Please welcome Deirdre from Mrs.Garcia’s Super Scholars, as she writes about Beginning Sight Word Instruction in Kindergarten!
Happy Tuesday, kindergarten teachers! This is Deirdre from Mrs. Garcia’s Super Scholars joining you to talk about introducing sight words. I believe it is never too soon to start introducing sight words. Sight word instruction is a daily routine, so I delve right into it during the first week.
Sight words are important because they make up most of what we read. If students can recognize these words quickly, they will become fluent readers in no time.
I introduce sight words in a specific order, based on the books I am using in guided reading and activities I am going to introduce during stations. I use this progression to introduce them. I start with one word a week (on Monday), progress to two a week (Tuesday/ Thursday with the other days dedicated to letters), then end the year with three a week (the rest of the week being word families).
I start off instruction with the word written on an index card. I keep it plain, because that is how students will most see the word in print. We go over the word (“This says ‘see.’ What does it say? “See!” How do we spell ‘see?’ “S-E-E- see!”), build the word with magnets, then trace it in the air.
Then we do shared writing using the target word. The sentences get harder as the year progresses and students make harder suggestions, but are very predictable early on. After we share our writing, we circle and find the word in context.
After we have found the word, we add it to our word wall. I stress each time about putting the word under the first letter. We then go over our “Popcorn Word Chart,” with students taking this over later in the year. I do not assess sight words in the order they appear on the list, but I do like the predictability of the list as a writing tool. By knowing the list by heart, they can easily locate the word when they are writing.
During that week, we also do a sentence building activity with the target word. I want students to know words in context, not just in isolation, so building our own sentences with the words helps. I write the words on pieces of colored paper to help with one-to-one correspondence, and the kids can remember the sentences better because they created them.
We have additional practice with each word during our literacy stations. I have 10 stations students go to during the week, and sight word stations make up about half of them. Here are some of our favorites.
|Making words with magnets|
|Stamping words from our individual word lists|
|Building and writing sentences with our sight words|
This is how I start the ever-so-important task of learning sight words in my classroom, and it works well for me. Over half of my students are fluent through their first grade words, some have surpassed all third grade Dolch words and nouns. How do you introduce your sight word routines?