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High Frequency Sight Words

High Frequency Sight Words…You keep hearing about these 'sight words' but don't know what they are, right?

Sight Words or High Frequency Words are those words most frequently used. In fact, these words are often words that cannot be decoded (sounded out), making them difficult for beginning readers to learn. This is why it is imperative that children learn to read them 'by sight,' or instantly! Basically, children learn to read them simply by looking at them (memorizing them) so that when reading, they don't have to worry about trying to decode (sound out) the words.

One of the daily tasks that should be included during 'homework time' is the practice of these High Frequency Sight Words (HFW for short). It doesn't take a long time to practice the words; in fact, spending about 2–3 minutes several times a day is MUCH better than sitting and practicing them straight for ten or twenty!

Here are some simple ideas that will help your child learn his/her words.

  1. Five at a Time: Start by only having your child learn FIVE (5) new words. Concentrate on the five words until he/she has learned them THEN add five more.
  2. Extra Set: Make an extra set of flash cards. Download the template for the words your child needs and make that extra set.
  3. Test! Test your child. Separate the cards into two piles: the ones that are known and those that are NOT known. Only have your child practice the words that are NOT known.
  4. Post-it Notes: Write the words on Post-it notes. Put the notes in the bathroom. Whenever it is bath time, go over the words.
  5. Unknown vs Known: Make a set of the cards of the NOT known words and put them on the car seat back in front of your child. As you are driving, the words are staring at your child's face! You can ask him/her to read them to you.
  6. Purse Set: Carry a set in your purse (if you carry a purse). When you have to wait in line at the grocery store/bank/restaurant/etc. take the cards out and review.
  7. Bathtime: Buy some soap crayons and write the words in the bathtub. Have your child read them to you during bath time. It doesn't take much!
  8. Invest in a small white board. These don't cost much and Kindergartners LOVE the novelty of being able to write with a marker. YOU write the words on the board but, soon, you can have your child write the word underneath! Kill two birds with one stone…practice handwriting/penmanship skills, too!

Each school district adopts a different reading series, but, for the most part, the High Frequency Sight Words are similar from series to series.

Please note that I have taken liberties in adding to the word lists for each series. Kindergarten word lists are usually ony about 30 words long. Kindergartners, however, are EXTREMELY capable readers and should be pushed and encouraged to learn MORE words! So, I have included additional words from the 1st grade lists. This will help prepare your child for the upcoming school year (and, make him/her feel like a 'big kid' in the process!).

The Open Court reading series flash cards can be downloaded here:

Open Court HFW Set A

Open Court HFW Set B

Open Court HFW Set C

Open Court HFW Set D

Open Court HFW Set E

Open Court HFW Set F

Open Court HFW Set G

Open Court HFW Set H

Open Court HFW Set I

Open Court HFW Set J

The Houghton Mifflin reading series flash cards can be downloaded here:

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set A

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set B

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set C

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set D

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set E

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set F

Houghton Mifflin HFW Set G

©1999–2011    Sherry
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