Teaching students to read is one of the most important (and best!) responsibilities we have as teachers. While there are many skills and strategies we use to do so, one that gets a lot of time and attention is word recognition.
Although not a substitute for the ability to decode (also important!), the ability to recognize some words automatically, or on sight, contributes to reading effortlessly and with understanding. Words that can be recognized this way are known as sight words.
Sight word practice is so important for young readers! For one, it allows them to free up cognitive resources so they can focus on the tougher words that require strong decoding skills. Secondly, knowing sight words is a huge confidence booster for students! Strong sight word knowledge allows them to understand the majority of the text, even when their decoding skills are still developing.
*It should be noted that while technically there is a difference between sight words and high frequency words (high frequency words are the most commonly occurring words in print and sight words are any word a student can read “at first sight”), when I refer to “sight words” I am referring to the words in the High Frequency Dolch Sight Words list.
Students spend a lot of time working on word recognition, so to keep things fresh and engaging it’s important we provide them with a range of sight word activities.
In my last post I shared 5 Best Apps for Teaching Sight Words. While these apps are great, I know not everyone has access to tablets in their classroom, so today I am excited to share a list of 5 Online Games for Sight Word Practice (games that can be accessed on a desktop or laptop computer), as well as my own activities that offer a more hands-on approach to learning sight words.
5 Online Games for Sight Word Practice
The last three games I found come from IXL, a website that offers standards-based personalized learning for students in all subject areas. The site is subscription-based, but they offer a 30-day free trial.
Choose the Matching Sight Words In this game students identify which two sight words are the same. Students can read the words or listen to them read aloud. The game gets progressively harder for kids as they do better.
Spell the Sight Word A more challenging game that has students work to spell sight words they hear read aloud.
Complete the Sentence Here students identify the correct sight word to fill in the blank or complete the sentence.
More Sight Word Practice Activities
If you are looking for additional ideas to give your students more hands-on sight word practice (without a computer), I’m happy to share some of my very own sight word activities for kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students!
Fine Motor Sight Word Activities
First, there is my FINE MOTOR SIGHT WORD BUNDLE which includes 6 different activities that pair sight word practice fine motor skill development, as well as a FREEBIE that can be put to use right away!
Each activity offers a hands-on, engaging way for young learners to develop their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as they are work to read, write, and spell their sight words. Download a fine motor sight word FREEBIE here that can be put to use right away!
Hidden Sight Word Activities
Student engagement is elevated just by giving them a hand lens to search for the hidden words in each seasonal picture!
Students must pay close attention to the spelling of the high frequency words as they write them in word shape boxes. Be sure to grab the FREEBIE to try in your classroom in this post!
Sight word practice is an integral part of reading instruction for our young learners. I hope that the resources I’ve shared today will help you keep this important practice fresh and engaging in your classroom!
Be on the lookout for the final post in this series where I’ll share my favorite Sight Word Videos that will have your students singing, dancing and learning their sight words all at once!
Until then, I’d love to hear about any other online games your students love to use in the classroom! Feel free to leave a comment and share your favorites below!
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