6 Ways to Weave Sight Words Into Your Daily Routine

Learning sight words is an essential piece of the puzzle when it comes to reading fluency. Since sight words don't follow the same grammar and spelling rules as many other words, learning to recognize them by sight is key! The best way to master any new skill is with repetition. But how do we keep repetition from getting boring? Come along and see how I weave sight words into our daily routine to offer plenty of opportunities to learn them in a fun way! 

Use these 6 ways to weave sight words into your daily routine for daily sight word practice that's not only fun but also meaningful for your students.

Why Should We Teach Sight Words? 

First off, let's pause for a quick refresher on sight words. Sight words refer to commonly used words in language and print that don't follow typical grammar and spelling rules. The idea behind learning them is that children will instantly recognize them "by sight" instead of needing to stop and sound them out. This is key since they don't follow phonics rules and don't align with the methods we teach children for decoding. 

Giving your students meaningful sight word practice each and every day will help with their overall success and mastery of these common words.

High-frequency words are often grouped in the same category as sight words, but these are a little different. High-frequency words are the most commonly used words in print, but many of these DO follow phonics rules. Nonetheless, it's also a good idea to have your students master these words by sight to help enhance overall reading fluency. 

Teaching sight words helps children build confidence. Think about the sense of pride and accomplishment that builds when you answer a question correctly. This feeling is instilled as children become readers when they learn sight words. There's nothing better than seeing a smile spread across your students' faces when they zip through a sight word reader and recognize every word! 

Make Learning Sight Words Part of the Routine 

As we all know, practice is key to mastery and this is definitely true with sight words. The more exposure we offer to sight words, the better chance our students have of memorizing them. The tricky part here is doing so in a way that doesn't involve the typical "drill and kill" flashcard exercise. Don't get me wrong, flashcards are very useful, but if this is our only method of teaching sight words, we're doing our students an injustice. 

When you make learning sight words part of the daily routine in your classroom your students will be more willing to tackle these activities with gusto and determination.

Instead, look for ways to add sight word practice to your daily routine. Doing so will help make them a part of the flow of your day and add structure, while also targeting a key skill for success. My best piece of advice for this is to get creative and think outside of the box. Look at your daily schedule and consider where a bit of sight word practice might fit in naturally, then think of ways to make it more fun. 

If you're at a loss on where to start, don't worry - I've gotcha covered! Here are 6 of my favorite ways to weave sight words into our daily routine. 

1. Start at the Morning Meeting 

Alright, I know I said not to overuse flashcards, but this is an instance where they actually come in quite handy! Every morning, during our daily meeting, I like to take a moment to run through our words of the week. In my classroom, we work on 5 or so for a week before introducing more. 

We focus on learning these words and using them in context. Once my students have mastered these, they are added to our big word wall and we focus on a few more the following week. While we are learning them, however, I add them to our "focus wall". 

Use part of your morning meeting time to focus on sight words for daily practice your students can expect at the same time.

The focus wall includes only the 5 words we're working on that week to avoid overwhelm. My goal here is to help my students learn these words, understand how to use them in sentences, and ultimately recognize them without a second thought. I love to use word cards like this for every new set that I introduce. 

During the morning meeting, I will use a pointer wand to tap each word and have the whole class recite it together. I mix it up and go forward, backward, and out of order each day during this exercise. I might also use them in sentences, or provide examples of this word in context too. This exercise only takes a couple of minutes and is a great way to refresh students on our words of the week right at the beginning of the day. 

2. Lean Into Daily Sight Word Practice 

In case you haven't noticed, I am a big fan of routines and schedules in the classroom. Students rely on me to provide structure and predictability to their day and I make it my mission to keep it consistent! Not only does this help manage behavior and student expectations, but it also allows for daily opportunities to focus on sight words. 

In my room, we use these sight word pages every day as part of our morning routine. Each day we focus on one specific word, which is typically one of our new ones for the week. Each page includes 5 different activities to help students learn the word. 

Use daily sight word worksheets like these to give your students focused sight word practice activities every day.

The activities include things like writing the word in letter boxes, finding it in a word search, cutting and pasting the letters in order, and using it in a sentence. The predictability of these worksheets makes them a fantastic independent work activity too! Once students have used them a few times, they know exactly what they need to do. 

We use these worksheets all year long as a simple way to sneak in a little extra sight word practice daily. I love that once my students know the routine, they actually expect and look forward to their daily work page with a new word. Grab a free sample of these pages here and try them out for yourself! 

