What are sight words?

Sight words are high-frequency words which appear frequently in our reading and writing. Ideally, your child should be able recognize, read, and understand them almost immediately upon seeing them. 

When it is applied to early reading instruction, it typically refers to the set of about 100 words that keeps reappearing on almost any page of text. “Who, the, he, were, does, their, me, be” are a few examples.

By easily recognizing these sight words, young readers are more likely to approach a text with confidence. This, in turn, enables the readers to read the text with fluency.

Once children are familiar with the alphabet and letter sounds, you can begin introducing sight words. Start with only five to ten words. Once the student masters that list, add five to 10 more, but continue to review the previously mastered words. Generally, children are expected to master 20 sight or high-frequency words by the end of kindergarten and 100 by the end of first grade. Some children are curious, eager learners who are ready to start learning high-frequency words as early as three-years-old. Others may not be ready until first or second grade or even later.

Ideally, sight words and high-frequency words should be taught as a supplement to phonics instruction. This combination helps children build fluency quickly by providing a base of words, they recognize on sight along with a method for decoding unfamiliar words.

Why are sight words important?

1. Increases confidence while reading: If a child recognizes 100 sight words, it means they are able to read more than 50% of the text. Hence, your child can already recognize half the words in a sentence. This will make him/her more confident while reading.

2. Better comprehension: The child doesn’t need to decode every word on the page once they know the sight words. They will only be able to focus their attention on unfamiliar words and will be applied comprehension skills.

3. The ability to decode the meaning: When your child is able to recognize sight words, they are able to decode the meaning of the sentence by identifying the sight words. In this way, the sight words, act like clues in the context.

How do I teach my child sight word activities?

1. Memory Game: Using flashcards helps in cognitive stimulation. Creating one flash card for each sight word is a great way to enhance learning. Shuffle the cards and place them facing down. Have your child read the word aloud as he flips a card up. Flip up another card and read the word. Do they match? If not, turn the cards over and try again.

2. Treasure hunt: Use your toddler’s toys to play this game. For example, colorful plastic eggs, which can open were used. Write a sight word on a strip of paper and place it inside the egg. Then play a fun ‘egg hunt’ with your child. If your child discovers the egg he wins a point and is rewarded another point for reading the sight word. This way it’s fun and challenging.

3. Sight word smash up: As parents, we can adopt a fun way to teach the sight words. Make sure you have bean bags and sight words near you! Spread the word card on the floor and as you say the sight words, have your child toss the bean bags on them.

4. Word walk: The sight words are created on paper plates and the paper plates are spread all around your house. Your child begins walking on the path and reads the word aloud. To make it interesting, your child can pick each plate with every word read. A reward can be given as an incentive!

5. Glow in the dark spot words: This game is played best with 20 sight words on black paper with glow-in-the-dark crayon which you want your child to learn. In a room, all the words are stuck on a wall with dim lights. After shining the light on the word through a flashlight, the child reads the word. You could switch roles by making your child flash the light on the word read by you.

6. Bag it: Pour paint, shaving cream, or any thick liquid into a quart size baggie. Seal the baggie. Have your child write the sight word on the baggie with his finger as you say the word. How many words can your child do?

7. Paint it: Write sight words on a paper and ask your child to paint it using watercolours. Paint on the paper with watercolor paints. As the word is revealed, your child reads the word.

8. Catch it: Place a sight word on a ball (with tape). Play a simple game of catching the ball with your child. Every time your child catches the ball, they read the word.

9. Puzzle it: Most parents make their children do puzzles. Therefore, place a sight word behind every puzzle and then make your child complete the puzzle. Only this time your child will read the word behind every piece. Behind every successful reader, there’s a sight word!

10. Air writing: This activity allows your child to write the letters learned in the air while looking at the flashcard of the sight word. You could also do the same on a table, where they first write letters on the table for the first time while looking at the flash card and later repeat the process without looking at the flash card.

How does Hello English teach sight words?

Hello English kids have a very unique approach to teaching sight words. The child relates the words with the pictures. Then learns the words and its correct spelling through an I spy game. Isn’t that hitting two birds with one stone?

 As parents, we want our child to read, write and speak it. Hello English kids, make sure your child is able to read the word, write it and speak it. This all done through their various games which allow the child to acquire the three essential skills. The app allows the child to correctly place the sight word to form the sentence. The game types will astound any type of learner. Because there is one type for every sight word learner! You can choose from drag and dropping the correct sight word to identifying the sight word in jumbled words. The games are ‘sight wordy’ and let your child play them and see them nod in agreement to our words!