Phonics testing. Why not sight words as well?

(413 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

proudmama72 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:27:14

Just that really. There's was extra effort put into phonics data collection. Would it not also to be beneficial to test knowledge of sight words. They seemed to impact my kids reading development.

Phonics is important, but just wondering why all the extra resources and emphasis solely on phonics.

CountessOfRule Fri 04-Apr-14 09:39:48

Because that's the beginning. At the end of Y1 they need to be secure in basic phonics (and let's be honest, CVC is basic) to be able to move on to more advanced reading. Great if they can read HFW at sight too but the test is to identify which children are "on the way" and which need extra help with the basics.

TheScience Fri 04-Apr-14 09:45:26

Phonics is a better way to teach reading than getting children to memorise words, so there isn't a need to see if 5 year olds have learned words on sight.

proudmama72 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:59:38

Aaaah OK. I take your point.

I would just add that they are still doing sight words in year 2 in my kids school.

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 10:28:08

But phonics doesn't work properly on lots of English words like

the, one, two, eye, sword, yacht, wednesday, february, mr, mrs, etc

and so on and so on. So, actually, children do need to learn sight words as well as to be able to decode in order to read English. Phonicsy people have some ridiculous notion that children can be taught to read half the word and leave the difficult bit purely down to luck. Or to declare that it's OK because some words aren't really words at all. But that's bollocks.

maizieD Fri 04-Apr-14 10:56:40

Phonicsy people have some ridiculous notion that children can be taught to read half the word and leave the difficult bit purely down to luck. Or to declare that it's OK because some words aren't really words at all.

But that's bollocks.

It is indeed, cg. Every single word you have written there is complete and utter bollocks.

Schools should not be teaching 'sight words' at all, if by that you mean words that are learned as global 'wholes' without any attempt to sound out and blend them. It is entirely against the principles of phonics instruction and from September of this year will contrary to the statutory requirements for the early teaching of reading.

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 11:00:58

A principle isn't much use if you can't read the words

Mr. and Mrs., eye, two and the name of the village where you live.

Is it?

jaffacakesallround Fri 04-Apr-14 17:58:07

Mr and Mrs are not words hmm they are abbreviations of words that are phonically regular: mis/ter; miss/us.

Wed/nes/ day; Feb/ru/ a/ ry

phonically regular and just break down into syllables.

words which have a silent 'w' are few and far between and are taught as a list. They are so odd that they are in fact easier to memorise- mnemonics is one way.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Apr-14 18:05:22

The phonics test is a particular skill associated with reading. Advanced readers may use a range of stageries, but a good foundation of phonics is essential. Worrying about words like "the, one, two, eye, sword, yacht, wednesday, february, mr, mrs, etc" is like worrying about the style of windows when you haven't built the foundations of a house.

To say that a proficient reader uses a range of skills is like saying a house needs windows. However like phonics, the foundations have to be secure and come first.

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 18:13:05

Phonicsy people believe children should be taught the skills that enable them to tackle any word they meet rather than trying to memorise enough to get by.

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 18:15:00

Many teachers (and some parents) wrongly think that "High Frequency Words" is synonymous with "Sight Words".

proudmama72 Fri 04-Apr-14 19:03:04

I personally think both sight words and high frequency words - flash cards, have made a significant impact on my childrens reading and think they are very important. it's interesting how school's of thought can change.

Thanks

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 19:07:00

I don't know to what extent this disagreement affects ordinary mums and their children. It's a bit of an anal and stupid discussion. It's plain to anybody with a nose on their face that there are plenty of words that can't be decoded or can't completely be decoded. They've still got to be read. Passing a law banning the remembering of words is just freekin stupid. And, as far as I can see, this hasn't actually been done!

CountessOfRule Fri 04-Apr-14 19:11:15

I am a sight reader - and I suspect DS1 is too, really.

But when I encounter a new word I sound it out using phonics. Because English (and other European languages even more so) is, at a basic level, spelt using phonic rules.

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 19:34:33

Why do they need flash cards if they can decode the words proudmama?

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 19:35:48

No one has said children (adults) shouldn't remember words columngollum ...what a strange idea

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 19:41:43

I though the police were coming around in September to get the people who'd been committing too many words to memory. I'm glad we've sorted that one out.

ReallyTired Fri 04-Apr-14 19:46:03

Even the most able of children have a limit to their capacity to remember words. A bright child can get a very long way without being able to blend. Often problems emerge when a person starts a new phase of education for example secondary school, A-levels or degree. This is why so many dyslexic people are diagnosed when they start sixth form or university.

The problem with this test was that it has taken on a life of its own. It was only ever meant to be "light touch". An obcession with any test is toxic whether its SATS or the phonics test.

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 19:46:42

No columngollum teachers want children to achieve automaticity (remember words ) but using flash cards is a very inefficient method of doing that.

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 19:50:02

I suppose if l&s children had to sit at the edge of the bed and recite every word they knew every night that would be a problem. But ordinarily words are printed in some kind of context and that has a huge tendency to jog l&s children's overflowing memories.

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 19:51:31

mrz, in this instance I don't know why proudmama is using flashcards. (I think I can probably guess. But we'd need to ask her.)

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 19:54:54

I was commenting in general CG not specifically about proudmama

columngollum Fri 04-Apr-14 19:59:56

I'm sure that's true. But I don't think word recognition enthusiasts are going to get approval for any method from phonicsy people. But, I think flashcards are more efficient that coming up with every reason under the sun why that's not actually a real word

and then remembering it.

mrz Fri 04-Apr-14 20:06:12

Because only real words appear on flash cards?

jaffacakesallround Fri 04-Apr-14 20:16:16

I don't know to what extent this disagreement affects ordinary mums and their children. It's a bit of an anal and stupid discussion.

So why do you keep wasting your time posting on such threads Gollum?

Does that make you anal and stupid?

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