Sight Word Passwords

I once read that sight words make up nearly 75% of the words in the books in our primary kiddos’ hands – wow.  So those sight words are pretty important, guys.  Not only are they important for our students as READERS, they are important for our students as writers, too.

Why should my kids practice spelling their sight words?

If students are modeling their writing after the books that they are reading… their writing will consist of a ton of those sight words, too!  If we help our students learn how to spell their sight words, guess what?!  They will spend more of their time and concentration on other aspects of good writing!

How do I fit that in my already packed school day?

I really wanted to find a way to integrate this practice into my day without taking up much time.  We exit/enter our classroom many times per day, so after seeing a similar setup on my kinder-teacher friend’s door for letter recognition, I decided that my students would need to give a password before entering our room.

I introduced the password of the day, and modeled for my students what my expectations were:

  1. We WHISPER instead of use our inside voices.
  2. We spell the word and point to the letters as we say them.  (s – a – i – d)
  3. We say the word we spelled and point to the word we spelled.
  4. We do all of this as quick and quiet as we can.

I changed up the password once a day… once every few days if it was a tough one.  My students enjoyed the routine, and it actually helped them transition back into learning from being in the hallway!

Don’t Forget…

Rote memorization isn’t up there in the realm of top “best practice” methods these days when it comes to retention of skills.  Remember, if you are using a system like this one.. you have to integrate your password into other parts of your day in order for it to have the effectiveness you’re probably searching for.  Some other ideas on easily integrating this into your school day:

  • As a time filler, ask students to use the word in a sentence and then spell for you.
  • Mix up the letters of the word on the board and see if they can spell any other words with those letters.
  • Discuss the characteristics of the word – digraphs? Blends? Part of speech? Vowels? Consonants? Syllables? Prefix? Suffix?

If you would like to give this system a try, submit your info below and grab your free sight word password kit!

Grab the free template!

Sight word image

Implement this simple routine with your students to help them improve their spelling of sight words!

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Prep tips: Laminate everything, and then use velcro dots on the back of letters and sight words.  Then, line the strip on the password poster where it says VELCRO all the way across.  Once it is prepped, you pull off and stick on your letters and sight words super quickly and easily!

How do you have your students practice sight words?  I’d love to hear other ways that you have found, so leave me a comment with your teacher-tip!

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