In my kindergarten classroom, most children were introduced to the preschool (pre-primer) and kindergarten (primer) Dolch sight words lists. I know from personal experience, though, that once children start learning sight words and experience success with reading, their interest in learning more sight words really takes off. For those families with older children or with children who are particularly interested in learning sight words, I wanted to offer sight word flashcards for the entire family of Dolch sight words: preschool, kindergarten, First grade, Second grade, Third grade, and nouns. To help complete the collection of sight word flashcards I have available, this week I am adding flashcards for the Dolch Third grade sight words. Just scroll down past the pre-primer, primer, first grade, and second grade sight word flashcards on the same page.
As I have mentioned earlier when discussing the benefits of teaching children sight words, a large sight word repertoire makes it possible for young children to read smoothly and fluently. Also, knowing these key words helps children avoid the frustration of trying to decode or sound out words that do not follow phonics rules. When children can look at a word and read it automatically, they gain confidence and see themselves as a “good reader” which fuels their confidence to continue reading.
To make the task of learning new sight words more fun, cut each page of sight words into eight individual cards and ask your child if he already knows any of the eight words. As children read, they typically come across some words repeatedly and simply start to remember them. When a child can put aside a few flashcards that he can already read, he can feel a sense of pride in his existing abilities. Next, read the remaining words to him and let him choose the two or three new words that he wants to tackle first. By allowing your child to have some input in the process and pick which words to work on first, he will be more eager to work on memorizing these new words.
As your child looks at each new word, ask him to repeat the word after you, spell it aloud, and then say the word once more. Add hand motions such as clapping on each letter as he spells the word or remind your child to “cheer” for each word he spells by raising his arms in the air for tall letters, placing his hands on his hips for short letters, and putting his arms down at his sides for letters that have a tail that dips below the writing line.
You can also add some fun (and movement) by hiding some sight word flashcards around the house. Ask your child to find these hidden cards, giving him directional clues using the words over, under, beside and behind, for instance. Each time your child finds a sight word flashcard and reads it correctly, he can keep it. Challenge your child to see how many flashcards he can find in 5 minutes.
Coming next week: Advanced pre-reading activities focusing on consonant blends and ending consonant sounds.