I was wondering ...

(102 Posts)
mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 13:45:16

How many of your children's schools send home words to learn by sight?
reading posts from parents and teachers on MN I just wondered how common this practice still is ...

christinarossetti Sun 31-Mar-13 13:50:30

In reception, my dd's school sent home some 'black' words and some 'red words' - I think the red words might have been 'tricky'.

I remember being told at a parental involvement event that in order for children to become fluent readers they needed to be able to recognise HF words very quickly, although most or all (can't remember) will be decodable once the children have be taught the code.

There were no tests or instructions to sight read, and dd still hasn't had spelling test at this point in Y1.

DieWilde13 Sun 31-Mar-13 13:52:51

Ours does. Dd is in year 2 and her teacher started doing this in September when she had assessed the reading abilities of all children in dds class, taken into account that over 50% had failed the phonics screening and was shock by it all.

As much as I believe in teaching phonics, I have noticed a lot of quick improvement with these sight reading exercises.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 14:26:52

So when the children who failed last year are re checked in the summer they are going to show improvement in their ability to decode unknown words?

DieWilde13 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:33:14

Yes, they are. Because they are still learning phonics.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 14:41:29

or they will be the children who try to read pseudo words as a whole and end up guessing

DieWilde13 Sun 31-Mar-13 14:51:57

I can tell you're not a fan, but I have been a parent reader with this class since the beginning of Y1 and have seen a massive improvement in reading since the introduction of a mixed approach.

The children I read with know that they will be asked to decode real and nonsense words during a phonics screening. They know that this is a totally artificial task and do not end up guessing as they are aware that there are no sight reading words in the test.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 15:01:15

yes all the research show it can be a quick (but unfortunately it also shows that for 1 in 3 children the gains are short term).

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 15:02:47

quick fix

DieWilde13 Sun 31-Mar-13 15:12:09

Well, if it works for 66,66% of the children it seems good enough for me, as phonics only worked for less than 50% of my dds class...

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 15:27:23

Sorry that should read but unfortunately it also shows that for 1 in 3 children the gains are long term.

Not as far as I know - DD (year 1) has a handful of words most weeks, but she has to write them in a sentence and practise her targets (eg using adjectives & connecting phrases etc) so I think that's different.

AryaUnderfoot Sun 31-Mar-13 16:28:46

mrzwe have never had a list of words/spellings to learn.

We have been given the list of high frequency words as per letters and sounds, but we have never been told to learn any.

Many of my friends' DCs at other schools have been coming home with lists of spellings/tricky words to learn since reception.

DS is in Year 1 and his reading and spelling are fine.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 16:38:53

I ask because I've noticed that an increasing number of teachers seem to believe that the high frequency words listed in the Letters and Sounds. What ‘high frequency’ means is that the words in the list are the most commonly occurring words in children’s books and stories not that they need to be memorised as whole words or that they can't be decoded.

quip Sun 31-Mar-13 17:31:48

?Our school does this in reception before the kids get books. The mixed approach to reading is really the only thing I dislike about the school. Fortunately I was able to teach the kids phonics myself in their pre-school year, so it didn't matter what the teacher did.

ArabellaBeaumaris Sun 31-Mar-13 17:39:18

We get lists of high frequency words & tricky words home. Dd is tested on them each week when she reads to the teacher.

Should I be concerned about this, then?

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 17:48:12

I'm just wondering how widespread the practice is Arabella

Not here. They do have a 'rainbow' of common words and every term we are updated on which of these words they can read without having to sound them out. I think we are sort of encouraged to work on reading the other words but by sounding out and blending, not just recognition.

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 17:58:43

No, we don't send them home. However, we do provide a list of the RWI red words (by group colour) on our website so that parents know what words their children are expected to recognise. (Of course, not all parents look at this grin)

In our RWI groups, we practice the 'red words' everyday (reading and spelling) so there's no real need to send them home. It works OK for us (and saves one hell of a lot of faffing around with tins, cards, lists....etc, etc)

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:00:37

Do you teach "red words" as sight words ipadquietly? [curious]

1969Sarah Sun 31-Mar-13 18:03:17

At parents evening a couple of weeks ago one of my child's targets given to me was "recognise the 100 high frequency words immediately". The teacher told us these are the words they need to know by the end of Reception and gave me a list of them.

I thought that they were following RWI and whilst I know we get ridiculously outdated reading books home I was surprised to be told that learning this list was a target :-/

SizzleSazz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:04:37

Our school uses L&S and last year Dd1 had no word lists. Dd2 has this year but they have been described as high frequency and are stuck into her phonics practice book.
When I get out of the bath I'll go and check if there was any commentary with them.....

SizzleSazz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:05:46

Sorry Dd1 was in reception last year and dd2 is this year. Thinking about it dd1 has a spelling and reading list too

montmartre Sun 31-Mar-13 18:10:14

we have tricky words sent home to learn, but only after they're secure with decoding (I think?) 42 phonemes.

Betterbet Sun 31-Mar-13 18:14:19

yep our school has sent home 45 words and now we're doing the next 45. most of them seem to be sound out able. I was a bit hmm about it but actually I think it has given ds a confidence boost and speeded up his reading which stops him getting bored or frustrated. what is the perceived problem with mixed methods out of interest?

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