A question we are asked a lot is, "So now that I have the SnapWords® cards, what do I do next? How do I use them to teach my child his sight words?" Here are some tips for making your sight word time fun, low key, and without any pressure.
The approach is to enjoy looking at the words together. You can be confident that your child WILL learn and will learn easily, so your own confidence in him will fuel his success. This is critical.
Some key points:
- When you introduce the words, always TELL her what the word says instead of letting her guess. This is critical because if she is looking at a picture and says the wrong word, that wrong word will be stuck in her head.
- Don’t go through the whole stack at one sitting, but rather, choose a small group of words (see this suggested sequence of words to follow).
- With each word you read, refer to the back of the card with her to read the sentence to her and do the body motion together. She will see the word embedded in the image, hear herself saying it, do a body motion that reflects the meaning of the word, and finally use it in a sentence so she will think about what the word means. This is complete and truly multisensory learning.
- When you have talked about the pictures on your group of words, go through the cards another time, this time asking her if she remembers each word.
- Those sight words that she remembers, applaud, and lay to one side – these are her friends. Those sight words that she doesn’t know instantly, keep in your hand. Make a game out of “making friends” out of the words.
- Once she can whip unhesitatingly through the 10-12 cards you are working with, tell her there is a new game. This time, you are going to look at the backs of the cards to see if she can read the words without the pictures. Again, you are looking for cards/words that are her new friends – ones she can read instantly.
- Don’t rush, no pressure. Her progress will speed up the more you work on this together.
- Play the games in the book of activities that comes with any order of 607, 306 or 301 SnapWords cards or that's available on our website.
- Try to pay close attention to her attention span. If she is starting to seem bored or like she’s had enough, stop immediately and leave it for another time. SHORT lesson time is better.
These are just a few basic tips for using the SnapWords® sight word cards. What games or activities have you done with them?