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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Kindergartners 'learning new things' through sight words

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  • As an adult, readers recognize commonly used words like "the," "is" and "can" easily and quickly.
    When teaching kindergartners the basics of reading, the first goal is to teach those frequent words often referred to by teachers as sight words.
    By the end of kindergarten, students are expected to know a minimum of 50 sight words.
    In Kelly Allen's kindergarten class at Will Rogers Elementary, sight words are displayed on the word wall. Every couple of weeks, new words are added to the wall.
    "It's easier to learn short words. I like it when the word only has one letter," explains Janiyah Reed.
    In the first quarter, Allen's students learned 15 words, which put them on pace to learn at least 60 by the end of the school year.
    "The goal is 51 to 68 words, but we will have kids who will have 100 words by the end of the year," Allen explains.
    The number of sight words required for kindergartners has increased greatly over time. When Allen began teaching 11 years ago, she only had to teach students 10 to 12 sight words.
    In addition to the short, common words, sight words also include words for colors, numbers and shapes.
    Kindergartners also begin to learn to sound out words, especially short words that follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, such as "cat" and "dog."
    Many techniques are used to teach the words to children.
    "I'm happy because I like learning new things," says Emily Presley. "I like learning all the words."
    Students will clap as they spell out each word.
    They can also mime dribbling a basketball as they spell it, and then mime shooting as they say the whole word.
    Students also create short and simple sentences using the words they know.
    "We're using these words throughout various activities," Allen explains. "We just have to get kids to learn these words."
    Lists are also taken home for students to practice. Parents are encouraged to help their child learn the words.
    "It's not enough for us to just go over the words here," Allen says. "Children won't meet the goal. They have to go over them at home, too."
    Flashcards are recommended and can be used for games to help engage children. Studying can be as simple as spreading the cards out on the living room floor while watching television and having the child identify words during a commercial break.
    "My mom makes me read the words and say the words," Jace Keating says. "I can read little books."
    In addition, simply reading a book together can help literacy goals and provide quality bonding time with a child.
    Page 2 of 2 - "My mom reads to me. The best part is reading together," Darrius Fields says.
    Students are excited to learn more words and expand their reading vocabularies.
    "You can read your own stuff with no help. Right now, I have to ask someone," Keating explains.
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