magazine or
newspaper to let your child search for the chosen word for the day. Give
them a bright colored crayon, marker or pen and let them circle the word each
time they find it in the text. A variation? set the timer for a few
minutes. When it goes off, count how many of the sight words were found.Use a different color for different words.
2. During reading time have
your child look for the sight word they are working on that day. It could
be the word that mysteriously keeps appearing throughout the house. Read
a page and then search for the sight word you are working on.
Keep track of the sight words you
have learned. Add the words to a master chart that is hanging someplace
that can be seen every day. As the list grows, watch your child's
confidence grow as well! Pretty soon you will have a child that is
reading with confidence and speed! And, a good reader is more successful