Whether KC realizes it or not, we have been doing a lot of sight word reviewing around our house the last couple of days. I sneak the phrases, “Go to the…”, “Look at the…”, and “Look in the…” into our daily conversations. When we read together, whether it’s a book or even the program from her sister’s high school performance, I pause when one of the words is “go, to, the, look, in” or “at” to let her read it. She gets such a kick out of knowing the words, and is much less frustrated now when she forgets the word and needs a little help.
Yesterday we played our Memory game (also known as Concentration). *Please refer to the end of this post for instructions on making your own Memory game.
At this point in our sight word lessons, I have 12 words to review (Go/go/To/to/The/the/Look/look/In/in/At/at). After only 3 rounds of the game, she was able to read all of the words. I’ve observed that she starts to forget the words when too much time goes by between reviewing them. This is why I’ve incorporated it into everything we do when possible. Repetition is key to learning sight words/high frequency words.
We also used these same cards as flash cards during lunch. At first we had fun timing how many words she could read in 1 minute. First it was 10, then 15, then 18! She started acting pretty silly by then, so we slowed things down and she said and spelled each flash card. I was amazed at how quickly she learned the words that were so difficult for her at the beginning of our games. It just shows how important it is to keep reviewing the words together. Each time she hears or says one of these words, she’s that much closer to committing them to memory and recognizing by sight.
Please let us know how this is all going for you and your child! Just a heads up, tomorrow I’ve decided to introduce the word, “my”. Truth is, I’ve already secretly introduced it to her without her realizing in order to determine if she’s ready for more words.
On another note, our almost 1 year old Eclectus parrot started babbling while we practiced the words, and we are wondering if he’s catching on to her sight words as well. Wouldn’t that be a riot!?
*How to make your own Memory (Concentration) game with sight words:
It’s best to use card stock or index cards so the words don’t show through. Cut out the cards as big or as little as you’d like. I cut out 4 cards per piece of card stock. Then write 1 of the words on two squares (one beginning with a capital letter and another with a lower case letter), then another word on two more squares, etc. You will end up with 12 squares with the words (Go/go/To/to/The/the/Look/look/In/in/At/at). You can write the words with pencil, pen, crayon, etc. as long as the words doesn’t show through the paper. To begin the game, mix up the words well and lay them face down (maybe 4 across and 3 down as shown). You turn over any square, leaving it in the same spot and you read the word aloud. Then you turn over any other square and you read it aloud. If it’s not a match, turn them both back over. Then your child has a turn. Fun way to review words learned as well as having to concentrate and focus on which word is where and to learn strategies for game playing.
To avoid frustration at first and to understand how to play, I would recommend just starting with 3 words (go/to/the) which would be 6 squares. 3 rows of 3, with space between them. Play that a few times, then you can begin to add in the words (look/in/at) at your child’s own pace.
You might even verbalize a few times when you play and say, “My word is ‘go, g-o, go’. Now I have turned over ‘the, t-h-e, the’. I’m looking really hard and trying to concentrate on where my words are because I’m going to turn them face down and I want to remember where each word is.” When it’s your child’s turn, let’s say he/she turns over a different “the”, you might prompt them by saying “do you remember where my “the” is? If she turns it over, you can excitedly say “you got a match, you found a pair, so you get to take your two cards and put them over next to you.” This works well the first few times your child is learning how to play and then you won’t need to prompt them once they get it. Have fun! – lifeasallison