Cora is totally into learning how to read, so I am seriously running with it.
She wants to read to her dolls, read to Brady, and read to me.
At least most days she does.
Some days, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with reading, and she only wants to dance or sing or paint or play dress-up. But that’s okay with me because she’s getting closer, and I know it.
So I’ve been exploring some new and exciting ways for her to practice the ‘all-too-important’ kindergarten sight words, and I think we’ve come up with a way that seems to work for her.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- Words 3 Ways: Learning Sight Words for Kindergarten: The concept of words three ways is simple– children ‘play’ with words in three basic ways.
It’s similar to Maddy’s Trace, Copy, Recall for beginning work with spelling words, but catered a bit more toward littler ones. It’s a great way to begin work with sight words.
words three ways can be downloaded here as a pdf if you’d like to let your little one try it at home.
Sometimes I write the words in uppercase letters and sometimes I write them in lowercase; I want her to be familiar with both.
Cora has been using Words 3 Ways for a few weeks now, so she understands how it works, but when I introduced the idea, I said, Okay, Cora, today we’re going to rake a really big step. You just had Kindergarten Orientation, so I know you’re excited for school to start in the fall, but there are a few things we’ll do between now and then that will help you be really, really ready for all the fun you’re going to have in Kindergarten.
I know you already know a lot—your letters, numbers, and how to write your name and our family’s names, so we’re moving on to bigger things, now, and I know you’re ready. We’re going to really start playing with sight words.
Sight words are words that you’ll see in almost all of the books you’ll learn to read in Kindergarten—they’re usually small words that you can’t really sound out, so you need to know them by ‘sight’. We got a list of sight words from your Kindergarten teachers, and I put them on flash cards. We’ll play different games with them, and by the time you start school, you’ll be able to read them all by yourself! How awesome is that??!
So today we’re going to start with Words 3 Ways. It’s a fun way for you to learn five new words. The words are here (pointing to words in left column). Let’s read them together.
Okay, now you get a chance to do three things with each of these words: first you’ll use your finger or a highlighter to trace the word. Then you’ll form the word, and you can do that by stamping the letters, using letter stickers, or using magnetic letters. And the last thing you’ll do is write the word.
So you’ll trace, then you’ll form the word, then you’ll write it.
- Let’s start with the first word. I’ll read it, then you read it. ‘The’. Cora read it herself. Great! Now use the highlighter to trace the word.
She traced it.
I could tell that you were really concentrating on each letter: ‘t’, then the ‘h’, and then the ‘e’.
Cora’s writing her words. . .
- Now you get to form the word, or build it. Do you want to stamp it or use letter stickers? She chose to stamp the word, and as she hunted for and then stamped each letter, I said the letter name.
- Finally, you get a chance to write the word all by yourself. Do you want to use a pencil or the bee pen or a marker to write it?
She used the pencil, just like Owen and Maddy use for their homework, to carefully form each letter.
Fabulous job! I said.
While Maddy and Owen worked on their homework, I talked Cora through the next two words; she finished the last on her own.
And the next few days, she asked me for Words 3 Ways with different words. Awesome.
Right now, Words 3 Ways has become Cora’s go-to, her favorite ‘homework time’ activity because she’s all about reading. I’m a huge fan, too, because I can really add any words I want into the sheet—family names, color words, number words, sight words, you name it. And I like that she’s tracing handwritten words; we sometimes forget that kiddos need to learn how to read handwriting and print.
Words 3 Ways gives emerging readers an opportunity to focus on a small number of words, looking closely at them in three different ways–first tracing the word, then building it, and then writing it on their own.
It’s not foolproof, it’s not instantaneous, and it requires foll0w-up, but it’s a start! Happy sight word learning, little readers!
We’re huge fans of Melissa & Doug’s Alphabet Stamp set because it is a super set for emerging readers to use when building words, playing with names, or creating personalized masterpieces for loved ones.
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