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Phase 4 and 5 High Frequency Words what next?

(17 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 02-Mar-14 12:16:08

My DS is in reception and has worked through a sheet of phase 2 and 3 high frequency words and has now come home with the phase 4 and 5 high frequency words.

I've had a quick google but I'm not really sure what these phases relate to and how they link up to his reading books (he is on the red books). He seems to be able to read most of the 4/5 words without any help, is there a phase 6?

I'm not really sure what I should be doing with them, or if there is anything else I can do to help him move on. I was ok with phonics when it was basic sounds!

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Sun 02-Mar-14 12:22:05

Mrz would know better but I thought they weren't supposed to sending home word lists any more, but instead focusing on the sound they had learnt accompanied by phonetically decodable books...

I don't know about the word lists but if he can read them without help that's fine you can just leave them. I'd focus on hearing him read his books and reading to him.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 02-Mar-14 12:55:30

The phases are probably from Letters and Sounds. There are 6 phases but only phases 2-5 have high frequency and 'tricky' words that go with them. These are the 100 most commonly used words in books. Letters and Sounds does have a further list of the next 200 most commonly used words but I'm not sure how likely it is that a school would send those home.

How they relate to the books he is on will depend on exactly which scheme(s) the school is using. I'm going to take a stab in the dark and suggest they're not using a decodable scheme so the answer is probably not at at all. If they are using a decodable scheme then red might be around phase 3 but it's far from an exact match up as bookbands colour were not designed to be used for decodable readers.

Best practice would be that schools didn't send home lists of HFW but as long as it hasn't undermined the phonics work in the OP's son's case then if he can now read them it's probably irrelevant. Just make sure that he knows the phonics and uses that as the prime approach when tackling a new word when reading.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Mar-14 13:09:51

Thanks. The books he is sent home are phonics ones, Biff and Chip feature, we've also had songbirds, and ones with a bug called Pip. Some seem to be working in units of letters, others not, so it's all a bit confusing. They have coloured stickers put on them, and his current ones are all red stickers, which seems to be Oxford Reading Tree levels?

I'm not really sure where the school are up to. They said they wouldn't move him up a book band until they had taught him the right sounds, which seems fair enough, but the high frequency words that he can read suggest he can read sounds beyond what his reading books present him with (like magic e - I think it's not supposed to be magic e anymore, but that's what Alphablocks do!)

Hmm, his school aren't very good at communication. I suspect I need to talk to his teacher.

mrz Sun 02-Mar-14 13:17:05

Phase 5 is intended for Y1 and phase 6 Y2 (but IMHO the phases are artificial and schools use them as they were never intended).

Schools are meant to teach children to decode the high frequency words in each phase not send lists home to memorise [sigh]

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 02-Mar-14 14:03:47

I'll take it all back then. Those schemes won't align directly with letters and sounds - either in regard to sounds or hfw used in each level.

Not moving him up until he's learnt the sounds in a level is good. Whilst it might look like it's holding him back at the moment it will probably be better in the long run. If he's happy and not completely frustrated by it I wouldn't be too bothered. I would think in those schemes some of the 'tricky' words from the later phases would already have appeared in the books.

mrz I came across a school the other week that are using old style ORT and sending home a list of every new word in the book before the book goes home, not just the HFW. The children get the book when they can read the list of words by sight. Phonics alongside a list of HFW to learn, whilst far from ideal looks like a huge step in the right direction from there.

mrz Sun 02-Mar-14 14:08:11

That's Look & Say RafaIs - basically the method the books were written to support.

Learning lists of words by sight isn't the most efficient method of teaching HFW - unfortunately many teachers seem to think high frequency is a synonym for sight

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 02-Mar-14 14:17:40

I know it's look and say. I'd just never come across a school that used that particular method. High frequency words, yes, but every word in an ORT book, no. Am more used to that scheme being used with 'searchlights' so hfw go home to be learnt, then the others worked out while reading the book. Took me by surprise a bit.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 02-Mar-14 14:20:14

There's a surprising number that seem to think High Frequency Words are a synonym for 'tricky words' too.

However, if the OP's child hasn't been adversely affected by it so far, then it is probably irrelevant at this point now he can read them by sight. It's the other children in the class it might be problematic for.

mrz Sun 02-Mar-14 14:24:33

It was very common when I did my teacher training for schools to send home boxes or lists of words the child would need to read the next book in the scheme

columngollum Sun 02-Mar-14 15:23:56

Presumably if the teachers know how phonics works they can figure out the tricky words. And if they don't know how phonics works the kids aren't going to learn phonics from them anyway. So they might as well rehearse as many words as they can.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Mar-14 21:55:11

Ok, it seems that he is supposed to be memorising these high frequency words. What is confusing me is that he isn't memorising them (or at least most of them), he is able to read them, figure out what they are just from looking at them, without being told. He memorised some of the early ones, like I and the.

So if he can read them and they are Y1 words, then that doesn't fit with him not having been taught higher than the red books on the scheme. confused

columngollum Sun 02-Mar-14 22:00:55

Can he spell them all properly too. In some cases handing sheets of (probably hfw) out is just a policy. My daughter explained that she didn't need one. The teacher replied I know, and gave it to her anyway.

noblegiraffe Sun 02-Mar-14 22:08:25

Spell them? shock

Nothing has been mentioned about spelling. I rather got the impression that that was left for next year. Are other reception children learning how to spell?

columngollum Sun 02-Mar-14 22:10:59

I was told we'd get hfws to read & spell in Reception. In fact they never arrived.

mrz Mon 03-Mar-14 17:57:26

reading and spelling should be taught as reversible skills from the start

maizieD Mon 03-Mar-14 18:54:21

Just don't start with that dreadful word list grin

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