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Could someone please explain 'sight words' to me?

(18 Posts)
AVIVideoWontPlay Fri 03-Feb-17 20:17:06

I am so confused by the whole thing that it is no wonder DD is too.

She is in a Reception equivalent, so first year of school.

They have explained that it is bad practice to teach sight words and that they wouldn't be sent home with flashcards.

However, DD is completely unable to read words like 'you' and 'here', because they don't follow the phonic code. They have done the 'oo' spelling of the oo sound, but did not link this to words like you.

She has basically memorised the, I, he, she, etc.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 03-Feb-17 20:22:04

That's odd.

They are right about not teaching them as sight words, but usually that goes hand in hand with pointing out the phonics in the high frequency words they are trying to teach.

So for he, me, we, be, she etc. you'd teach them together, pointing out the 'e' spelling of the sound /ee/.

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 20:36:35

she won't have been taught yet so has to be taught discretely...simply tell her that in this word the spelling <ou> is the sound /oo/ and help her to blend /y/ /oo/
Likewise with here tell her that <ere> is the sound /ear/ in this word and encourage her to decode.

The whole idea is to read words automatically but it is more effective to teach how to decode these words than try to learn as wholes. Automaticity comes with exposure not memorisation of a whole word

AVIVideoWontPlay Fri 03-Feb-17 20:38:10

simply tell her that in this word the spelling <ou> is the sound /oo/ and help her to blend /y/ /oo/

Right. That makes sense.

They 'learn' two words a week, but not by memorisation and apparently not like that^ either confused

mrz Fri 03-Feb-17 20:42:32

As she already knows the oo spelling explain it's another way to spell the sound /oo/ children are usually quite happy with this new information but just reinforce it until it's automatic

AVIVideoWontPlay Fri 03-Feb-17 20:48:57

Great. Thanks.

Photomummy16 Fri 03-Feb-17 20:52:25

Why is it bad practice to teach sight words?

AVIVideoWontPlay Fri 03-Feb-17 21:09:42

Obviously I'm not an expert but it's because all words can be sounded out, you just need to know the sounds in them.

Something along those lines.

jamdonut Fri 03-Feb-17 21:28:56

Do they learn phonics via Read,Write,Inc? They'll get there soon, with the alternate sounds.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Fri 03-Feb-17 21:46:25

Because it can cause a huge amount of confusion to some children that will need unteaching later. You aren't going to know which children until you have already messed up their reading.

Since you can teach nearly all children to read well without having to teach them sight words, its just easier and more successful to do it that way.

thenewaveragebear1983 Fri 03-Feb-17 21:56:12

I think they call them 'tricky' words at my ds's school. They have a 'tricky tree' with words on it. The words are those that, although they are common words they will use and will need to use to read even simple books, they don't follow the basic phonics rules and so they learn them as whole words not as blends or digraphs etc. So it's words like the, she, he, you, they, said.

I would just practice them with her as best as you can. She will eventually recognise the word as it is and not need or attempt to sound it out.

Feenie Fri 03-Feb-17 22:36:54

and so they learn them as whole words not as blends or digraphs

No, this contradicts even Letters and Sounds advice, which has been around for 12 years now. Rafa and mrz's advice is correct.

mrz Sat 04-Feb-17 04:16:32

In phonics we don't teach "blends" we teach children to blend. There's an important difference

Tomorrowillbeachicken Sat 04-Feb-17 09:34:15

Even RWI has their red words.

mrz Sat 04-Feb-17 09:37:34

That's what happens when ORT take control

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sat 04-Feb-17 10:00:21

TBF the RWI 'red words' have the sound buttons drawn underneath them and the teaching of them is supposed to draw attention to the parts that are regular and can be sounded out using what the children already know and the part they don't yet know.

I don't think they were initially supposed to be taught as sight words that can't be sounded out.

thenewaveragebear1983 Sat 04-Feb-17 11:13:43

What, so my ds's teacher is teaching them all wrong then?

kesstrel Sat 04-Feb-17 11:35:03

Many teachers haven't been trained in how to teach phonics, or their training has been inadequate. Some schools also perpetuate misconceptions, I'm afraid.

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