You know your students needs practice reading sight words. But do you know how to do that quickly, effectively, and routinely? I would love to help you establish a good routine to help your students practice sight words in just a few minutes per day.

To start, each student in my small groups have a Sight Word Folder. In this folder, there are three pockets that house sight word flash cards; new words, words I’m practicing, and words I know.

To begin each group, I grab the words from the “Words I’m Practicing” pocket.

Step 1: What do you remember?

I like to see what sight words students remember from the day before right off the bat! There are usually three to five words that we quickly go through.

If they remember the sight word, great! We move it over to the “Words I Know” pocket.

If they don’t the word, that’s ok! We’ll use this card to practice in step two.

Step 2: Cards Face Down

You decide on the number of words that is appropriate for practicing together. For some students, they can handle five or six. For other students, that is just too overwhelming. Maybe start with three to four words.

If they only have two words left in their “Words I’m Practicing” folder, grab a few more from the “New Words” pocket. Tell the student the word, have them repeat it, chant it together, use it in a sentence, whatever you prefer to help them learn a new word.

Lay the cards face down on the table. The students in the group will take turns reading these words. One at a time, they will turn over a card. If they can read it, they can keep it face up.

If they can’t, no worries! Tell them the word. They will have a lot of opportunities to hear it from you.

Continue taking turns until all words are flipped over.

Step 3: Point to the Word…

Now for my students’ favorite part!

Using a pointer, these came from Target many years ago, I have students point to random words that I say aloud.

I often use my pointer to point at a student and say, “Show me the word ___!” I am always there to help them, so it’s ok if they don’t know it yet.

I move onto the next student and do the same thing. After several rounds of this, we enter ⚡️The Lightening Round⚡️. Dun, dun, DUUUUN!

This is just my dramatic way to speed things up. I point quicker, faster, and act a little silly. I might repeat a difficult word over and over again.

They think I’m being silly, but I’m drilling that sight word into their mind.

Plus, it’s fun for me!

Step 4: Be the Teacher

Last, but certainly not least, my students get to be the teacher. This time, when it is their turn, they get to ask ME to point to a word.

This is a great way to assess what words they know and which words they are avoiding.