Each new teaching year challenges me to find new and interactive ways to work with sight words in my classroom. I like to keep my literacy centers fresh and engaging so that students are excited to try each new activity! I’ve included some free samples at the end of this post. : )
Here are some of the different ways I fill my sight word centers through the year:
Sight Word Crowing Caterpillars
Our sight words caterpillar starts with a smiley head underneath our white board, and grows each day with a new word – usually fiver each week. Students practice while they are waiting for lessons to start, or if they have finished work early.
I also send a caterpillar home with students at the start of the year so that they can put it up in their own bedrooms! So many parents tell me later that their children fall asleep reading the words on the caterpillar that stretches all across their bedrooms. What more can a teacher ask for?
Interactive Word Building
We also build our weekly sight words with everything we can get our hands on. And I do mean everything – from beans to blocks to dried pasta.
Whole Class Exploration
This one is HUGE. We spend a lot of time going through our sight words lists together. If you haven’t tried finding smaller words within bigger words as a class discussion, I highly recommend it!
Many sight words can be found within other words, and doing this for a few days in a row will train students to look for “hidden” words everywhere! Best of all, it’s successful for all students, since words like “a” and “I” can be found in so many words and celebrated just as much as longer words.
Add a math component by tallying how many small words are found in two competing list.
Our writing center is also a focus area for sight words. Here are some examples of ideas we have used this past year to keep things fun and interesting:
Click on any of the titles to see more detail.
We incorporate sight words into our daily printing workbooks. This way, we can practice spelling and reading them, but also using them in a sentence and self-editing the sentence. These pages are packed with practice, and I differentiate by using a simple alphabet version with my students who are still working on letter sounds. I use yet another version for my highest learners that practices words with blends and digraphs. In this way, printing time is very well used. The tasks are rigorous and meeting the needs of every student.
Everyone loves to wear their sight words! This makes great practice at home and at school – students wear their words home and practice with parents!
This is a favorite for those students who just love to cut, glue and build.
Path words is for visual discrimination as students follow and color a path for five different sight words.
All of the sets above are available in the Sight Word Bundle which includes a full year set of sight word activities for your literacy centers. It even includes the first 300 sight word cards for your word wall.
Sight Word Sentences
Another way to practice sight words is within simple sentences. We do this in two different ways.
First, we practice expanding sentences for each sight word. I laminate these cards and put them on practice rings, or make individual sets for students to flip through when they have time to practice.
Second, I want students to do some writing. I copy these little booklets as printables for students to write a sentence for each word. I also send these home with parents at the first report card conference so I know students will have guided home practice.
You will also receive a list of 18 easy sight word activities you can start using in your class right away! It’s located in the downloadable preview for this set.
If you’d like to try a few of the printables seen above with your class, you can download several pages from the Sight Word Bundle! Click below!
Looking for more literacy or math resources – or clip art? Click the picture to get this clickable resource list!