Sight words are words that a reader can recognize and read without sounding out each individual letter. Many sight words are hard to sound out phonetically and must be memorized. I suggest printing a copy of the sight word list and practicing. It is expected that second grade students can read most of the 1,200 words on the list without hesitation. Spelling the sight words correctly would be an added bonus since these words are used frequently in students’ writing.
Here are a few suggestions for how to practice learning sight words.
- PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE! The more a beginning reader sees words and practices reading them, the easier reading becomes.
- MAKE FLASHCARDS Flashcards work well for many students. Each word should be written neatly on an index card. Write large enough so the reader can touch each letter as they are saying the sounds. In the lower right corner of each card, write the list number that the word is from. Keep the cards for review.
- WRITE THE WORDS THAT ARE TRICKY Although learning to read sight words IS NOT a spelling activity, some people memorize things by repeatedly writing them down.
- USE COLORS With a colored marker or crayon, outline the shape of the word. Pay close attention to blends, such as th, wh, sh, tr… Blends should be underlined or boxed together so the reader has a visual cue to remember to say the sounds as one, not choppy as two.
- VOWELS Usually, when two vowels are together the first one does the talking, the last one does the walking. In the word coat, the o makes a long o sound and the a is silent (the first one does the talking, the last one does the walking.) An e at the end of the word is silent because it is tired from helping the other vowel say its name. For example: In the word TAPE, the a says its name (a) and the e is silent.
(Reprinted from Karen Powell’s website)