Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

5 Apps that Help Students Learn Sight Words

5 Apps that Help Students Learn Sight Words

By Stephen Rocco

One of the most common things our young learners need to do is memorize basic sight words—sight words are the ones that continue to show up repeatedly, and there are approximately 100 of them, according to Reading

It’s been a few years since I last taught in the primary grades and things have changed drastically; there were no such things as iPads or tablets. Rather, I was the proud owner of an unusually large stack of colorful index cards… large ones of course.

More: 4 Ways to Build Reading Fluency With the iPad

Still, being the parent of three, with my youngest going into the second grade, I can see that learning sight words is still critical for young students. I didn’t have my collection of index cards anymore so I did what any 21st Century teacher and parent would do; I went to the App Store.

I have found five, free iPad apps for learning sight words. I used these with my own child, and if I were still teaching primary grades, they would be a part of my classroom as well.

1. First Grade Learning Games

By Kevin Bradford, LLC

This app provides ten activities to can play, three of which are free to use. Luckily, within the three games is my go-to option for word recognition—Word Bingo! This version of Word Bingo is fun, with neat sound effects to go with your child’s selection. The two other free games are for math patterns and ordering.

2. Sight Words Learning Games & Flashcards for Reading and Spelling Success

By CFC s.r.o.

This app has six activities that help word with recognition, with just two that can be accessed for free: Word Machine and Gears. While my son and I didn’t like Gears, my son had a lot of fun using Word Machine, making it a contender for your classroom.

3. Kids Learn Sight Words

By Teacher Created Materials

This app is one of my favorites, and provides you with 25 sight words for free; more than enough to decide whether you want to purchase the expanded version.

Students thumb through each word on a virtual index card and when they complete five words, they get to put a jigsaw puzzle together that’s labeled by a sight word. The iPad calls out a sight word and the child drags the puzzle piece over it until it snaps in. A really fun way to learn words!

4. Sight Words Flash Cards

By eFlash Apps

This is a fun and colorful app breaks sight words down by grade level starting with pre-primary, going up to second grade. As students go through each flash card, the iPad reads the word to them, and they simply tap the screen and move to the next one.

The only downside is that there are banner ads along the bottom that may not have suitable content for children, but you can purchase an ad-free version.

5. Sight Words Ninja – The Endless Slicing Game to Learn to Read

By Innovative Investments Limited

Students learn to recognize sight words by slashing them as they come up on the screen with this simple app—using a finger as the ninja sword, kids slice words in half. This app was a lot of fun, for my son and me!

Luckily, this is just a start. There are dozens more apps available, so try these ones, or do you research to find others. Regardless of what apps you choose, be sure your students love it. I’ve found things to be fun, only to discover my seven-year-old thinks much differently.

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5 Apps for Learning Sight Words

View Comments (3)


  1. Nicole Simmons

    October 28, 2015 at 5:21 am

    This is a great help for a special education teacher.

  2. Jessica Thomas

    March 1, 2016 at 10:55 pm

    Nice article! Really a great help for every primary grade teachers and for those children who were not good in memorizing and reading as well. Sight words will help to encourage young children to memorize as a whole by sight so that they can automatically recognize the words. Learning sight words can bring advantage to every child because many schools expect students to know all of these words by the end of the 3rd year of school; however, it is quite possible to have mastered them by the end of the first year of school. Gonna try these apps one of these days. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: 12 Educational Games to Boost Productivity

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