If you will make it, they will play it and they will learn it! Sometimes you just need some easy, low prep activities, but ones the students will enjoy and be engaged in so learning takes place and not just play.
My students in summer school did this sight word activity. It is so easy to differentiate. Whatever words the student is working on is their list. They work on 5- 10 words at a time building them in the small pocket chart. This pocket chart is on the side of my desk. Great way to use space that is not being used! The key is the student needs to read out loud the word as they build it and then to read the whole list after building the entire list. It won't help to just match up letters. They can have a peer come listen to them read the list or the teacher can come check them.
Another fun and engaging way to learn sight words is with Heidi Songs sight word dvds. I have Heidi's sight words dvds volume 1 and 2. Kids love to sing and they love to move! Most children learn more quickly and easier if it is in a song and if there is movement to go along with it. Heidi is using both in her dvds. Kids love to sing and move along with her and I have even sent the dvd home for a parent to work with their child who was really struggling to learn sight words. You can click Heidi's picture above or you can click here to be taken to Heidi's site to check out her sight word resources!
Another really quick and easy way to get in some sight word practice is to use the iPad or other tablet. My students LOVE any reason to get to use the iPads. This app is Magnetic ABC Lite. Students just need their word list and then can build their words right on the iPad. Again, every time they build a word, they need to be reading it out loud.
I use these cubes all the time! They are so great for so many different activities. I got mine on Amazon, but they can be found at teaching stores too. I use them for ABC activities, fluency, and phonics activities. But this is a super simple easy prep activity that you could use pre-printed sight words or just write them yourself. Then just roll, say the word and write it. It's all designed to get those words to be automatically read and written.
Anything with a swatter is going to get kids' attention! They can just scatter out their word cards on some bulletin paper. You wouldn't even have to use the paper, but it does give them a boundary so the cards are not all over the room. Then another student calls out a word for the swatter to find and swat. Popular game! Be sure to go over expectations for that swatter! :)
Sight Word Monster is a very popular game in my room! I use it a lot during RTI time. All the word cards face out and a monster or other type of card is hidden behind one of the cards.
Students choose and read a card that they think the monster might be hiding behind. The card is pulled to see if he is hiding behind there or not. My students would literally play this game over and over if they could!
Today I am guest posting over at A Spark of Inspiration! Go check out my post about how to manage differentiating sight word learning! If you have missed it in the past, it is about how I use file folders to help differentiate and accelerate student learning.