How do you practice sight words for those beginning readers? This year I was asking myself that same question. I wanted to give my students opportunities to practice reading these words in context without being overwhelmed by too much text. My students were at this in between place. Ready and wanting to read something, but not quite ready for a book (even a simple beginner sight word book). So, I introduced Build a Sentence. This was meant to be a kindergarten center originally, but then I found it was actually perfect for my reading groups. Even with just a few sight words, we could make several different sentences.
The sentence building mat helps them to easily build their own sentences. I started with just 5 sight words: I, We, see, my and the. I had about 10 different picture word cards to go with those words. Together, we'd build our sentences. They loved it! They could read sentences and feel successful. When they were ready, we added in the words you and am, and then my and like. What I loved about this is that I had control about when to introduce the next word.
Slowly, I continued to add more words. I added two at a time, but you could add based on your students' ability.
I introduced questions too:
I made an entire pack of sight words and picture cards, along with a guide for the teacher. If you'd like to see more, head on over to my blog: