When you read the phrase “sight words” you can probably barely finish that s sound before you mind instantly thinks Dolch and Fry. Maybe if you are new to the literacy world you think Dolch and Fry is some delicious sounding cooking technique that makes the world’s most amazing french fries. But no. Dolch Sight Words and Fry Sight Words have been around forever and are synonymous with sight word education and fluency. These words compromise the major of the words we read and use on a daily basis so are highly useful. Today we are going to put a new spin on sight words. We are going to give our good friends Dolch and Fry I well earned break and think of some different types of sight words that will be just as meaningful and impactful for our functional learners.
Calendar vocabulary is HUGE. You could never get or keep a job if you couldn’t read the days of the week and month of the year. With your pre-readers, work on matching, tracing, and copying these words. Check out my Day and Month File Folders for loads of idea. Once you have readers, create sets of calendar sight words for fluency and discrete trial training. Make sure they can read these words quickly!
Think about how many words and items are in our kids environment that they don’t know. Do you think they know the word for vase or bridge or windowsill? For pre-readers, focus on teaching these concepts using pictures. Have students with verbal skills name the items and students without verbal skills identify the items when the name is said. For readers, create sets of sight words. Focus on certain parts of the house or community and start brainstorming the names of items and things in that location. Before you know it – you’ll have a big ole deck full of functional sight words!
Everyday Math Vocabulary
Now let’s get wild and inch our way outside of the literacy world for just a moment. We want our learners to comprehend a wide range of text, images, and numbers. Think about the types of numbers our students see on a regular basis in their world – area codes, zip codes, phone numbers, room numbers, price tags, measurements, discounts, and so much more. Create sets of everyday math vocabulary and have student practice reading these numbers the right way.
Cities, Countries, and Common Locations
This was one of my favorite programs to run because it was just so dang impressive when someone walked in my room while one of my kids was in the middle of their country sight word fluency and quickly running through Tanzania, North Korea, Pakistan, England, Venezuela… Yep, my kids can read those words and they can read them fast. Google the top 30 most written about countries or cities and create sight word sets with those words. These are the countries that are in the news and that mom and dad are talking about so we our learners up on their current events too!