Reading - Sight words?

Learning God's Story
Post Reply
TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Reading - Sight words?

Unread post by TriciaMR » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:48 pm

sarah wrote:I am wondering about sight words in 1st grade. We just made flash cards for what we thought we should call sight words in Kindergarten and did other very basic sight words. My DS probably knows about 25 very common words by "sight" (and, the, saw, go, my, etc). My understanding is that this was the correct method for K.

Now we are getting ready to begin 1st and as I look over the reader and workbook I am still kinda confused about this. Do we just continue to pick what we think should be sight words and study those as such.... or is there a specific plan/list for sight words. If so, I can't find it but maybe I missed it. I guess what I want is for someone to say, "These are sight words and you should learn them in this order." Of course I can understand the method of them following the stories and I'm good with that, but I would still like for them to be specified for each lesson and put in some type of order so there's some way to keep up with it. I also don't want to teach something as a sight word if we will be learning to read it phonetically now that we are doing more phonic rules. I mean I understand most kids will just learn certain words just by reading them several times and technically that is memorizing them, but isn't it a good idea to have certain words memorized very well that are very common and can't be sounded out phonetically?

It just seems almost every curriculum (public school or homeschool) pushes sight words. Should you encourage your child to learn common words as sight words even though they can be sounded out phonetically easily? For example, sat or run or it. My son will occasionally sound these out (as slow as a word he doesn't know) unless I tell him it's a sight word, then he will usually remember quickly; especially if he spells it out loud quickly to himself. It's just confusing to me because I know they say not to let your child learn to read by memorizing words, but isn't that what sight words are? What's the right balance? Some of the words in the reader seem way more difficult than K so I'm kinda worried and even more confused about which we should use as sight words.
The only "sight" words that I teach my children:

a
the
of (because the f makes the /v/ sound)
though (because ough has several sounds)
through (see above)
enough (see above)
says
said
was (because, at least here, the a makes the short /u/ sound, and the s makes the /z/ sound)
have (because the e doesn't make the a long, but it does keep an English word from ending in "v", which is another purpose of silent e)
because (because we pronounce it becuz here)

There are a few others that I can't think of off the top of my head. Most other words can be phonetically sounded out. For example, you mentioned "saw" in your list, but it is a phonetic word. The s says /s/ and the aw says /aw/ (aw always says /aw/). Now, if you just want your kids to practice words so that when he sees them he doesn't have to go through the whole sounding out process, then I would do an internet search for the "Ayers' list - it's the 1000 most commonly used words. But really, they need to learn the phonics rules that go with each word, so that when they come across new words (like sawyer), they can sound them out. Eventually, the sounding out process won't take so long and the words will flow off the tongue, but it takes a while to get there.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

cbollin

Re: ? about 1st grade reading

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:39 am

You will get "sight" words in mfw 1st grade. I can't remember the exact day that you will first get a list. It's in the notes section under reading when you get to that day in the program. Maybe after coffee, I can flip through to find the hidden paragraphs. I say hidden, because, if you are looking for a list, it's not like that. The words are introduced as sight words since you'll encounter them in the reader and a few other reasons.

Also, there are some phonics programs that use the phonograms in a way that you don't teach sight words that much. I'll link to that list of how common sight words actually do fit phonics rules. It's a great lesson to have on hand. The Phonics Page and sight words. got it.... I'd suggest as you learn about teaching sight words and phonograms, that you read this article as an educator. It might change how a few things in how you arrange your phonograms and all of that. Words like "go" and "my" are not sight words. They are "open syllable" and therefore use a long vowel sound. Y has 4 sounds. hmmm.. I remember Marie teaches syllables, but I can't remember now if MFW does "open" and "closed" syllables with short and long sounds. I know that's more of "phonics for spelling", but... anyway... just saying, check out this link

http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Read ... words.html

(ps. I should say that I don't agree with the idea that over teaching sight words encourages the development of dyslexia, but that doesn't take away from the other part of the article with how to group common sight words into other phonics groups. )

In first.. I know the lists are there. I just am blanking on the specific day that some of them are introduced in the program. maybe after coffee.