Grab these FRY Sight Words FREEBIE No prep practice pages to use in your classroom today.

3. Use Small Groups for Dedicated Sight Word Practice 

Speaking of routine, small group time is something that we do every day in my classroom. Personally, I absolutely LOVE teaching in small groups since it allows for a bit more one-on-one interaction with my students. This is such a great opportunity to form bonds and build trust with your students, as well as help meet their specific learning needs. 

When it comes to literacy and reading small groups, I also like to spend a portion of it working on sight words. This can be done in many ways, but my main goal is to use tactile materials of some kind when we're in small groups to help support my kinesthetic learners. There are tons of options out there, so feel free to mix it up to keep it fun and engaging for your kiddos! 

Incorporating sight word practice into your small group activities means targeted sight word instruction that can be differentiated for specific students.

One of the ways we work on sight words in small groups is with magnetic letters. I like to pull a sight word card, have students identify it, and then build it with magnetic letters. This action of seeing the word, reading it, and building it, really helps kids to remember them. Worksheets like these are a great supplement to this activity too!

You can also use other fun sensory materials for this like Wikki Stix, shaving cream, and sand trays. Check out this post for more ideas on how to make practicing sight words more fun and engaging.  

4. Use Sight Word Center Activities Daily 

When planning my weekly literacy centers, I always choose at least 1 game or activity that focuses on reviewing previously learned sight words. While the words we're targeting during the morning meeting and small groups are new ones, we can't forget to revisit previously learned words too! I like saving these words for center time since children are familiar with them and can work on these activities independently. 

Boom Cards like these are great for extra daily sight word practice because they can be assigned to students individually and completed independently.

One of my favorite center time activities for reviewing sight words are Boom Cards. I love these because they require zero prep, are engaging for students, and provide immediate feedback. You can use these in your classroom on a computer or tablet and have students work independently or in pairs. 

Boom cards are a great way to weave in some additional review and practice with previously learned sight words. Students view these activities more like playing games than "learning", so I count these as a total win when it comes to mastering sight words and high-frequency words.

5. Use No-Prep Sight Word Worksheets for Fast Finishers & Homework 

Another thing that I always consider when planning our weekly lessons are some activities for my fast-finishers and for homework assignments. Again, these activities are best when they are focused on reviewing previously worked-on words since kiddos will be using them independently. 

One of my favorite options for these are color-by-code activities. It's no secret that students love any chance to focus on some fun artwork. Color-by-code activities allow them to do just that as they continue to practice their sight words too! 

Use these no-prep sight word worksheets for early finishers to get in a little extra sight word practice each and every day.

There are also some great puzzles and games that make reviewing sight words lots of fun. I always print a few of these no-prep pages to have on hand for last-minute time-fillers, fast finishers, and homework assignments that students truly enjoy. 

6. Use Sight Word Games as a Group

My last tip for weaving sight word practice into your daily routine is often a student favorite. Playing whole-group games is so much fun, builds a sense of community, and helps your students work on their ability to follow directions. Add in some sight word practice and what could be better?! 

I love using games like BINGO at the end of a long day of classroom learning. When your littles are restless and tired, a game like this one will give you a few more minutes of focused attention to help end the day on a positive note. I love laminating BINGO card sets and using them with fun, mini erasers as BINGO markers. This activity is engaging for everyone and a great way to brush up on sight words. 

Use a fun BINGO game style sight word activity like this for small groups or whole class sight word practice your students will love.

Playing whole group sight word games also comes in handy on party days, rainy days with indoor recess, and as an activity for your sub tub. You really can't go wrong with this one! 

Sight Words Made Simple 

Hopefully, this post helped you see just how simple it can be to weave sight words into your daily routine. Once you find pockets of time that sight word activities fit into, it can be really fun to choose games and activities to use regularly. 

Whether you incorporate them into your morning meeting, your small groups, center time, or right before the day is done, making sight words part of your routine is something you won't regret! If you're looking for more fun ways to use sight words in your classroom, be sure to check out all of the other fun resources in my TPT Store! Happy Learning!

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Looking for more ways to get in extra sight word practice for your students throughout the day? These 6 activities will not only help you get in even more sight word practice, but help you assign sight word activities that are fun and engaging for your students throughout the day. #thechocolateteacher #sightwordpractice #dailysightwordactivities

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