Teaching Sight Words At Home
Sight Words (the Dolch word list) are a set of 220 common words and 95 nouns said to comprise 80% of the text children read and 50% of the text adults read. There are two types of sight words – those that can’t be phonetically sounded out and those that are high frequency. When your child starts school you will be given these sight words in stages with a myriad of different activities and ideas to help them learn.
Did you know that it’s critical to early reading development that children learn to recognise these words on sight? When a child can recognise the lower case letters of the alphabet and knows the sounds, they are ready to learn sight words.
Should you be teaching sight words at home?
If you have a curious child who wants to learn beyond homework then this is simply a way of further supporting their engaged learning. This article is simply supporting those specific situations and needs. Reading quality books with your child will arguably do more than online apps and sight-word resources ever will.
Sight Words – Apps and On-line resources
Sprout Words is an Australian sight words app for IPAD featuring 300 of the most common words, commonly referred to as ‘sight words. You can read a detailed review in the link but here are its main features and can we say how thrilled we are to finally see a sight words app that is from Australia!! It is $4.99 as a one of payment which means no intrusive ads for your little one. www.sproutskools.com.au
You can also help your child take their first reading steps with a Sight Words App or the online resources at sightwords.com
The Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment has developed Out and About, a free app for IOS and Android “aimed at Prep to Year 2 students to help them master the first 100 sight words to which they are typically introduced.” (http://deta.qld.gov.au/about/app/out-and-about.html). The words are grouped into manageable ten-word sets. When a child has learned one set, they can move on to the next. In addition to the app, which can be downloaded from iTunes and Play Store, the QDET website provides printable flash cards and printable placemats for each of the ten word sets along with eight ideas and associated activities. The activities range from simple tasks like drawing the words with rainbow colours and writing them in the sand, to matching games and using music. The printed placemats, used at mealtimes, provide an excellent way to reinforce learned sight words.
Another excellent Sight Words app is Eggy 100 which includes the first 100 sight words and part of the award-winning ABC Reading Eggs series of apps. Eggy 100 is free but Eggy 200 which contains the first 250 words costs $2.49. You can view a video of the app on the Reading Eggs web page. This app is voiced with an Australian accent. When choosing a Sight Word app that uses sound, a familiar accent assists a child’s understanding.
Sightwords.com provides an alternate or complementary resource to teaching sights words with an app, with printed flashcards, games and teaching strategies. The games, in particular, are a fun, hands-on way to extend app-based learning. As the mother of two boys, Sightwords Parking Lot, a game involving parking a toy car on the correct sight word, had immediate appeal.