Common Core App

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sight Word Practice

How do you introduce and teach sight words each week? Our school system begins teaching sight words the first week of school. We introduce 3-4 words each week. We teach around 77 sight words during the kindergarten year.
We begin each day with sight word practice. I have a student tell me one word, tell how many letters are in the word, name the vowel(s) in the word and tell if the vowel is long or short, and tell if the word has any chunks (little words or special sounds we have learned). Then we spell the word while a student comes up to the board to make the word with magnetic letters (pictured below). Then we clap (consonants) and snap (vowels) the word.
After this, we write a sentence with each word wall word (pictured below). As I write the sentence, students write the same sentence on dry erase boards. As we write the sentence, we discuss capital letters at the beginning of each sentence, finger spaces between words, periods (ending punctuation) at the end of sentences, spelling sight words correctly by looking at the word wall, and stretching all other words to see what sounds we hear. Students are getting hands-on experience while doing this as well as guided/modeled writing practice. We constantly discuss what good writers do as we write each sentence.

After we write the sentences, we circle all the words we should know (sight words) and underline any chunks in the words such as "at" in cat. We also discussed how to change our sight word "like" to bike by changing the first letter (rhyming words). There is so much you can teach during this sight word practice. Then students touch the words on their dry erase boards as we read the sentences together.
**A great tip for storing dry erase boards. Use gallon zip-loc bags to store dry erase boards along with a marker and eraser. A small square of black felt works great for an eraser. This keeps the board, marker, and eraser all together in a bag and makes handing them out and picking them back up a snap.
At least once or twice a week, we do this same strategy of writing sentences with our weekly sight words except students write the sentences with paper and pencil (guided) as I write the sentences projected on the promethean board with the document camera. I love the document camera!
If you need some sight word practice or sentence writing practice with sight words, click on the links below. Thanks!
Word Wall Words (Sight Words) Sentence Writing (Pack 1)

Word Wall Words (Sight Word) Sentence Writing (Pack 2) - 6 pages
Sight Word Practice (Set 1) (Common Core)
 These sight word practice sets come in sets 1, 2, and 3. They also come in a bundle with all 3 sets.
This sight word practice below is great for a literacy center. Students read the words, stamp the words, and write a sentence with each word.
Sight Word Practice: Read, Write, & Stamp (Write Sentences) 76 sight words

The following sight word set is great to put in a writing center. My students love the sentence starters.

I like to play with my dog. My dog is black. I play at the park. My dog's name is Puffy.

After students write, we discuss details. If anyone still has questions about the writing, the writer did not include enough details such as the color of the animal or the animal's name. Students are also taught to use the question words as they write: where did you play, who did you play with, when did you play, what did you play, or why did you play? My students have become great detectives at finding details the writer has left out. This really makes the writer think as they are writing to try to include as many details as possible.
To get this pack of sentence starters (sentence stems) for a possible writing center or mini lesson, click on the product below.
This set includes 101 pages such as "I see my...".
I hope you found something helpful as you teach your students sight words. Please share some of your strategies for teaching sight words in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing!


  1. I like the idea of using the sight words in sentences and have students write them. I work with Title I kindergartners, and they still struggle to learn the words. We practice the same word for 2 weeks and some still do not know the words. How do you help your struggling sight word readers?

    1. I do these same sight word activities with my struggling readers, but I also make sure I give these struggling readers lots of repetition. My paraprofessional pulls these struggling readers one-on-one throughout the day to do some of these same activities with them like making words with manipulative letters and writing with the dry erase boards. It is amazing at how the guided/modeled writing sentences with the sight words helps them so much. They see you writing correctly, and they copy what you are writing as you discuss the writing with them and give them feedback on what they are doing. When the students write, it helps them stay involved. My students love writing on the dry erase boards. No matter what you do, some students just need more time to learn the words. I am a firm believer that repetition is the key to success as well as having high expectations of all students. Thanks for your comment and best of luck to you as you work with your students.

  2. I am so impressed with your K Kids writing. I am going to try the guided practice of writing sentences. My district works with Kid Writing, can you recommend any writing resources that you used to develop your writing program.

    1. Thanks Pamela! Well, teaching writing has always been my passion. I completed my doctoral study entitled Writing Conferences in Kindergarten: Using Feedback to Enhance Student Writing. Our system does not have any particular writing program. To me, writing is not just a small section of your day. Writing should be done throughout your day and especially make sure you write daily even on the first day of kindergarten. I feel that being consistent with writing daily and providing immediate feedback is the key to having successful writers. This modeled/guided writing as mentioned above is very important also. During my actual writing workshop lessons, when my students are writing independently, I never tell them how to spell a word. I always tell them to sound it out and write the letters for the sounds that your ears hear. If you start out telling them how to spell words, they become dependent on you. Also, having high expectations from day one helps create successful writers. It's okay to start telling them about capital letters, finger spaces, and ending punctuation at the beginning of the school year. They catch on to more than you think. I know I'm just rambling, but I get excited about teaching writing. Lucy Calkins and Marie Clay have many great writing resources as I mention them in my doctoral study. Anyway, I hope some of this was helpful. Good luck to you as you teach writing. Let me know if I can help in any other way. You can do it!!

    2. Thanks so much. I too love writing, it's exciting to see their growth, and watch the progress. I have a half day program (2hours and 45 minutes)..... I am excited to implement the guided writing and the story starters, too.

    3. You are welcome. It is very exciting to see their writing growth. Their writing really seems to "bloom" after Christmas break. My students are with me for 7 hours (7:30-2:30). Good luck to you as you guide those "budding" writers.