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We’ve been working a lot on reading with Maddie Grace lately. And naturally, I spend a lot of time worrying and researching into the most effective things to be doing with Maddie Grace to build a solid base for reading. And every thing I’ve read has said the number one most important thing to be doing at this age is just reading multiple books with your kid every day. Since she’s struggling with sight words, we have been giving those extra attention, and I started to think about finding ways to supplement sight words in books while we read them, which is what led me to this activity.
I started out by going through some of our new favorite books from the Ready-to-Read series! These are leveled books with really cute stories and illustrations for young readers – there is a level of them for every kid (recommended age 4-10). These books have been vetted by educational experts to adhere to latest reading guidelines, and each level helps children grasp new reading concepts. The books are full of rhyming, word families, shorter lengths, and of course sight words! They are fun and engaging. Maddie Grace loves them, and I actually enjoy reading them to her!
Once I picked which books we were going to be reading for this activity, I went through them and carefully picked out the sight words from the book that we were going to be working on. The book I found to be absolutely perfect for this was Space Cows (although I could still do it with the other books too). I went through and pulled out the words I thought this was appropriate to do with – in this book they really emphasize words like big, tiny, blue, green, which made it really easy to figure out which ones to do. Then I took a piece of construction paper and wrote out the words we were going to focus on, and cut them out.
As I worked on setting this up, to my surprise Maddie Grace walked up to me and asked if she could practice writing the words I was making cards for. Her writing is getting pretty good but she still needs to be tracing for the longer words, so I really quickly (seriously took 10 seconds) made a sheet with the outlines of the words in dots for her to practice tracing the words with. This was another great way to reinforce the sight words we were working on!
I spread out the words I had cut out on the floor, got out the book, and as we read the book, I pointed out to Maddie Grace where the sight words were. Once she sounded out the sight word, she had to find the matching cut out word. This was a lot of fun for her and a great way to have her sounding out and talking about sight words! Afterwards, she took the sheet where I had outlined the same words and practiced writing them out while also sounded out the words.
Why work on sight words? An important part of reading is for your kid to have a vocabulary of words that they recognize at first sight. This makes it easier for them to read sentences and put together what things mean. Also, some sight words don’t follow basic phonics principles, making them difficult for kids to sound out and understand. And it’s never too young to start working on sight words, and this is a great way to do it! Tripp is only 2, but gets the benefit of working on the same things Maddie Grace is and has picked up way more sight words than I thought he would!
You can learn more about Ready-to-Read books here and let me know what fun activities you’ve found for teaching sight words to your kids!!