One of the most effective approaches in developing children to be good readers is by introducing them to sight words. What are sight words and how do we teach these to them? You’ll find out when you continue reading.
What are sight words?
While phonics play the major role in the learning process of reading, teaching sight words also come alongside with it. Students will one way or another need to memorize certain words to facilitate their fluency in reading. These words are what we call “sight words”.
Sight words can go by many names. To name a few, they are also called:
- High-Frequency Words
- Dolch Words
- Word Wall Words
Why do students need to memorize these words?
Well, we all know that there are words who just appear so frequently in almost every reading material. Making them memorize these words will enable them to read texts more quickly. It will also allow a student to read more by familiarizing them with these highly frequent words. Some examples of these are “he”, “are”, “have” and “that”.
Another reason is the fact that there are irregular words who don’t follow phonics rules. Words like “the”, “was”, and “of” are some examples.
How can we effectively introduce and teach sight words?
- Before trying out creative and effective techniques, it is best to assess the student’s knowledge with these words. When you already identified which words the student has already mastered and which words they need more practice with, you’ll be able to strategize more easily.
- Introduce a few words per batch. You don’t want to overload the child with a lot of words. Instead, we should prioritize how well they learn each word.
- Pair visually similar words and highlight the difference in pronouncing these. This will help them to avoid confusion with these similar looking words.
- Make sure to have a recap regularly of the words the child has learned previously. As new words are introduced, we have to make sure that they haven’t forgotten the first ones we’ve taught them.
- Surround them with these words. This sure helps! The more they see these words the better chance for them to remember these.
- Lastly, as parents or teachers, we should research for creative and fun ways to teach sight words. We are aware that we can’t expect to get 100% attention from these young students. So if really want them to learn, we should come up with an exciting means to teach them.
It can be challenging to guide our young ones to be proficient readers. Teaching them sight words can surely help! Make use of these tips and discover how effective these are firsthand.