Posted by:

Learning Sight Words

 

by Lynn Maslen Kertell

 

Sight words are words that appear over and over in the English language. Some of these words can be sounded out, but many cannot. When children can recognize these words immediately “on sight,” their reading speeds up and they gain fluency. This makes the entire reading experience more enjoyable and successful. Therefore, it is important for your child to recognize and become fluent with sight words.

 

The typical way to teach sight words is with flash cards and drilling. While this is helpful, there are more gentle ways for kids to learn sight words that feel “naturally occurring” during the reading process.

 

  • Sight words that are phonetic. Many sight words can be sounded out. Words such as and, in, but are sight words. Knowing them “on sight” will make reading easier and faster. Let kids sound them out, and soon they will be memorized and known “on sight.”
  • Sight words that are almost phonetic. Some sight words are not actually phonetic, but have enough clues that kids can guess. Was, saw, to, is are such words. If you sound these out, you will discover they are not truly phonetic. However, they are close enough for many kids to guess. Repetition will help kids memorize these words until they are known on sight.
  • Sight words that cannot be sounded out. Are, two, the, cannot be sounded out. Kids may be able to guess from the context and sentence structure. Sometimes they simply have to be memorized through repetition.

 

Bob Books Sight Words 1 is especially useful for children who are learning to read with phonics. They are based around phonics principles plus 30 sight words. Your child will be able to sound out all words except the sight words introduced in each book. This is a great confidence builder as they work to memorize sight words. Bob Books Sight Words 2 introduces 30 additional sight words in stories with longer and more complex phonics words.  

 

Flash cards are a common way to practice all sight words. Be sure to keep sessions short and fun. Kids will learn their sight words with plenty of repetition and the desire to keep reading.

 

Best wishes for a great experience for you and your young reader!

 

Find Bob Books and other ways to get children reading and enjoying it at ltpbooks.net!

Latest posts by Gina Torgersen (see all)

2 Responses to Learning Sight Words

  1. It might be worth noting that, while the term “sight words” is often used to convey the denotation in this article (“words that appear over and over in the English language. Some of these words can be sounded out, but many cannot”), there is another definition that excludes words that can be decoded (sounded out).
    According to Wikipedia:
    “Sight words don’t follow the standards rules of phonics or the six syllable types. The term sight words is often confused with sight vocabulary, which is defined as each person’s own vocabulary that the person recognizes from memory without the need to decode for understanding.”

    I don’t mean to be argumentative; only to reassure those who might subscribe to the other meaning that they are not wrong.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*