We had an exhilarating time with Smart Start Sight Words Kindergarten. Be sure to check out my other reviews in this series:
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Who needs Smart Start Sight Words?
You need this book if you are looking for a sight word centered supplement to a phonics program. And the activities are short but engaging so it won’t add stress to your life!
Kids that need help with reading confidently will also greatly benefit from this book.
Smart Start Sight Words teaches 120 high-frequency words to sharply strengthen reading fluency.
And because Evan-Moor Educational Publishers focus on engaging resources, it includes all kinds of useful background knowledge, writing and cutting exercises, and alphabet knowledge.
What are sight words?
Sight words are words that don’t fit phonics rules like who. We teach kids to recognize the letters in order instead of sounding out the word.
This leads to kids who can read faster while saving some of their reasoning power for harder phonics-based words.
What is reading fluency?
Reading fluency is the ability to read smoothly and rhythmically. This ability is the key to have fun reading. It is the skill that gives the reader the ability to connect to the reading.
Reading fluency like math fluency is a solid predictor of later academic outcomes.
Below I have linked one of my favorite readings of A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon. It demonstrates reading fluency beautifully. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKaQXmRvpvw)
After doing several exercises in the book, Cayden can read several of the words, but his biggest improvement was actually in his alphabet knowledge.
Cayden has really caught on to the idea of directionality in reading and that words are the same every time you write them. This has also helped him understand the idea of rhyming because know he understands why 2 words share sounds.
Smart Start Sight Words is set up in 18 units that teach a handful of words at a time. Each unit has a theme and the words fit with that theme.
Each unit starts with activities that introduce the words, writing exercises, some matching activities, and then activities that get your child reading.
- The best thing about this book is short, easy stories.
A story is included in every unit, and a QR code is provided so you can access audio tracks of each story.
This is so important because there are 2 major ways of learning fluency. Tandem reading with aa fluent reader and repeatedly reading the same passage over and over.
The audio tracks let your kids practice reading and listening without you! Yay for independent work.
2.) Versatility is another major perk of this book.
Many of these activities can be modified no matter where your kids are.
One of the activities is a word match that has lanes to guide the kids. I copied those pages but at different saturations for different abilities.
So for my 4-year old I gave her a copy fully saturated so she could just follow the lines for the match.
For my 6-year old kindergartener, I gave him a lightly saturated one so he couldn’t see the lines. It made it more of a challenge for him.
And that day, we had a guest in the form of my 6-old’s BFF, whom I gave a medium saturated copy. I wasn’t sure if BFF would struggle to make the matches,l so I wanted to provide him a guide if he needed it.
3.) The Cut Out Practice Sheets were a big hit.
The independent practice pull cards are so cute! And the kids like taking them places to practice in the car. We also use it as a guide for games. Like taking turns reading each letter out slowly and letting them guess the word!
My only wish is that the writing activities were shorter. My 6-year old had to tackle the writing exercises in bite-size pieces.
Smart Start Sight Words is a perfect sight word based supplement to any phonics curriculum. Kids will see improvement in reading fluency and confidence. In turn, you will see them enjoying reading more and know that you setting them up for later academic success.
Get your copy for only $10! My affiliate link!