Some words in English are hard, seriously hard to decode, even simple ones. Try sounding out ‘said’ say the sounds for each letter. It just doesn’t make since does it! The letters and sounds do not match and it is hard to apply our rules of decoding to it, as /a/ and /i/ don’t often make /e/.
A bank of sight words tucked away in your memory is a great strategy to help all readers and particularly struggling readers have success with reading. Even though our Mr 8, who is diagnosed as Dyslexic currently has a reading age of 9 (yes it can be done), we still work with sight words. It is a strategy that works for him and contributes to him having success with reading.
School holidays are about to start here. We always take a break from our reading routine during the holidays but a complete break would be a risk for our Mr 8 so instead we read a lot of books we enjoy and have some fun with words.
This holidays why not try these activities:
- Word Of The Day – Write a new word down for the kids each day and then challenge them to see if they can use it during the day. We use this website; www.dictionary.com they email me a word and I write it on a small whiteboard that we have. Then we simply read it over breakfast, have a chat about it, put it into a sentence or two and the challenge begins.
- Play Dough Words – Make sight words out of play dough. Yep just roll out play dough and shape them into words. Even better have them sound out the words as they make them. Remember not all words can be sounded out, (arghhhhh that tricky code!)
- Sand or Glitter Sight Words – Write sight words onto a piece of paper, using a what I call sausage writing, a font that is nice and wide. Then use glue to stick on coloured sand or glitter.
- Words in the Dark – One of our all time favourites. Make your room dark and write your words on the wall with a torch
- Pipe Cleaner Words – Use pipe cleaners to make words.
- Shaving Cream Words – Another all time favourite in this house. Spray shaving cream on a window or in the shower and write words. Check out our posts under activities to read more about this one.
- Magic Words – Just like the magic cups that magicians hide a ball under and then move around. Write words onto pieces of paper or card and then turn them over so you cannot see them. Quickly move them around like a magician and have your child turn one over and tell you what it says.
If your child is already reading, sight words is still a great strategy. For Mr 8 in our house as he reads his chapter books aloud to me I just write the words he has difficulty with onto a grid template and they become his list of words to practice.