I hate traditional flashcards and worksheets and as a teacher avoided using either as much as possible. That said, flashcards have been around for years and with good reason, they do have some basis for learning especially if you have a learner that is a rote memorizer. Cole does not like to sit down and do learning with me, the only chances I get are through integration into our life or the rare occasion where he is agreeable to trying something new.
If you have a Kindergarten or 1st grader you will know plenty about those sight words. Long ago in a far away land I taught lots of beginning readers. I always liked this teaching site which gave a variety of ideas of how to teach the Dolch list creatively.
Here is how I like to start teaching site words.
1.Gather a set of index cards and markers. Index cards are a few cents this week at Target.
2. Aim for student success!
3. Write out all your child’s known words. For Cole this included the names of his family members, the word go, I , to etc…
4. Select about 3 or 4 new words and review.
5. Practice using the sandwich approach. This has you place cards in a pattern of known (k) and unknown (u) words. It should look like this KKKUKKUKKU.
6. When I create the index cards I like to include clues to help the child learn the words faster. This may be writing the would “you” with letter u underlined. Eventually once the word is known you replace the clue card with just the word.
7. Don’t just drill the cards, but engage with them. Create two sets and do a memory game or throw a bean bag at the set laid on the floor and call to the word. I believe in active learning, it works!
8. Then use the words to create simple sentences for your child to read. Even on the first day your child can read something as simple as I see dad.
9. Challenge your child to make up their own sentences as well!
You will be surprised to see how quickly children will pick up on new words and interact with the text if you keep it active and relevant! Happy learning:)