Have fun learning with our Sight Reading Cards!
Updated: Nov 19, 2022
Teaching your own little one to read and write can be daunting (even for experienced teachers). Its these early encounters that can set the foundations for their future love of learning. I have created these cards to use in my own home and am sharing them for you to use too.
In school, the focus in reading is on phonics. This is a great system for helping children develop reading and writing skills, but works best alongside other methods.
I wanted an enjoyable way to help my children develop their sight reading skills we could do together in the form of games and interaction that would be versatile to use.
With babies and toddlers, we can use the cards to help them learn the names of different nouns. Follow their lead with which cards interest them, saying the names of the cards they select. You hold the cards next to the real-life object where possible to help them understand that the image corresponds to the things they see in life.
What is a Word?
Alongside developing phonics knowledge (knowing that letters and groups of letters have specific sounds they make), children need to learn that words give us meaning. For every image, the words is clearly written underneath to help children begin to understand that there is a different word for each image. They will begin to recognise the shape the words makes without identifying each individual letter (sight reading). To reinforce this, point to the word itself as you say the name of the image.
Games make learning fun for you and them!
Which is the dinosaur?
A key with all of the games is to keep the number of cards used small. Start with two and build up.
Which word start with a 'd' sound?
Develop phonics knowledge.
Which word is shorter?
Get children looking at and comparing the length and shape of words.
Using the words on the back.
Begin with just two cards and add cards in as children become more confident. Praise concentration, thinking and listening rather than when they get it correct.
Place the cards with the words up.
Can you find the word 'cat'?
You can give clues as they begin such as "Cat starts with the sound 'c' or the letter c" or "Think about if its a long or short word".
Let them take the lead
Resist the temptation to stop your child from turning over the card when they get it wrong. We want to normalise making mistakes, getting it wrong and trying it again.
What is this word?
As you get to the last words yet to be turned over you can change the questions you ask or reduce the number of clues you give.
It is important to repeat. Mix the same cards up and put them back down for another go. Children need repetition over time to help them learn.
Mix it up
How about letting them ask you the questions? Get them to tell you if you read the word correctly before you can turn it over.
Bring it into books
Help children make the links between reading words in isolation to reading them in books. Use books that are familiar to your child. Start with books with few words. As their confidence grows move onto books with more words or the word along with a suffix such as 'cats'.
If you choose to laminate your cards, not only will they last longer, but your children will be able to use they again and again to practice their letter formation. Using a whiteboard pen, simply write over the words getting them to focus on going slowly and concentrating. Once done wipe and repeat.
Let your imagination go wild with the games you can play as their confidence grows.
Hide and seek🙈
Hide your cards around the house with the word only side up. Challenge your child to find the cards and read the word as they discover them.