|Print out the Dolch word card sets and begin with the pre-primer set with small groups of students. You will note that each set has been created in a different color to make card sorting by level quick and easy. Since children love games, a good way to practice sight words is to play games with them with small groups of children of similar ability levels. I begin with one set of cards and show the card to the first child. If the child can read the word, s/he gets to hold the card. If s/he cannot read the word, show the card to the next student around the group until either a child correctly identifies the word or you tell students the word. If no one correctly reads the word, then tell the students the word and place the word back on the bottom of the deck. Continue playing until all of the word cards have been “won” by the students. If you want to add an element of competition, you can have the students count their cards to determine the game “winner” but children enjoy the game even without competing against one another.|
|Dolch Primer Word Cards Download|
|Dolch First Grade Word Card Download|
|Dolch Second Grade Word Card Download|
|Dolch Third Grade Word Card Download|
|Dolch Nouns Word Card Download|
|Patterned Sight Word Card Download|
|Another way to reinforce sight words is in a board game format. Print and laminate the two board games below. Provide each child with a different colored marker and locate them on the starting square of the board.. Place the word cards in a stack, face down. Each child draws a card and moves 1 space if s/he correctly reads the word on the card drawn. If the child cannot read the word, the card goes back on the bottom of the deck and play moves to the next child. Children play until someone reaches the end of the path and a “winner” has been declared.|
|Puppy Sight Word Game Board Download|
|Dinosaur Sight Word Game Board Download|
Teaching Word Families and Rime Patterns
A good way to help struggling readers is to help them learn the most common rime patterns. The rime is the part of the word after the first vowel. For example, in the word “mice” the /m/ sound is called the onset and the “ice” is called the rime. In English, we often change the initial consonant to create a new word. For example, we can change the initial consonant and create the words: lice, dice, twice and so forth. Provide the rime patterns to students and have them brainstorm as many words as possible that contain the rime pattern. Children enjoy it and soon start noticing the rime patterns in many words as they read.
Using Sound Sorts to Strengthen Decoding Skills
When students are learning to decode words, they most often are able to identify the beginning and ending sounds long before they can discriminate the medial sounds of words. Create word cards with words that have the same medial sounds for students to sort. For example, you might place the words: bed, red, Ted, bad, lad, mad, bid, lid, did, lead, read, bead onto cards. Ask students to read the word and think about the sounds they hear in the middle of the word. Students then sort the word cards into categories by the sound they hear in the middle of each word. This helps children think more about medial letter placements and the sounds they make.