There are so many reasons you should create sight word readers in kindergarten to help teach sight words. Not only are they fun for students, but they also help students become more familiar with the word. Here are the three biggest reasons why student-created sight word readers benefit students when learning sight words.
Before students can master any sight word, they need multiple exposures to the word. They need to see and hear it used in sentences. They need to practice writing it correctly, and they need to memorize the letters that make up that sight word.
Sight word readers do a great job of giving students multiple exposures. For example, in my Sight Word Books product, there are places to trace the focus word, read it using one-to-one correspondence, and read it within simple sentences. Overall, teaching sight words by creating books helps give students multiple (and various) exposures to words, which will make it more likely for the word to stick.
Fun for Students
Another reason why I love teaching sight words with books is because they are fun for students! On another page of my Sight Word Books, students have to “rainbow write” the word. This simply means that they take a crayon of each color of the rainbow, and trace the word using those different colors. Students love making the word colorful and bright!
However, activities like this are not only for fun. They serve another purpose as well. As mentioned before, students have to memorize the letters that make up a sight word, because either the word is not decodable or the students do not yet have the skills to decode the word. By writing the letters over and over again using different colors, the students are committing the letters in the word to memory.
Because the various activities are put together within a book, rather than on a worksheet, they seem newer to students. This sense of novelty makes learning sight words more exciting for them. As students have fun creating their sight word readers, they will be more engaged, which will help them to memorize their sight words.
Students Have Something to Refer Back To
Something else I love about sight word readers is that the learning does not have to stop once the books are completed. Let’s face it, when students take a worksheet home, it probably goes straight to the trash. However, they are more likely to hold on to a book that they made. They can refer back to it over and over again and continue practicing that sight word.
You can even let students keep them within the classroom to reread. Many kindergarten classrooms have places where students can store books for independent reading time. Typically, these are familiar and simple texts that are the students’ level. Sight word books would be great for this! With sight word books, students can continually practice their sight words either at home or in the classroom.
Throughout the year, sight word books can be a great way to teach and reinforce sight words. Not only are they fun for students, but they are also purposeful. They give students multiple and various exposures to each sight word and give students something to learn from, even after the books are created.