Postby cbollin » Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:00 am
This is not the full list. But if you turn to 1st grade manual, for day 53. Look in the notes for Reading, under "words to learn". Although those words are taught for the lessons are "sight words" because of their appearance in the reader, many of them follow phonics rules. So that's an example of how sight words are done in mfw 1st.

As you can see, there isn't a one and only sight words list. There is the 220 common list, but as the article Iinked to teaches, about 218 of them actually do fit phonics rules at some point.

Make sure you are reading the daily notes and "scripts" in 1st grade program and do all of the things that it says. When you get to the Y as long i and Y as long e, Marie tells you to make sure they are using syllables and gives the rules for it. She doesn't use the phrasing "open" or "closed" syllable like some spelling programs do. But she teaches it.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: ? about 1st grade reading

Unread post by TriciaMR » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:08 am

Agreeing with Crystal, teaching "sight words" doesn't make a kid dyslexic or not (they either are or are not dyslexic)... My problem is my dyslexics try to memorize (or "rememberize" as they like to say) every word they see, which causes problems with words with the same letters (was/saw, from/form, left/felt, who/how) or words that have a similar shape. So, for *me* it is very important that my kids learn to sound out those smaller words, and then we can work on fun endings like "-age" (which often sounds like "edge" in a multisyllable word).

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Julie in MN
Posts: 2928
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: ? about 1st grade reading

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:34 am

sarah wrote: I guess what I want is for someone to say, "These are sight words and you should learn them in this order."
Crystal & Trish gave you some nice, do-able lists. I hope that gives you what you want.
sarah wrote: I mean I understand most kids will just learn certain words just by reading them several times and technically that is memorizing them, but isn't it a good idea to have certain words memorized very well that are very common and can't be sounded out phonetically? It just seems almost every curriculum (public school or homeschool) pushes sight words. Should you encourage your child to learn common words as sight words even though they can be sounded out phonetically easily? For example, sat or run or it. My son will occasionally sound these out (as slow as a word he doesn't know) unless I tell him it's a sight word, then he will usually remember quickly; especially if he spells it out loud quickly to himself. It's just confusing to me because I know they say not to let your child learn to read by memorizing words, but isn't that what sight words are? What's the right balance?
Balance is something that educators have been arguing about for decades in this country. When I was learning to read way back in the 60's, sight words were king. I was excited to read all the Dick & Jane stories by memorizing the guided vocabulary. I think the reasoning was that kids learned to read "faster" and kids were more "encouraged" by all that "faster" reading. I was always jealous of folks who seemed to know the rules, like when "i came before e," but I compensated for not knowing any phonics rules by being good at making lists etc.

Somewhere after that, a big phonics push came back, and then fizzled out again in favor of "whole language" which is a whole other topic.

The idea behind a strict phonics method is not that it's faster or more encouraging, but that it runs deeper and in the long run is easier than all that memorizing. The focus is on long-term skills. When you learn to read those kindergarten readers, you're also learning skills that apply to 3rd grade spelling and to 8th grade vocabulary (e.g. you won't have to memorize each form of a word separately, but you can see the root word, the suffix, prefix, etc.). Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as "sight words" in a phonics program. But as you touched on, kids (and adults) do start memorizing words they see often, and gradually most words become sight words. Behind that, though, there is hoped to be an understanding that can be pulled out when encountering unfamiliar words.

It's kinda like learning to drive by learning every rule and skill in detail, maybe even learning how a car works to some extent and throwing some physics in there, so that knowledge is there if you need it -- rather than just learning whatever you need to pass the test and get down the street to your house. But even when you're studying "everything" about a car, a lot of it does just become automatic & you no longer think through all of that. But if you need it, it's there...

From what I've seen of MFW K and 1st, "balance" is a big part of what Marie Hazell was trying to accomplish. I don't see her requiring a physics degree or extensive teacher training just to get one little child through kindergarten, but I do see her doing a lot more than just getting you down the street for now (i.e. not a lot of simply memorizing "sight words").

