When we talk about Literacy, the Sight Words have a very important part in the journey of becoming an accurate and fluent reader in English.
Sight Words create confusion - there are parents who do not understand what are those and there are teachers who have a hard time explaining and teaching them.
However, these are not that complicated.
I had, myself, may encounters with parents, during parent-teacher meetings, who were so curious and did not really what is so special about these sight words and why are they is important.
Many times we hear that Sight Words are words that cannot be read by the sound of letters and HAVE TO BE memorized. Which is true and is a process that can work with students. Although, there must be a more logic explanation for students so they won't resume to simply memorize them.
For example, they can observe the difference between a sight word and a CVC word. be - bed. They can see that the sight word, in this case, it is formed by a consonant+vowel and that the vowels "says it's name, not it's sound"; then we have the consonant+vowel+consonat where the vowels "says it's sound, not name". This can be a rational explanation.
How to Teach Sight Words
When teaching sight words (or any other topic) I would recommend to use methods that help all types of learners. Include visual, audio and kinetic methods to make sure everyone has a chance to better catch the information.
- Using Songs
There is a variety of songs that spell out the letters and help learners to assimilate faster their sight words. As a teacher or parent, you can create your own songs or use the great options found on Internet.
For example - I was using the tune of BINGO Song and making each sight word as a song
"There is a sight word
That I know
And (name of sight word - for example "be) be is it's name-o
B -E BE
And BE is it's name-o "
- Using videos and visual displays
Always make sure the learners can see the sight word. Display flash cards after teaching each word and leave them on a wall where children can always visualize them.
Use videos and video games/presentations where children have to read the sight words.
- Use worksheets or any hands-on activities
Young learners love to do things for a better understanding of a concept. Create different hands-on games and activities, such as writing the words on salt/sand, playing with magnetic letters or many more.
Also, worksheets are useful, especially when them come to independent work.
Reading and recognizing sight words is a important part of fluency while reading and text comprehension.