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Can digital sight word centers be an effective practice tool?

My answer is a resounding YES, but maybe not for all “obvious” reasons.

When I'm choosing independent sight word practice for my students, I'm not focused on new instruction, but rather applying and reinforcing skills.

How to choose effective sight words centers - moving beyond busy work!

In order to help my students practice and reinforce sight words independently, the first thing I check is the directions they'll be following. It needs to be crystal clear what they are supposed to do to complete the task.

The clearer – the better!

This is also a time to preview the list of included sight words to make sure there's been previous instruction or exposure. New words could be included, but this is a time to activate prior knowledge versus taking an educated “guess.”

The above qualifications could extend to any sight words centers, so why choose digital?

In my experience, digital increases ENGAGEMENT. I find that if my students are spending 15 minutes in a digital sight word centers, then they are receiving 14.5 minutes of practice (just a tad bit of wiggle room to get settled!).

In a hands-on center, that time may be decreased just a bit for organizing the materials. It's okay and perfectly understandable, but I'm always looking to increase time on task!

Check out these digital options I designed for sight word practice and reinforcement:

Can digital sight word centers be an effective learning tool?

Here's a quick summary of criteria I used to choose the “just right” activities for my students:

  • Clear directions – keeping the focus on the sight word content
  • Previously learned sight words – spiral review to keep them sharp!

That's it!

If any centers didn't meet that minimum criteria, I may have been able to incorporate into small groups as an engagement tool.

I'm hoping this helps you decide if adding a digital center option is just right for your students!

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Hi there.

I'm Jennifer!

I’m Jennifer and I was a special educator in the elementary school setting over the past decade. I entered the classroom every day dedicated to making learning inclusive AND engaging.

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