The “Problem” with Sight Words
Many children have problems with sight words, even if they know all their letters and sounds. Sometimes, it’s a developmental thing; they just aren’t ready to move at the pace in which we’d like for them to learn. Pat Cunningham also lists three “problems” with sight words, including: 1-most of them have no concrete meaning (For example, computer or tree have a concrete meaning whereas of and the do not.) 2-many sight words look very similar, and 3- they don’t follow the standard spelling rules. (Phonics They Use) One of Cunningham’s suggestions is to create some kind of picture to go with the sight word to help it “stick” a bit better.
How Sight Words You Can See Helped My Young Reader
For the most part, ALuv (currently in 1st grade) gets sight words. His frustration comes mostly over similar looking sight words (especially those starting with th and w; there’s just SO many of them!). Even the words new and now have tripped him up a bit. As I was re-reading Cunningham’s book, I was contacted by Penny of Sight Words You Can See and asked to review her sight word program. After looking into it and noticing that it included mnemonic cues with the sight words, I was excited to see how Avery would do. And I’ve been amazed at the results! Here are just a couple of shots of the flashcards included:
Once he began learning the cue system (which is rather cute and comical, I might add), he was able to read words I had not introduced to him yet! I also noticed that he was less likely to mix up those similar looking sight words, even out of context. I’ve used the cue system while reading books, as I’ll simply draw one of the cues he’s learned on a dry erase board to help him read an unknown word.
More About Sight Words You Can Use
The lessons in the packet are predictable and repetitive, which works well for readers who are struggling because there is structure. One way we always like to shake it up a bit is to play sight word games, including some of the ones I posted about this summer. To find even more sight word games, you can visit my Sight Word Pinterest board; where I love to add fun games for learning and practicing sight words.
The words chosen for this program are not in the same order as the Dolch sight words or Fry’s Sight Word list, but I did some cross referencing and noticed that the majority of the words are from the Pre-Primer through 3rd grade Dolch word lists and Fry’s first 100 and second 100 word lists.
Included in the Sight Words You Can See packet is:
- a teacher manual-includes a guide to presenting the cards, illustration sheets, sentence practice sheets, testing forms, progress check sheet, instructional dialogue boxes, and a student certificate (disclaimer-we did not use every portion of this teacher manual, but it’s nice to have them available)
- 7 sheets of sight words with mnemonic cues (12 words on each sheet), each level in a different color
- 7 sheets of sight words without the mnemonic cues (12 words on each sheet), all on white paper
Does this program sound like something your young reader could use? Then, enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win! Please read the terms and conditions before entering. The giveaway ends Friday, January 4th and the winner will be announced Saturday, January 5th here on This Reading Mama. Please note that the only mandatory entry is a comment on this blog post.