How to Create a Student Sight Word Routine

How to Create a Student Sight Word Routine

Adding sight word practice to your students’ word work routine doesn’t have to be challenging! I’ve heard from teachers over and over that their sight word routine is inconsistent, unorganized, and sometimes non-existent!

If that sounds like your classroom, it doesn’t have to be that way! You can make a simple, effective routine that students will enjoy!

Create an Independent Sight Word Routine

When it comes to creating a sight word routine, you must make sure it’s something that’s easy to implement and doable! Typically, I focus on 4-5 sight words each week. Because we have a weekly phonics skill, too, I find that 4-5 sight words are plenty.

On Day 1, we introduce the five sight words for the week. We keep them displayed in our classroom focus wall in a pocket chart so that we can easily refer back to them.

Students have a sight word book to keep for the entire week of sight word practice. They love these books because the activities are consistent, and they can complete them independently.

Each day, students complete a little bit more of the sight word practice books. The activities are easy to prep and structured, so students know exactly what to do. The activities include things like color and trace the words, dot the words, and write sight word sentences.

Image shows a sight word worksheet where students color and trace the words.

My favorite part of our weekly sight word routine is reading our sight word fluency paragraph. We read it as a whole group once, and then students practice reading it fluently at least three more times. As they read it, they find and circle or highlight the weekly sight words.

As a bonus, I love that I can quickly skim through the sight word books as an accountability measure at the end of the week.

Image shows a sight word worksheet where students dot the sight words.
Image shows a sight word worksheet where students write sight word sentences.

Whole Group Routine

In addition to our independent sight word routine, I love to incorporate short, small activities to practice sight words in a whole group setting. Best of all, the only whole group materials I use are sight word flashcards, which you can print or write on index cards!

One of our favorite activities to play is Quiz-Quiz-Trade, a Kagan strategy. To play, give every student a sight word card. Then, students walk around the classroom, find a partner, hold up their sight words, and quiz each other! Once they’ve quizzed each other, students trade cards, find a new partner, and repeat! You can play with only the weekly sight words or add in words from previous weeks.

Another fun game we love to play is called Guess My Sight Word. In this simple game, students try to guess the sight word I’ve selected off our word wall. You can read all the directions for how to play in this post!

Classroom Sight Word Resources

Want to try incorporating independent sight word practice books into your routine? Download these 3 free sight word practice books to use with your students!

FREE SIGHT WORD practice books!

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