4 Ways To Make Learning Sight Words Simple

Sight words are such a huge part of the primary grades. We work on these every day in our classroom! Now, I know that sight words often trigger an image of piles of flashcards, but there are so many other great ways to help your kiddos master them! Today, let's chat about my own formula to make learning sight words simple AND fun! 

Use these fun and engaging activities to help make learning sight words simple for your kiddos this school year.

When it comes to sight words, flashcards are definitely useful and have a place for many learners! I love using flashcards in homework as a way for students to quickly and easily sneak in some sight word practice at home. But in the classroom, I make sure our sight word routine is a bit more involved with engaging activities to really help my kiddos master new words. 

I like to alternate between 3 types of fun activities with the use of a daily practice page to help my kiddos learn their sight words. Take a peek at how this looks in my classroom! 

1. Use Manipulatives 

If you work with young students, you probably already know how important manipulatives are for learning. Young children need information presented to them in multiple ways and sight words are no different! For this reason, I love using a variety of materials to teach sight words. 
Use these magnetic letters to make learning sight words simple, fun, and engaging for your students.
These are a classroom staple in most rooms already, but if you don't have a set of magnet letters you definitely need one! I love using these with inexpensive magnetic boards during small groups. You can even grab metal cookie sheets from the dollar store for an ultra-low-cost option! 

My favorite way to use magnetic letters or letter tiles is with our spelling journals. As we introduce a new set of sight words, I like to have the kids work on building them on the magnetic boards and then writing them in their journals a few times. 

Keeping a sight word or spelling journal is a great way to always have a book of reference on hand for your students as well. As the year progresses, children will have a list of all the words we used throughout the year at their fingertips! It becomes a personal dictionary that the students created.

2. Use Sensory Materials 

Next up is a fun one, so definitely give this a try if you aren't already! As I mentioned, firsties learn best with access to tactile materials, so don't be afraid to mix it up! Practice building sight words with a variety of materials to help make the words "stick". 
Wikki Stix are the perfect addition to your sight words instruction and can be bent and formed into letters to form sight words.

Some of my favorite things to use are:
  • Play Dough 
  • Wikki Stix
  • Building Bricks 
  • Chalk 
  • Watercolors or Paint 
  • Sand Trays
  • Shaving Cream 

These are wonderful activities to save for the end of the day when you know your kiddos are feeling restless and ready for a break. You can ensure you'll keep the learning rolling while offering a more calming alternative than typical activities. Plus, these options are a great motivator for students to work hard all day! If they know they will get to use one of these activities during wrap-up time, my kiddos are eager to perk up and pay attention throughout the day!

3. Play Sight Word Games 

First graders are a busy bunch. They need lots of variety in their activities and sometimes, the perfect solution is a fun game. I use games daily in my classroom as a way to practice many skills, but I love them for sight words. Since learning sight words really does rely so heavily on the ability to recall words quickly, BINGO is a fantastic option for helping students master a set of words. 

Playing games like Bingo is a great way to engage your students in sight word practice.

I also love that BINGO is a game familiar to just about everyone, so it's quick and easy to implement in the classroom. We play BINGO as a whole group, but it's also a great small group option. I like to keep a set of BINGO cards with the words we are focusing on laminated and ready to go in a handy place so I can pull them out at a moment's notice. 

Another class favorite sight word game is SNAP!  This fast-paced card game will have your students reading their sight words again and again.

And. . . you can't forget about the game-like feel of Sight Word Digital Activities.  These digital sight word activities are the perfect addition to your literacy centers.  Students can use a tablet or computer to play these engaging sight word games using Google Slides.  AND . . . it is a great way to add some technology skills in at the same time!

Digital sight word practice is a great way to add a game like feel to your sight word practice.

4. Practice Sight Words Daily 

Last, but certainly not least, practice sight words daily! I love sprinkling all of the other activities I mentioned throughout our day, but I find that having dedicated time each day to work on a targeted word really makes the biggest difference with my students. We do this through the use of a daily sight word worksheet.

This daily sight word practice worksheet helps students work on reading and spelling the target sight word.

In my classroom, I love adding this activity to our daily routine.  These sight word practice worksheets make great morning, work, reading block starter activity or an independent center activity. The students come to expect the familiarity of the worksheets and it helps them stay on top of all the sight words we are learning throughout the year. 

The worksheets we use focus on a variety of ways for students to practice reading and spelling the target sight words. Some of the activities include read and color the word, highlight the word, fill in the missing letters, sight word word search, write a sentence using the word and so much more!

Daily sight word practice activities help students learn to read and spell these important words.

When we have a new set of words, I will introduce them all at once and add them to our word wall, but then each day we focus on one specific word. Since we introduce about 10 new words at a time, this is a great way to laser focus on a single word each day. Depending on the pacing of your curriculum, you can choose to do 2 worksheets a day if needed, to get through all the words you'll cover that year. Either way, this is a great way to make sure you touch on them all!

I love to extend this activity with journaling as well. After students have completed their word worksheet, they can write a short 1-2 sentence journal entry and make sure to use the word at least twice. I love this wrap-up activity as it really gets my kiddos thinking and helps them remember our words from the day. 

Make Daily Sight Word Practice Part Of Your Routine 

Over the years, I have found that using a blend of these activities really does make all the difference in helping kiddos master their sight words. By adding in a designated time for daily practice pages and then alternating between a variety of other engaging activities, you can make learning sight words super simple! 

If you'd like to give these daily practice pages a try in your classroom, be sure to grab my Fry Words Freebie! It covers 5 words from the bundle of 300.

Fry sight word practice is fun and engaging with these kid approved activities. Grab this FREEBIE to use in your classroom today.
Grab the freebie and find a designated time to test them out each day for a week. Then be sure to weave in some of the other activities we discussed like games, sensory activities, and using magnetic letters with your spelling journals. 

This formula for teaching sight words has been SO helpful to me over my years in the classroom and truly made learning sight words simple AND fun! 

If you are ready to make sight words part of your daily routine, grab the Sight Word Practice Worksheets Bundle and get started today!

Fry Sight Word Practice Activities

Make sure to visit my store for other Sight Word Activities. You'll find resources for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.  I also have sets designed for the Fry List, Dolch List, and Benchmark Advance. 

Save These Sight Word Activities 

Don't forget to Pin this post to your favorite classroom Pinterest board! Then you can come back the next time you are looking for a fun, new sight word activity for your classroom.

Sight word activities like building sight words with magnetic letters, a fun BINGO game, and daily sight word worksheets will make learning sight words simple for you and your students. Grab the Fry Sight Word FREEBIE to use in your classroom today as your students are learning important sight words this school year. #sightwords #sightwordpractice #frysightwords #learningsightwords #sightwordgames

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