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

sarah
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:17 pm

Re: ? about 1st grade reading

Unread post by sarah » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:13 pm

Thanks so much! You guys are great! It makes much more sense now. I now understand there really aren't many words that really are sight words so we will get around to learning them. It was just kinda confusing to me because it says to make flash cards in K for the words you need to review and my mind automatically thought "sight words" and memorizing when perhaps that wasn't the intention. Now that I get MFW's philosophy about it, I feel like I can relax about it. Now I worry that we shouldn't have did sight words at all on our own, but oh well. It is tempting because it does make it so much easier for a kinder to read once they have the basic sight words, but I understand the point about keeping it to a minimum. I have to say that it's nice to see the "learn these words" list in the 1st grade manual along with the rules :-)

cbollin

MFWK - are sight words counterproductive? okay to add i

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:12 pm

alisoncooks wrote:We're doing MFWK & I recently had a "flashback" to my teaching days and of using the Dolch sight word list.

So that got me searching online and I found the lists (one for PreK too! O_o)
Then I began to wonder....should I be doing any sight word practice?! Just a couple of words a week, maybe?

DD is on lesson T-t-turtle and started her blending ladder this a.m. (and did reasonably well). So I don't think she'll be overwhelmed or anything. I just didn't know if sight words were introduced later in the year or in 1st grade....or if there's a specific reason why they are not.

Thanks. :)
There are some phonics purists out there who say that 218 of those 220 Dolch words are phonics based.
I'm going to link to an article by one of those kinds of teachers. There are some things in the article that I strongly disagree with. While I do not agree that teaching sight words "causes" problems, I think the list of how to teach those 220 Dolch words as phonics based is a great list and it's a quick find for me..... so I'm not saying use that site, or program... but take a look at the list.

MFW K: if I recall (and I tend to be wrong more than right these days)... THE was sight words in K.
MFW 1st: there were lists of sight words used in Bible reader where not all of the phonics rules are taught yet.

Will you "ruin" your kiddo? no.
Is it needed? no.

Some of those words, they'll pick up when we read out loud to them, so don't panic on it.


oh , I almost forgot the link
http://www.thephonicspage.org/On%20Read ... words.html

again... it's most about how to teach those certain sight words as phonics rules, not an endorsement of their "interesting" belief on dyslexia. and follow their link to the full list.

You can add them in if you want to. I don't think it will be counterproductive unless the child gets confused, in which case, you set it down for a while.

just one opinion..... pass that chocolate over here Cyndi.

-crystal

Cyndi (AZ)
Posts: 543
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 4:22 pm

Re: MFWK - are sight words counterproductive? okay to add i

Unread post by Cyndi (AZ) » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:36 pm

I tried to look for you -- I know they're in there. Can I just say, "Awwwww" from looking at my dd's old workbooks? Oh my heart. So sweet. I haven't looked through these in so long. So special.

I really thought that there was at least one lesson with some sight words (that didn't follow the rules). So - am I remembering "words to learn" from the Bible stories as sight words? Maybe Trish knows what I'm talking about? Either that or she had some that she added in and talked about it on a thread once?

I'm feeling so old now . . . I can't even remember K from 1st grade . . .
2018/19: US1877
used MFW from K through WHL

TriciaMR
Posts: 1001
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: MFWK - are sight words counterproductive? okay to add i

Unread post by TriciaMR » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:20 pm

A few "common" "sight" words that I teach my kids...

a
the
of
said
again
was
because
what
they

mostly because they don't follow the phonics rules "exactly." The phonics purists will say, "but they do," but where we live we don't pronounce those phonetically, so I think it is important to teach those how we pronounce them. I'd probably throw in where, there, though, through, once, here. Again, they are common enough and it just makes reading easier for my mildly dyslexic kids to just have some words that will roll off the tongue. And no, it doesn't mess your kids up. You can explain each one... for example, "of' - English words don't end in the letter "v", so we have to change it to an "f" (and don't ask me why it's not ove). "Again" - so "ai" says /long a/, so if we were being very careful on how we pronounce, we would say again (rhymes with train), but we normally pronounce this word "agin" because we humans are lazy. And so, as we came across these words in our reading, I would just mention them. I didn't make flash cards or anything, but you can do that.

I used Abeka before switching to MFW, and their sight word list is pretty short: a, the, said, again, of, do, was, because, and they (and they only teach "they" as a sight word because the kids need to be able to read it before they've learned that ey can say /long a/). They do teach phonics, more of the Noah Webster's Blue Backed Speller way.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest