Some kids don’t like practicing sight words. Maybe they think it is boring. Or maybe they just learn words better in context. If they hate it, don’t push it. There are lots of ways to learn words. Sight word flashcards are just one way to help your child read. If they are willing, I think looking at flashcards is great for beginning readers to memorize words and feel more confident about reading. Flashcards are also a good pre-reading activity for any reader with a difficult book. Pick out words you think your child might not know in the book plus some that they DO know, make some flashcards, and then do this activity. (Psst: here’s how I made my own sight words, but you could also buy some flashcards or just write words on notecards.)
1. Pick out 9 or 12 sight word flashcards and lay them face up on a table.
2. Ask your child to pick up any word they know and say it aloud. If they are right, they keep it in a pile. If not, say the word for them and they try again.
3. Replace the missing flashcard with a new one (or not if you want a shorter game).
4. Repeat until your child has found all the words she can name.
5. Then say, “Pick up the word ________” and you name the word. It is easier for kids to recognize words than naming the word themselves, so they should be able to pick up a few more this way. If they can identify the word, it goes in the pile. If not, say the word and ask for it again later.
6. When all of the cards in the pile, count them up and celebrate their success! Now those words will be fresh in their mind when they read the story.
Click on “Sight Words” on the right to see more games and activities.
(Common Core kindergarten standard: Read common high-frequency words by sight )