Looking for a fun Friday night activity? Pop some popcorn, pull up a chair and play Word Wall Bingo!
Playing games at home is one way to support our children with sight word recognition, a critical piece in reading fluency and overall literacy growth. When students can read sight words, this frees up their efforts and energy to focus on harder, decodable words. Moreover, these sight words account for approximately 50% of what we read! It’s no wonder that fluent readers can read these words in a snap.
Why play games? First of all, they’re fun! They can also provide a springboard and the motivation for continued learning and effort. Make it a family routine and involve older and younger children as well. Your child can also help choose the words for the Bingo board, when you use one of the reproduceable sheets below.
How do you know which words to choose? There are a few ways. The fastest and easiest is to print a copy of the Dolch or Fry word lists. Look at the list for your child’s grade and do a quick assessment by having your child read them to you. Use that to decide which words to include. (I would suggest including some words that he/she knows well – to build confidence – and some that need to be mastered).
Other ways to choose high frequency words include listening to him/her read and taking note of the words that he/she misses. And last but not least, consider checking with your child’s teacher for words to focus on. My son’s teacher sends home sight words to practice each week, which is a big help.
For more information on sight words in general, read this post:
You have your words…the next step is to add them to your board and make copies.
Note: Make sure to write them in different order on each game board. I’m embarrassed to say that I recently learned this the hard way in a second grade classroom. I came prepared to model a Bingo lesson and realized that I had created 28 identical game boards. Everyone won!!
Finally, grab some bingo chips (or a bag of coins, your child’s rock collection, etc., etc.), pop some popcorn and settle in around the dining room table. Winner gets to keep the coins or possibly pick the ice cream flavor, if dessert is in your plans. Your child learns new words and the family bonds around fun, games and dessert.
Can you think of a better Friday evening?