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Ideas please on how to help a reluctant Yr1 boy learn his sightwords.

(34 Posts)
Communion Mon 25-Aug-08 12:38:40

DS2 is going inot YR1 in Sept.

At the end of reception we were taken aback to be told he was being given an IEP as they were concerned about his progress.

We said we would work with him over the holidays, which we have been doing.

He has done well and acheived his targets in: writing numbers up to 20, now has correct letter formation and has made improvements in his phonics (we have been doing Headsprout as recommened on here) BUT he can't stand his sightwords.

His face falls whenever I get them out, he looses concentraiona and we are getting nowhere.

I know I need to make it more fun, but how?

His retention for any words he does learn seems to be very poor, but I think this is as much about his motivation as anything else.

Please help with ideas.

Also, so you think he sounds very behind for the start of Yr1?

He probably knows about 25 sightwords, all his lettersounds and numbers up to 20 (now), how concerned should I be?

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 12:43:44

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AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 12:44:20

I wouldn't worry too much. It sounds like this method of learning to read isn't the right one for him. If he doesn't enjoy reading because of this then it can be really difficult to encourage him to read anything.

Does he know the phonics alphabet? (a is read ay, etc?)

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 12:45:12

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Communion Mon 25-Aug-08 12:48:07

We do the marble jar thing, which really motivates him and he has done so well with writing, phonics and numbers but the sightwords seem such a struggle.

I have resorted to tyring the old Ladybird books for reading this summer as they have the sightwords in, and despite them being monotonously boring, he has enjoyed them because he can read them! BUT he can't recoginse the words in another context.

I really wanted him to have acheieved all his targets by the time he went back and he has, in all but the sightwords.

Communion Mon 25-Aug-08 12:50:45

Actaully Malory I started writing them this morning with him and it seemed to go well, so i will try that tack. Thanks.

Avena he does know all letter sounds and some blends and can put CVC words together. I think the whole word approach is not best for him, but some irregular words have to be learnt this way.

rach91 Mon 25-Aug-08 12:52:07

I have the same problem with my daughter, so i make sure we practice after breakfast. She seems to concentrate more in the morning. I agree sticker charts has worked for me and the promise of a visit to the cinema.

AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 12:52:26

Have you tried Mr Men books or joke books? They are more fun for boys and if they are reading something they find funny then this really helps them. There's nothing worse than reading something that is as dull as watching paint dry.

Have you thought of using the sightwords to make up a silly rhyme or a silly story? To be honest with you, if he can read a ladybird book then there's no need for the sightwords so he's more than likely bored of them.

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 12:52:40

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MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 12:53:30

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AvenaLife Mon 25-Aug-08 12:55:10

It's far easier for some children to say the letters of a word out phoetically and squeeze them together to say them without gaps in between the letters. Even with irregular words, break them up and squeeze them together.

Communion Mon 25-Aug-08 13:01:20

oooh I think he's like the whiteborad idea.

He got serious about his writing when I commented thta his writing was now better then mine, he now takes great pride in his beautiful 'better then Mummies' writing.

Buda Mon 25-Aug-08 13:04:49

We had lots of sightwords to do over last summer and instead of giving him the whole sheet I retyped it out with three on a line and cut them up into lines of three - then doing 3 a day was easy.

And I bribed. Unashamedly!

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 13:05:41

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Gobbledigook Mon 25-Aug-08 13:25:02

Hmm, my initial reaction to the OP is that giving him an IEP for what you outline he is struggling with is a bit OTT. I'm not an expert though.

When you say numbers up to 20 - do you mean he doesn't recognise them or can't write them?

As for the reading - plenty of children are still not reading properly at the end of reception. I don't think that's a big deal is it?

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Aug-08 13:28:05

I would bribe totally unashamedly as well.

Ds2 also going into yr 1 and will get spellings - I've got a gut feeling he won't be as up for doing them as ds1 (bit more swotty) and ds3 is going into reception and is not even 4 for another week - he will be starting to learn sounds but is a bit fun loving, laid back etc is so I'm preparing myself for the need to bribe both ds2 and ds3 if I have to!

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 13:29:42

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MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 13:30:17

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Communion Mon 25-Aug-08 13:30:58

It is a high acheiving school and I think that he is at the bottom end of the class, so I guess it's all relative?

He can now recognise and write all numbers up to 20, but could only do to 10 at the start of the holidays.

My feeling is that he's a bit slow but the reason is, he is a summer born boy and has not really been ready for reading and formal work.

we have for this reason not pushed him in reception, but with being told he is getting an IEP and now he is going into Yr1, we feel we have to start ensuring he does not get left behindsad (for him, he loves to play and draw).

witchandchips Mon 25-Aug-08 13:31:10

what are they? perhaps we could come up with a nonsense poem on this thread to make it easier for him

MaloryDontDiveItsShallow Mon 25-Aug-08 13:32:01

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Buda Mon 25-Aug-08 13:32:49

Oh yes - absolutely Gdg and Malory - sounds just like DS was really at that stage. Going into Yr 1 he had only just started to get sights words towards end of reception. He was quite behind a lot of the others. But he is an August boy - is doing much better now but still behind a lot of his peers and will have help this year regarding pencil grip/fine motor skills and maths.

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Aug-08 13:38:08

Ds1 was reading fluently by end of reception and ds2 is going into yr 1 and can read pretty well too.

However, I used to go in and do reading in year 1 and plenty of children were still getting to grips with reading at that point. It was not unusual for them to still mix up sounds and struggle to blend etc.

Plus, I'm thinking about ds3 - I don't know how he will do next year but he is not 4 till just before he starts so I suspect he won't be at the point that ds1 or ds2 are. I won't be worried about it though if that's the case. Most children can read perfectly well by the end of infants.

Gobbledigook Mon 25-Aug-08 13:40:07

I mean won't be at the point ds1 and ds2 were at end of reception - ds1 was on year 2 books and could read almost anything, it was amazing and I can't see ds3 being there in 12 months time (but then there's the comprehension of what they are reading too and that's a whole other aspect to think about - it's not just about decoding words).

I just don't think if I was the OP I'd be that worried about a summer boy being at the level she describes. I'm surprised the school has done an IEP but then I'm not a teacher - maybe that's standard?

christywhisty Mon 25-Aug-08 14:14:13

My DS really struggled with sight words, he really hated them. His reading really improved in Year 2 when he overtook a lot of children who were rading fluently in reception. Turns out he is dyslexic but because he was taught synthetic phonics properly he reads well. He now just has a problem with spelling and writing. He is doing really well academically so it does not affect him too much

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