Let's talk about fat stacks.
If you are a paper fanatic, the smell may make you smile.
Some parents can't even hold the stack with two hands and need a large zip lock baggie to carry it around.
Some parents bind the stack with rubber bands that get stretched to the max.
Let's talk about fat stacks...of sight words.
In recent years, schools have begun to send sight words home with young elementary school students to practice. Depending on the school, the words may trickle in each week or come home in a massive pile at the beginning of the school year.
It is important for students to recognize words on sight so that their reading is more fluent, but these stacks of sight words can get overwhelming for busy families and underwhelming for kids.
So what is a parent to do with this fat stack of sight words?
If you and your child are experiencing a sight word slump- step away from the flash card style practice. Instead, use the cards for creative games, activities, and practice methods that will keep you sane and your child entertained.
Give some of these fun activities a try:
Sight word hop
Spread some sight word cards around in an open space. Call out words and have your child hop to them. This is a great activity for kiddos with lots of energy. Movement also aides learning, so it really is a win-win.
You can also lay out a path of sight words and have your child read them as they hop along.
Bonus: If you want to ditch the sight words all together you can have your child write the words in chalk on a driveway or sidewalk.
Make a board game
Write the sight words that your child is focusing on in the squares of a blank game board. Have each player draw a sight word card on their turn and then move their game piece to it. Spice it up by putting cards in the stack that tell the player to go backwards or forwards spaces or switch places with another player.
Bonus: Have your child create their own sight word game. Creativity and the practice of writing the words on the game board will enhance learning. Double bonus: Less work for you.
Sight word tic-tac-toe
Make a tic-tac-toe board on a piece of paper or a whiteboard and fill in the squares with sight words. Play a game of tic-tac-toe, but each player must read the word in the square they desire before they take it.
Bonus: If you want to work on handwriting, spelling and sight words all at once, assign a sight word to each player. Each player must write their sight word in a square instead of an X or O.
Sight word memory
Create a double set of sight word cards. Mix both sets together and then flip them upside down and play a game of memory.
Sight word go-fish
Shuffle a double set of sight word cards and play go-fish with your child.
Sight word art
Have your child write a few sight words on a piece of white paper then outline the words in different colors until the whole page is filled. (Remember doing this with your name in elementary school?) Have your child say the sight word to their self as they outline it.
Bonus: If you have a stamp set, you can also have your child stamp out their sight words to their heart's content.
Sight word pickup
Throw a small stack of sight words in the air. As you and your child pick them up, yell out the word you just collected. Yes, this looks very familiar to the gif at the beginning of the post. You may be surprised at how good throwing all those cards up feels.
I hope you have as much fun with sight words as I do!