Sight Words Done Differently !
Speedy Sight Words - Start exploring these in pre-school !
Many High Frequency Word Lists have been compiled in the past 100 years. Two stand out in major popularity around the world, Dolch and Fry. The Dolch word list is a list of common words originally compiled by Edward William Dolch and published in 1948 in his book 'Problems in Reading'.
Dolch constructed his list based on children’s books of the period and chose 220 service words he felt children needed to recognize to achieve fluency and automaticity in reading. Dr. Seuss’ (1956) well-known book
The Cat in the Hat, was written entirely from words found on the Dolch word list. These types of books often provide students with their first opportunity to engage in successful sight word reading.
Dr. Edward Fry developed his first sight word list in 1982 using much the same process, although his corpus was larger and primarily based on textbooks used in elementary schools across the United States. In 1998, Fry took Dolch’s research to a new level with the publication of his book, '1,000 Instant Words'. Fry compiled this updated list of common ords from new textbook sources.
Later, Fry and Kress (2006) published The Reading Teacher’s Book of Lists, offering educators an extensive compilation of various word lists grouped in several different ways.
Fry and Kress discovered that only 25 words comprise almost 35% of all published work for children and adults alike. The first 100 words in their list are commonly used in almost 50% of all written material.
In the UK the most popular HFW lists seems to be from the free government 'Letters and Sounds' program.
The words are from : Masterson, J., Stuart, M., Dixon, M. and Lovejoy, S. (2003) Children’s Printed Word Database: Economic and Social Research Council funded project, R00023406
Although Letters and Sounds is a phonics program, and many of the words can be 'decoded' as the students learn the graphemes in each phase, the idea of teaching these lists is because there are words that the students WILL be able to 'sound out' but not early on, eg in Phase 2.
The idea is that they learn high frequency graphemes, systematically, while learning high frequency words - and that some of the words will be 'tricky' even when students have progressed through all of the Letters and Sounds Phases, because they will still never have learnt many of the graphemes used in these HFWs.
For example, the /ai/ is used to represent the same phoneme (sound) in the words 'said' and 'again' but /ai/ is not taught, explicitly, as a representation for this sound.
Miss Emma therefore created the Spelling Clouds, that show students ALL spelling choices for EVERY phoneme. The students explore the Spelling clouds, especially during incidental learning and 'real' writing activities, so it's important that they have access to them all from the very beginning. Offering only a few 'alternative' spelling choices limits student learning, and the ability to become independent.
Most HFW lists are publically available. The only program we found, that copyright protects the order (not the words themselves of course!) are 'Magic Words'. Therefore, if you use the Monster Mapped Sight Words you will need to order them appropriately, we cannot (and will not) put them into this order. This is why there is no page displaying the order, on this web site. However we feel they are worth mentioning.
Magic Words International state on their web site that they
'conducted a meta-analysis of the research into word frequencies of the data collected, from around the world.
This resulted in an extensive study of the research, development of a robust selection criteria and meticulous academic examination to ascertain the most statistically significant set of words.
This rigorous study produced a unique compilation of words, with the highest statistical significance, for anyone learning to read in English'.
They state that their list 'is now used in schools around the world and in over 80% of Australian Primary Schools.'
So definitely worth reviewing the program !
Educators often have their favourite way of teaching 'sight words'. Although they may not have conducted formal research regarding their own lists, they stand the test of time. Teachers are usually interested in improving their students’ success; they know that when something does not work, they need to change it.
However there are some assumptions made, with regards to these HFWs, that are worth mentioning.
Because students who read fluently seemed to be "reading by sight,” many educators began treating words as the basic unit of language in order to emphasise fluency in reading instruction. The idea was to accelerate the process of becoming fluent by cutting out instruction on letter sounds. However, the research is clear ; memorizing whole words is inadequate for mastering English. It is an inefficient, ineffective way to develop reading fluency. Fluent readers do recognise most words in their chosen texts so quickly that their eyes do not pause on each word, and only focuses on an unfamiliar word. However, when they come across these words, they use their understanding of the phoneme to grapheme links, along with context and vocabulary knowledge, to figure them out.
