Playing Sight Word Bingo with my first graders means that these kids are getting more and more practice learning these important words!
Like I’ve said before, it’s imperative that emerging readers commit these words to memory since sight words often defy the rules of standard phonics. We need our readers to know these words by sight and to read them quickly and with automaticity.
What I love about Sight Word Bingo is that students are not only practicing reading sight words, but they’re also working their fine motor skills by coloring in the words on their board.
We used Prismacolor Colored Pencils which are incredibly bright–and my students loved them.
It’s funny–any writing utensil other than the standard yellow #2 pencil is such an exciting thing for them. Seeing their wide eyes and big smiles as when they use something as simple as a colored pencil is one of the reasons I love teaching primary grades.
Okay–I know you want the skinny. So here it is. . .
Sight Word Bingo — Color and Learn
My first graders need to know the Kindergarten word wall words for our county, and they are expected to know the first grade word wall words as well.
Each week, we tackle 4-6 new words. So I wanted to see how much they knew of all of the words combined.
After realizing that creating bingo boards from scratch would take a bit of time, I did some hunting for freebie bingo games online. Lucky for me, I found a great one.
I simply typed in the words I wanted to include–the Kindergarten words and the first quarter first grade words–and my games were ready to print!
You can grab the game I created right here. Just throw your email in the box below:
When it came time to play, it was simple:
1.) I wrote the index cards.
I wrote each of the words on an extra-large index card with a bright, bold marker (I used my personal fave, Mr. Sketch scented markers!) so that my students could both hear the word and see it from their seats.
2.) I copied the boards and gave each student one.
3.) I gave each student one Prismacolor Colored Pencil.
And I asked them to put their names on the page.
4.) Then I explained the way to play Sight Word Bingo:
I told them that I would say a word and they would search for that word on their board. When they found the word, they had to color in the square.
The goal was to get five in a row, either across, down, or diagonal–from corner to corner. Once they had five in a row, they yelled, “BINGO!” and had to read the words to me.
I’d check that the words were called, and they’d get a prize. Super simple.
5.) Finally, we started the game.
And? It was a blast.
They loved the game, and they always ask to play it.
Check out the video here:
Here are some helpful hints to make the game go smoothly for you:
- Make sure the pencils are all sharpened and ready to go!
- Let a bit of time pass before you show students the word cards. Remember that the whole idea is that they are learning and reading the words on their own!
- Encourage pencil sharing–once every five words are called, switch pencils!
- Show them how to color in a block properly. (Really! My first graders didn’t know how to do this!)
- Make sure you keep the atmosphere light and easy. Some kids really stress when it comes to games, so I always give them a reminder that it’s okay to feel disappointed if they don’t win but that it’s important to be happy for friends when they do.
And that’s it–playing games with sight words is fun for everyone!
What do you think? Will Sight Word Bingo work for your emerging readers? I’d love to know!
Check out another fun way of helping kids to learn sight words:
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fyi: Thank you Go Teach! for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own, influenced only by my experience as a parent and educator.