Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sight Word Flash Cards

They're called, popcorn words, high-frequency words, sight words, instant words, and more. Whatever name you give them, they're here to stay because they're used recurrently in text.   These are words first graders need to know without hesitation.  While some sight word such as the word that can be sounded out phonetically, sight words need to be recognized without the use of word attack skills.   When a child can't read the first 25 sight words, he/she can't read much.

Additionally, students need to develop an understanding of the context in which the words are used.  If you teach lower elementary school students, you've probably seen data that shows how often these words are used in books that young children read.  If you're not convinced, then maybe seeing believing.  I chose four popular children's books that first graders are likely to read.  The earliest book made its debut in the children's book market around 1940, and the latest one arrived in 2002.  I took the first 100 words in each book and scored their occurrence with the first 100 high-frequency words.  Here's the evidence I collected.

A book published in 1940 had nearly the same number of sight words as one that was published in 2001.  The percentages of sight word usage has remained fairly constant over the past 60 decades!  They've stood the test of time.  Perhaps our English language has not changed that much when it comes to books for young readers!  Sight words play an important role in a successful reading program.  Sight words are here to stay!   
I have finished updating my Sight Words to Color flash cards.  Instead of 96 word cards, there are now 150!  Each page has a total of six sight words.  They can be provided to each student for practice both home and school.  Just print and have the students cut them apart!  The children also have the option of coloring in the letters for each word.  The coloring is a good way to strengthen those little finger muscles that have weakened over the summer break!  A page of word cards can also be used as a morning work assignment.  This is especially helpful at the beginning of the school year when your little ones are getting used to the idea of doing morning work independently.  Your pupils can't say they don't understand the assignment when all that is involved is coloring letters and cutting out word cards!  The photo below is a page from one of my sight word sets.
Children can color the words and cut out the word cards for independent work.
The word cards could also be used for small or large group practice.  The children would place the word cards face up on their desks or tables.  The teacher calls out one of the six words from the sheet that is being used.  She could also use the word in a sentence.  The students find and show the teacher the appropriate word.  To further reinforce the word, the children could recite the word out loud before returning the word card to their desks.  This procedure actively engages ALL students at the same time!

In the photo below, my little gal colored her word cards.  Then she got VERY serious when we reviewed the words.  She forgot the word she was showing me and ended up reading in reverse through the back of the paper!  To avoid this from happening, it might be a good idea for the children  to write the words on the backs of each card.

Right now I have two sets of Sight Words to Color available at my Teachers pay Teachers shop.  Both sets use the same 150 words.  I used a thick style font in one set and a thinner style for the other set.

The image below is the thick style which is what my gal was using.  

If you are interested in purchasing either of my Sight Words to Color packets, click on one of the two images below.

Are you still skeptical about the value of sight word mastery?  Would you like to test it out on your own children's book?  Go ahead and try it!  Let me know what you discover.  Click the image below to get started.

Lessons by Molly © 2014  All rights reserved.

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