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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 ...

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:15:41

Yes, but there are very few of them!

Sometimes RWI includes less common spellings of graphemes in the 'red word' list (words such as 'br*oug*ht', or 'm*e*'), so only some of the red words (such as 'want' or 'one') really need to be learnt by sight.

ClayDavis Sun 31-Mar-13 18:23:22

I'm not sure Ruth Miskin meant any of the 'red' words to be taught as sight words. They're supposed to be blended like any other word. And 'want' is definitely decodeable.

learnandsay Sun 31-Mar-13 18:29:25

Our school does, so I'm told.

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:09

For children who have only learnt 'a' as 'a', they're not suddenly going to decode it as w-o-n-t. So they have to learn it by repetition.

Periwinkle007 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:31:45

my daughters school don't. They do send home the 100 words or whatever it is I gather (they didn't with her because she knew them when they tested her) but they just say try to read these words and then something about them being are common words so it is helpful if children can read them quickly.

Periwinkle007 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:33:36

can I ask though how to teach was decodabley (sorry - made up word).

my eldest just learned words very quickly, DD2 is happy to learn to decode but I can't work out how to teach her was, want etc.

learnandsay Sun 31-Mar-13 18:41:31

I didn't. I just let her mispronounce them. She soon fixed the words herself.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 18:50:48

the letter <a> in was is a spelling for the sound /o/ and the letter <s> is a spelling for the sound /z/ so the sounds in was are /w/ /o/ /z/

want, wasp, quad, watch, swat, wash, what

is, as, trees, cosy, eggs, desert

Periwinkle007 Sun 31-Mar-13 18:51:43

ah ok.

I must admit it is quite sweet to hear her read lots of words with a northern accent as my parents are northerners. My mum always said children seemed to find spelling a lot easier in the north than in the south when she moved down here because grass glass etc were more logical

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 18:58:22

Yes, I agree - but at the beginning of RWI, the only way 'a' is pronounced is 'a'. It is only later (in 'Get Spelling') that the children meet the less common spelling patterns such as ough/ey/augh.

It's just the progression of the scheme - so, although 'want' may be decodable to you or me, it is not decodable to a child in a group C RWI group, and they learn it by repetition.

(I'm not having an argument about phonics - it's just that children are expected to recognise the 'red words' because, at that stage, they can't decode them. grin)

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 19:00:48

ipadquiety I was replying to Periwinkle's question about how to decode the word "was" not arguing with you about "want"

ClayDavis Sun 31-Mar-13 19:00:54

ipad, I've always taught it quite early on in Reception so its never really been a problem. It means that common words such as 'was, want, what' can be decoded early on. However, I realise if you are using RWI you may have less choice over the order of PGCs taught.

simpson Sun 31-Mar-13 19:02:11

DD's school sends home "tricky" words to learn I believe although DD has not had any as she can already read them. I am going on what other parents say...words like the, there, said, she, one, he etc etc....

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 19:05:53

Like Clay I would teach how to decode "was" "what" "want" early in reception even though they haven't been taught the alternative spellings for /o/ and /z/ and /w/ at that point.

I have not taught RWI so can't comment which is why I asked if you would teach "red words" by sight as this seems contrary to phonic methods.

BrigitBigKnickers Sun 31-Mar-13 19:17:03

Yes these are known as "tricky" words in letters and sounds and need to be learned by sight.

I used to make a game of these with DD when she was in reception- I wrote them all on little card fish and attached a paper clip then used the fishing rods from her magnetic fishing game. We would have about 12 or so words on the go at a time- If she could read the ones she "caught" she got to keep them and then we would try to make a sentence out of them.

ClayDavis Sun 31-Mar-13 19:18:06

To be honest mrz I'm pretty sure I taught it that early on the advice you gave to a poster on TES. grin.

WRT RWI I'm sure I read somewhere that there is an error in the RWI guidance. In one book it says red words are supposed to be sounded out with 'tricky' graphemes pointed out but then somewhere else incorrectly states that they should be taught as sight words.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 19:19:40

Yes these are known as "tricky" words in letters and sounds and need to be learned by sight.

That isn't what Letters and Sounds says Brigit

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 19:22:49

Semantics re. 'red words'.
They're words that don't follow spelling rules and we learn by repetition, repetition, repetition (which could be described as 'by sight') grin

Anyway, the main thing is, it seems to work!

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 19:24:28

'supposed to be sounded out with 'tricky' graphemes pointed out '

It's a 'talk to your partner' exercise - what do you notice about this word? etc.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 19:29:43

They're words that don't follow spelling rules sorry now I am confused

lljkk Sun 31-Mar-13 19:31:13

DC4 in reception, has sightwords this year. I can't remember them at all with the older DC.

it's good for DC4, he can decode okay but he is much better at reading the whole word. Needs all the help he can get...

formicaqueen Sun 31-Mar-13 19:35:12

Yes we have a list of sight words we have to learn and it's in addition to the reading books.

missmapp Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:00

Ds1 was taught to recognise sight words- initially he made great strides, however he has now reached a plateau with his reading as he does not have a firm grasp on phonics and is unable to decode unknown words ( he is now in Yr3) . Fortunately, the school changed its practise and ds1 is taught phonics alone and has a much better grasp and therefore is a better reader and speller.

ipadquietly Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:03

I thought I'd explained - 'don't follow the spelling rules that the children are aware of at that stage of the scheme.'
For instance, 'brought' is a red word fairly early on in the scheme when children have only been taught 'or' as 'or'. They will learn the 'ough' spelling later.

mrz Sun 31-Mar-13 19:47:27

As I said I have never taught RWI so I'm trying to understand how it works ... I'm quite surprised that "brought" is taught early in the programme.

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