Kids that are just starting out at the reading game use a variety of ways to become more fluent readers. One of the best ways to do that is sight words. In this post, we’ll be discussing the importance of these words and why exactly kids learn sight words.
What exactly are sight words?
Sight words are words that are most frequently used and repeated in books. They are also referred to as “high frequency” words or “core words” and “popcorn words.” Roughly 100 or so words make up more than 50% of the text that students read. It sounds a little absurd, but these words are small, easily recognisable and are used to build sentences.
So, in short, kids learn sight words to build a vocabulary of instantly recognisable words they can spot in a text without having to decode them or do any word analysis.
Why do kids learn sight words?
Depending on each grade, teachers come up with their own sight word lists. In the early grades, teachers tend to include a student’s name and those of his classmates on such a list. So these might not technically be sight words, but your kids see them over and over again in the classroom.
Most English sight words are listed in the Dolch List of Basic Sight Words and Fry’s 300 Instant Sight Words. You can find both of them from the Literacy and Information Communication System website. For Afrikaans, head over to My Klaskamer, where you’ll find an abundance of great reading and writing resources.
How can I help my kids learn sight words?
You can help your child develop sight recognition by using a few easy tips, which include:
- Flashcards – Print some flashcards for your child’s assigned sight words that he can review on a daily basis.
- Sight Word Games – You can design and print a sight words bingo card and help your child become familiar with the words while playing a gem. Sight words hangman is another great alternative to enjoy with your kids. Other ideas include Go Fish with sets of sight word cards, memory games, bean bag toss, and laying out sight words in a path to follow.
- Sight Words Beach Ball Toss – Mark a sight word on each section of an inflatable beach ball and then toss the ball around a circle of kids. The kid that catches the ball has to read the word facing them.