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Tips on learning sight words for dd (4 and a half)

(42 Posts)
dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 13:03:18

She's got about 28 of the 45 she needs to know and is kind of stuck and sooooo bored with them, tbh. Any tips to help her remember them? tia, Dinny

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 13:18:30


popsycal Sun 25-Feb-07 13:21:05

fridge magnets

pointydog Sun 25-Feb-07 13:37:44

have you already done the 'pairs' game with them?

Two copies of each word on bits of card, spread them face down, match them up and say them when you match them.

WriggleJiggle Sun 25-Feb-07 13:43:37

Write them out and stick them around the house?

I'm sure there are some good online games that use the key words ...just can't remember where I found them at the moment.

WriggleJiggle Sun 25-Feb-07 13:45:03

bingo? She choses 5, you chose 5. Take it in turns to turn over the cards one by one.

popsycal Sun 25-Feb-07 15:17:16

play 'silly mummy;
you get the word wrong - she corrects you

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 16:03:07

oooh, some good ideas, thanks - annoying our fridge is in cupboard, iykwim!

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 17:15:36

anything else? - just made some snap cards - dd now busy making her own set with people- she-knows faces on them, lol

pointydog Sun 25-Feb-07 18:28:05

shee, you're keen aren't you?

You could shuffle the cards, take it in turns to pick one off the pile and make up the most ridiculous sentence you can think of containing that word.

Everyone eats 10 cream cakes on a Sunday.

sunnysideup Sun 25-Feb-07 19:35:11

or just forget it! Read books that she LOVES and wants to read again and again, foster a love of books and reading and this will be FAR more important to her than whether she can recognise the set 45 words.

she doesn't NEED to know them, she needs to be enthused with words and books and have FUN with them. If she's stuck and bored, FORGET them. Explain to the teacher that she's bored and you are just concentrating on reading books that she adores. No good teacher will think that's a bad thing!

These 45 words are a government target not something your dd NEEDS.

sunnysideup Sun 25-Feb-07 19:36:09

I should add they are a government target which only aids the league tabling of schools. Do not get taken in by this stuff!

PussyWillow Sun 25-Feb-07 20:05:11

Don't bother with the words per se, but focus on the phonics. The vast majority are phonically decodable anyway and 100% knowledge of the 44 sounds will give her such a fantastic boost that she will be able to read almost anything.

My 5yr old dd was taught jolly phonics and she is reading things like Horrid Henry and Secret Seven. I never bothered about the 45 HFW - learning sight words and guessing can actually damage children's ability to learn to read properly.

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 20:20:13

interesting - she loves being reading to, hav always read to her and ds at every opportunity. currently on The Enchanted Wood. she is totally bored by sight words, she learnt her letter sounds (school does use JP) in first term and is good at sounding out words but she finds sight words so dull and really annoying if she can't sound them out (Pussywillow, I hear what you're saying but many of the sight words can't be sounded out, how is she supposed to learn them other than memorise them?)

btw, her class all seem v aware of stage the others are at - she gets frustrated she hasn't moved up to the next book box colour, hence why I'm keen to help her.

PussyWillow Sun 25-Feb-07 20:36:24

Dinny, an awful lot of schools 'say' they are doing JP but actually only teach the alphabet sounds. If children learn all 44 sounds plus the alternative vowel sounds and digraphs then they can read most of the HFW -

day like big went up play
on away mum it and am
for a dad can at in
this cat get dog see all
my are the look yes of

The others fall into three main groups

me, we, he, she, be etc
which are all the same and children just need to remmeebr that it is the 'long' vowel sound

no to go going
again they need to rememebr the pattern

come I was they you said

which are the only 6 words where they need to learn the 'tricky' bits i.e in 'come' the 'c' and 'm' are regular so they only learn that the 'o-e' says 'u' etc. Children are remakably good at 'tweaking' pronunciation - my 4 yr old ds read /s/ai/d/ and immediately tweaked it to a word he recognised from speech i.e 'sed'

You may find that your dd prefers this 'tricky part' and 'tweaking' approach much better than trying to learn things by sight.


dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 20:45:36

thanks, Pussywillow. do feel the school are obsessed with gov targets, at times, and seem to judge the children on their progress within that very narrow criteria. in a way am glad that dd doesn't like learning by sight - she is too inquisitive in some ways.

we have a dire mother in the playground who is constantly banging on about how many letter sounds/names/sight words her dd knows and it is sooooo annoying.

ps what should I say at parents' evening when dd's reception teacher produces those stupid scores (sorry, can't remember what they're called! as she did halfway through first term (and i was so tearful and gutted dd scored 'below average' that I didn't respond as I wished I had - ie. 'how ridiculous you have reduced my child to a few crappy scores after 5 weeks of knowing her'!!!

pinkbubble Sun 25-Feb-07 20:47:32

Have they given your DC all the words at once?

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 20:53:12

they work through two sheets with all the words on, yes. rather overwhelming for dd.

pinkbubble Sun 25-Feb-07 20:57:12

I guess that these are the high freuncy words!
I work in Reception, and we only send 5 home at a time!
Just some little pointers
- THE (its a cheeky word that you have to stick your tongue out a little for)they then normally remember it!

- Some of the HFwords DC can sound out, get them to sound them in their head first!

- I would honestly break them down into piles and just practice a few at a time.

- Make funny sentences and make them laugh!

- You probably do this anyway-praise, even if they havent got it right say nearly and then correct them.

-Get Dc to find the words you have chosen to work on in their reading book, see how many times they can find it compared to you and make it fun, by them winning and you losing!

I hope this helps

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 21:01:03

thanks, Pinkbubble. dd's teacher has a really good reputation and school has really good rep too but I feel it's in danger of putting dd off, a bit, and it's certainly taking any enjoyment out of learning together at home.

good tip about the, thanks.

how about 'my'?

pinkbubble Sun 25-Feb-07 21:04:13

I will have a think!

julienetmum Sun 25-Feb-07 21:05:54

Dd is in reception and I have no idea what the HFW are.

I would ignore them and work on phonics, she will then learn to decode them and you can just concentrate on the few "tricky" words that have to be learnt by sight.

noonar Sun 25-Feb-07 21:07:54

took me a while to figure out that my dd, nearly 5 has a poor visual memory. she has learned more quickly by writing out the words repeatedly. she seems to be a 'kinesthetic' learner. you could try this too.

pinkbubble Sun 25-Feb-07 21:08:05

does she remember "by" if so try telling her to take the 'b' sound and put the'm' sound instead. Do they do word building or is it all by site?

dinny Sun 25-Feb-07 21:10:26

yes, Pinkbubble, they do word-building, but not yet.

all seems so young, she's only blooming 4.

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