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Learning Sight Words: 21 Times for Instant Recall

AACS readerSponsored Editorial By Kelley Alvarez and Doris Johnson, first grade teachers, Annapolis Area Christian School 

Children do not learn new words by being exposed to them once. Repetition is the key to learning sight words. Sight words have to be memorized because not only do they make up 75 percent of the English language, but also they often don’t follow the normal phonics’ rules taught in school.  (Examples:  does, done, what)

Research says that someone must be exposed to a sight word 21 times for instant recall to occur. Since not all children learn the same way, various ways to expose them to sight words should be attempted.  In the first grade at Annapolis Area Christian School, all of the children are exposed to various ways to practice new sight words (and spelling words). Through trial and error, children often figure out on their own ways in which they learn best.

Check out the pictures for some Annapolis Area Christian School hard-working first graders practicing their sight words at home. We asked the first graders what their favorite ways to practice sight words are.

Here are the top five answers:  

  1. Forming the letters with cooked noodles.Learning_sight_words_Annapolis_Area_Christian_School
  2. Writing the letters in sand, salt, flour or shaving cream.
  3. Playing games with the sight words such as word finds, concentration and BINGO.
  4. Using apps on the iPad such as Sand Draw and Magnetic ABC.
  5. Playing sight word hopscotch.

Another fun and easy idea is called a word pyramid.  This can be done with chalk, Wiki-Sticks, Do-A-Dots, markers, paint or whatever medium of art that your child enjoys. 


Remember, 21 times for instant recall! Finding creative methods for your young children to spell and visualize sight words will get them quickly on their way to experiencing the joy of reading.


AnnapolisAreaChristianSchoolLogo webFor more information on Annapolis Area Christian School, click here




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