Many believe 'sight words' are taught as whole words because they 'can't be sounded out'. As each written word is made up of graphemes that represent every speech sound (and this is the case for all words) this is not accurate. What they mean is that they have not taught, or enabled the students to discover the non high frequency phoneme to grapheme links. They need only to type words into software that transcribes words into phonetic symbols, to see that the 26 letters of the alphabet are used in different combinations, and strings, to represent every 'sound' Every word CAN be 'sounded out'. And students using the Speedy Sight Words videos are able to learn the phoneme to grapheme links (Code Mapping) of 400+ high frequency words in less than one school year, because they are shown using Visual phonics (Monster Mapping) and Linguistic Phonics (a speech to print approach) Because they are exploring the 'mapping' they see patterns, and can read AND spell all words, and use accurate while reading and writing.
While there is a push for systematic phonics teaching, and the use of decodable readers, many school still send home 'readers' that consist of words that are predominantly 'high frequency words', and students are not able to use decoding skills as they either 1/ have not learnt that phonics code as yet or 2/ the words include code that is not covered within the phonics program. Most phonics programs only cover around 90 high frequency graphemes, and there are hundreds ! So what are teachers to do? They rely on teaching as many words by memory as possible, which we know is difficult, if not impossible, to sustain - and does not faciliate the learning of phonics skills.
Miss Emma has therefore addressed all issues. She has developed a complete program for teaching 90+ high frequency graphemes (in more or less the same phonics teaching order as in Letters and Sounds) but ALSO introduced the Speech Sound Monsters, to enable children to learn hundreds of high frequency words USING phonics skills, alongside this learning. They can learn to use the high frequency graphemes in their writing, and reinforced using decodable books, but ALSO learn hundreds of words by sight (and can segment them into the graphemes) and read books that do not follow any phonics teaching order (eg PM, F&P books, or 'real' books found at the library)
The 'phonics' and 'whole language' debate is no longer relevant - not only are the positives of BOTH approaches incorporated, children are learning 'Code Mapping' skills QUICKLY, and move out of the 'learning to read' stage BEFORE they enter grade 2. The strategies and resources also enable parents to help at home, and for students of all ages to actually take over their own learning.
Learning is far easier, when 'blocks' are removed.
Students are far less likely to struggle, if we
remove the very things that make learning to
read and spell so difficult for so many.
For example, 'A child's level of phonemic awareness on entering school is widely held to be the strongest single determinant of the success that she or he will experience in learning to read — or, conversely, the likelihood that she or he will fail'
'Research indicates that, without direct instructional support, phonemic awareness eludes roughly 25 percent of middle-class first graders and substantially more of those who come from less literacy-rich backgrounds. Furthermore, these children evidence serious difficulty in learning to read and write' (https://www.readingrockets.org/…/phonemic-awareness-young-c…)
These children are circling the 'visual prompts' that represent the blended phonemes, as part of the SSP 'Early Intervention for Dyslexia' on the Sunshine Coast, QLD. They start school next year, and this fabulous SSP teacher is ensuring that any phonemic awareness deficits are identified, and addressed, so that they are far more likely to read and spell easily - regardless of methods the schools use.
The children love Monster Mapping - each Monster has their own speech sound (ie it's linked to an IPA phonetic symbol) Here, they are listening to Miss Emma on the tv screen, watching the Phase 1 (Oral language and phonemic awareness) videos in the SSP Monster Mapping app.
See more clips of pre-schoolers, learning through play ! Hands on, multisensory learning.
Avoid reading and spelling difficulties, or at home if your child starts school within the next couple of years! Learn how to use the new Monster Mapping kit, currently on special offer !
Speedy Sight Words. Sight Words Done Differently !
Monster Mapped AND Code Mapped, for the brain !
Get the SSP Monster Mapping app for AU$20
The technique 'Code Mapping' is patented.