Word Work—Sight Word Practice

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For children who are beginning readers and writers, or beginning readers and writers of the English language, we often use the Word Work time to kinesthetically practice basic sight words (often retrieved from the Fry or Dolch sight words list). These words are found in approximately 75 percent of beginning print. Knowing how to recognize and write these words (which often do not follow basic phonetic principles) will support children as they read and write.

The two printables included in this article provide ways for students to practice basic sight words. Both suggestions allow students to practice words specific to their needs. To avoid reproducing them multiple times, you may wish to place them in a page protector for use with dry erase markers.

Spin and write - In the first example, the child writes five sight words in the circle, reading them as they write them. Then, the child places a paperclip in the center of the circle, uses their pencil to hold it in place, and spins the paperclip. The child reads the word the paperclip lands on, and writes it in a box below. This continues until all of the boxes are full. Then, the child reads all of the words in the boxes again.

Read, Build, Write - This practice is self explanitory. The child chooses a sight word from their sight words cards, places it in the "read" box, and reads it aloud. Then, in the "build it" box, the child uses magnetic letters, letter tiles, etc. to build the word, and reads it again. Finally, in the "write it" box the child writes the word and reads it a third time. 

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