Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Best Sight Word Book Ever

Children learn to read in many different ways.  Although some children seem to absorb reading skills the way they did speaking skills, others benefit from focused instructional activities.  The Best Sight Word Book Ever is an excellent resource when the focus is on sight words.  The first hundred most common words make up about 50% of all reading material and many do not follow phonics rules, so learning these words by "sight" is necessary for beginning readers.

There are a lot of sight word books out there, but this has a multi-sensory approach which emphasizes activities for visual and kinesthetic learners. Advertised for second language learners, the activities are perfect for any child learning sight words.

170 high frequency words each get a two page spread of six to eight activities. There are three panels per page, which are meant to be cut apart into strips and stapled together into a long, skinny book. Three activities are always the same: a page in which the word is "rainbow traced" with three different colors of marker or crayon (crayon works best), a page in which the letters of the word are scrambled and the child must cut them out and organize them to spell the word, and a page where the child traces and then prints the word. The next three to five activities include some combination of the following: word searches of various sorts, building a "pyramid" of the word by adding a letter each line, matching parts of the word, dot to dots of the word, sentences to finish with the word, filling in the missing letters in the word, and coloring the word as it hides among similar words.

The book is arranged alphabetically so it's easy to find words.  I have used the book as prereading practice when I knew a new sight word would be in our reading text and also after reading when a specific sight word caused trouble when reading.  To make the book easier to use, I took it to a copy shop and had them remove the binding and three hole punch the pages for easier copying. 

Article by Heddi Craft

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