How to Teach Sight Words – Science of Reading // sight word activities for struggling readers

Susan Jones Teaching
Are you wondering how to teach sight words according to the Science of Reading?! In this video, I share 3 different sight word activities to use with any student, but they are specifically useful with struggling readers! Watch the video to check them out!

Really Great Reading’s Heart Word Magic:
Sight Word Activities Video:
Finger Lights:
Sight Word Treasure Hunt Game:

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If you happen to use any of these ideas at home or in your classroom, leave a comment below and let me know how they go! 🙂 Also, if you share any of the games from Susan’s Sunday Spotlight, please tag me on Instagram @susanjonesteaching so I can see!! You can also use the hashtag: #susanssundayspotlight​


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Happy teaching,
Susan Jones



You can see tons of other games for first-grade students below!
Math: ​
Phonics: ​
Sight Words: ​

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  1. I have been a kindergarten teacher for over 30 years and teach these to students. You are adding the “a” to many of your letter sounds. This confuses children who look for that letter when spelling. We as teachers need to be mindful not to add sounds to the end of letter sounds.

  2. My kindergarten team has started the LETRS training. This fits perfectly with the science we have been studying.

  3. Thanks so much for this! Recently my academy has started teaching younger and younger kids, and throughout my career I’ve mainly taught older students, so I never had to get into the nuts and bolts of teaching phonics. You’ve equipped me with a lot of good ideas to make my current and future classes more dynamic,

  4. For the word "like" do you put the k and e in the same sound box?

  5. Hi Susan. I just found your channel, and I'm currently a kindergarten teacher. Sight words has always been a struggle area for my kiddos, especially my ELLs, and I really, really like the idea of using phoneme mapping to help them, particularly as a center during my classes. Can't wait to check out your other videos! 😀

  6. Such great ideas! I love the play dough push with the sounds!!!

  7. Hi,teacher Susan what could be a good research title for reading.arebthere research gap about reading that I can possibly work on .thank you

  8. Susan, I love your strategy, but I tried Jim's program instead and it worked like a charm. It is step-by-step and uses phonics approach:

  9. I disagree that the point of “sight words” is to hear phonemes and find the grapheme to match. This is encoding. Making an unknown word into a sight word takes time and repetition. Something like a word wall and lots of sensory exercises to visualize the word. Phoneme boxes work with words when teaching phonics, which happens in the very early stages of decoding. Sight words having a heart below them doesn’t aid in the retention of the sight word as the student won’t see the heart when they are reading text. The goal of sight words is to read words instantly and to grow that instant word bank over time. Teaching the the >40% of English sight words as “heart” words will not develop the rapid speed necessary to gain the sight word into their word bank

  10. This is a fantastic video! I am in my second year of teaching Kindergarten, and always looking for fun, effective strategies for supporting my class! You did a great job modeling and explaining how to teach these strategies! Can't wait to try them out!

  11. Oh..i thought sight words are sight words because they should be read by sight not thru sounds..

  12. wow i am learning a lot , thank you for this teacher Susan.

  13. Could you suggest any academic research you've read on this subject? I'm implementing an intervention like this at my school and need some literature to back up my approach. Thanks

  14. Please do some research on the Orton-Gillingham methodology. This tried and true best practice approach is effective, systematic and much less difficult for the learner -and so easier on the teacher as well.
    For example, your method introduces words that have between them two different sounds for th and two different sounds for i.
    Without prior instruction and practice with those letters and letter groupings , a learner is likely to be confused. Please look into teaching letter patterns and syllabication.

  15. This is new to me..This is my first year teaching kindergarten…I love your video and am going to try some of these strategies in my classroom.

  16. What about the word some? How would you segment some?

  17. Goodness please stop teaching sight words! It is not your fault if your teacher education program instructed you that whole language works, but please read the brain research!!! Whole language has been proven again and again to be ineffective. Please read “Language at the Speed of Sight”. So many children like my own have been harmed by whole language. Please please PLEASE stop teaching this way!!!!

  18. Good video, EXCEPT …it would be more helpful to use the correct sounds for the phonemes with respect to the "stop" and the "continuous" sounds. You added a "schwa" sound to most of your stop sounds and that is incorrect.

  19. I am teaching sight words to a group of first graders. Thanks for this video! It is extremely helpful!

  20. Brand new and I believe this will be fun as well as a good way for the students to remember.

  21. Thank you so much for this video! You explained these strategies so well. I am a new teacher and I’ve been struggling with teaching my students sight words. This is so helpful!

  22. I would think this strategy would work for Letter Sounds when learning to sound out words to later read. I wasn't expecting this type of activity for this subject for sight words or maybe I am missing something. IDK but this is new and I enjoyed the video.

  23. Love the heart words. Started that this year. Mine kids say these don’t follow the rules! We learn the by heart.

  24. "Think" is a tricky example for me. I hear the "i" making and "e" sound, maybe that was from living on the east coast for several years. Out there, I heard people pronounce the word with a long e sound, not short i. I moved the Midwest and learned that people say it with the short i sound. I had to adjust my teaching for this.

  25. Love these activities. I like that these strategies can be taught whole group to introduce words, and once the kids are familiar with the activities they can easily be adapted to word work stations as a way to continue to review and practice words.

  26. How would you show the word "where" when segmenting the phoneme?

  27. Hello. New to your wonderful channel I subscribe now Great content.

  28. I’m so happy I came across your channel I’m trying to teach my 6 year old to blend sounds
    She has autism and is non-verbal. She knows her alphabet and can write it! So I’m moving on to getting her to blend those letters together! Thank you for uploading this video!
    I love idea of the playdoh use! It’s a sensory Integration I know she would love and it will hopefully keep her interested to want to participate!

  29. Thank you! I'm a high school teacher, now homeschool mom teaching my littles how to read. i didn't learn any of this in teacher college!

  30. Hello, Susan.

    Why the letter A in the word SAID do not sounds like the letter A in the word RAIN or MAIN?

    Is it a rule or standard?


  31. This is new to me! Thank you! I am going to try it tomorrow.

  32. Thank you! I am going to use phoneme mapping on Monday.

  33. I use skywriting and sound boxes already, I liked how you used the playdough with the sound boxes- I am definitely going to do that.

  34. Just watched your video , thanks its awesome.

  35. Do you work as a tutor too ?please reply soon

  36. Thank you for these strategies. I will be using them soon.

  37. Can you add subtitle? It is easier for foreigners to follow. Thank you 🥰🥰🥰

  38. Thank u so much for willing to share your ideas

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