Students learn so many valuable things in elementary school. We set the foundation for their education for the rest of their lives. Among all of the important things they learn in school, it all starts in their kindergarten classroom when we teach them the building blocks of reading, writing, and math.
Aside from letters, and numbers, a huge focus is on learning sight words. Sight words are generally words that students will see the most often while reading. Little learners should have them memorized to help them continue to learn to read and write. They help them produce meaning and skip difficult decoding skills as beginning readers.
When deciding on what activities to do to practice sight words in kindergarten, the sky’s the limit! They are young and excited to learn new things. There are a number of fun and engaging activities you can do to practice sight words with them.
Here are some of my favorite sight words activities for my students
- Have a sight word hunt while reading. Choose your sight word for the day and have your students hunt for the word in their book.
- Get some yummy treats involved. Make a big bowl of pudding. Students can dip their fingers in the pudding and write their sight word on a pan with the pudding. If they get the word right, they get to lick their fingers! This one is guaranteed to be a hit.
- Do some task cards. Task cards are a fun alternative to worksheets. Task cards feel more like a game than work!
- Use magnetic letters. Get some cheap cookie sheets and some magnetic letters and have your students spell out the words.
- Make sight word necklaces. This resource includes 88 sight words that your students can use to make fun sight word necklaces. Everytime your student looks at their necklace, they will be reminded of their sight word. It is also great for getting parents involved in your students learning!
- Use shaving cream. Spray shaving cream on the students desks and let them use their fingers to write out their sight words in the shaving cream. Fun and messy!
- If you are distance learning, try out these Sight Words Google Slides activities. These reading comprehension passages and questions are a fun and engaging way to improve comprehension and fluency while practicing sight words.
Learning can be so fun when you are working with kindergarten aged students. Everything is new and exciting so just have fun with it!
What are your favorite ways to work on reading with your students? Let me know in the comments!
For more kindergarten ideas, check out these free winter activity ideas!
You all, I was searching for some ideas to teach students about the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade when I found the book, Balloons Over Broadway. This story is based on a true story about Tony Sarg who invented the “upside-down puppets.” When I was young, our whole family would gather around the television to see the parade while my mom was in the kitchen cooking a Butterball turkey!
The Great Puppeteer
Tony Sarg was born in 1880. He was a German American puppeteer and illustrator. He was raised around puppets and inherited his grandmother’s collection. Once he watched a marionette show and wanted to know how the puppets were moving. They would not tell him, so he sat in the front row, attended many shows and drew pictures of the movement until he could figure it out on his own. Tony moved to New York. Macy’s contacted him about his amazing animated puppets. They wanted him to put his puppets in their store windows for Christmas. The windows were a huge success. Thousands of people would gather around the windows to watch the amazing puppets.
Then, Macy’s asked him if he would put his puppets in their first parade. He quickly realized after the parade that the puppets were too small for everyone to see. He worked with a couple others to design the large “upside-down puppets” that we all love to watch today in the parade!
Reading about Tony was fascinating. He had a great sense of humor. One time he floated a monster puppet in the ocean at Nantucket. The joke made national news. You can see a great video capturing the event here. He loved to make toys, illustrate books and made games.
An Idea Born
Learning about his life and reading the book Balloons Over Broadway, inspired me to design a digital escape room for kids to accompany the book. If you wanted to extend the activity you could have kids use permanent markers to color and create their own balloon for a “Hallway Parade” at school. If you wanted to do this lesson during Christmas, you could have students design a puppet window for a department store.
Also check out Teaching Winter Holidays Around the World
Fall is such a wonderful time of the year- especially in the classroom. It’s right after we start the new year and our students are focused and excited. I love bringing the elements of the fall season into our day to day activities and lessons. With all of the colors and activities available, there are so many ways to use fall themes in your lesson plans.
One of my favorite ways to do that is to look for books with fall or Halloween themes. Finding a good book to read to your class and then doing a corresponding activity is a great way to explore the story more in depth with your students and make a text to self connection. Text to self connections teach your students valuable skills they will need in school and in life. Your students will learn to make the connection between what they are reading and themselves and explore empathy.
My Where’s My Mummy Craft is a fantastic option if you are looking for a Halloween themed activity that is both engaging and fun.
Included in this activity you will get:
- Mummy craft printable
- Text to self connection printable
- “I Want My Mummy” bulletin board display
Start by reading the book “Where’s My Mummy” by Carolyn Crimi to your class. Have your students use the Mummy Craft printable to glue on toilet paper and googly eyes to make their own adorable little mummy.
This activity focuses on making a text to self connection. Here are questions you can ask your students to get the conversation going:
- How do you think the mummy felt in the story?
- How would you feel if you couldn’t find your parent?
- How would you feel when you did find them?
A huge bonus when you do this craft is that it makes great Halloween classroom decor!
Want more fun Halloween activities for your class? Check out my Halloween Bats Escape Room here!
Learning to read is a huge accomplishment for students. Going from needing help with books to being able to read it by themselves is a big deal! Sometimes, however, actually comprehending what they are reading can be a little more challenging.
It is important to know how to read, but it is even more important for them to understand what they are reading. It is not only an absolutely necessary life skill, but it can open up a whole new world and encourage a love of reading.
Here are some strategies that you can use to help your students achieve reading comprehension and fluency.
- Find books your students will love. Finding the right book can make all the difference when students are learning to read. Books that they will enjoy will inspire them to put in the work and understand the words they are reading.
- Read aloud. Encouraging students to read out loud can get them plenty of practice reading and it can also help you identify where they might be struggling.
- Use metacognitive strategies. These can be great for increasing reading comprehension. For instance, pausing while reading aloud to ask the student to vocalize their thoughts can help them to understand what they are trying to comprehend.
- Reread sections that are confusing. Making sure to revisit difficult sections until they understand is important. It can help better identify where they are struggling and work together to understand.
- Use a ruler or finger to follow along. Helping students stay on track while reading can help them follow along with the story and decrease the risk of confusion.
- Write down words you don’t know. Writing it down and working on it will help them better remember it in the future.
- Discuss what the child has just read. Having a discussion can help the student think through what they just read and also help you point out areas they might be struggling in.
- Recap and summarize the main points. This will be great practice for students working on their comprehension.
- Reading passages and answering questions. Find some fun and engaging reading comprehension activities for your students to practice with.
Great news, I created some fun activities to help with this!
These reading comprehension activities are perfect for helping students get more practice and achieve fluency. They are set up through Google Classroom so they are distance learning friendly. These include written instructions, listening options, drag to complete the sentence activities, word families, and 20 reading comprehension passages and questions.
This option is perfect for Kindergarten and 1st grade.
This option is perfect for 1st and 2nd grade.
Want more information on reading comprehension? Check out my post here to learn more about my strategies.
Do you have any strategies for helping your students with reading comprehension? I would love to hear in the comments!