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Reception High Frequency Words


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With the recent push on phonics (I know this is a contentious issue and can hear some of you tutting already!) do you set as much store on the Reception high frequency words as used to be placed on them? Most of my children are now able to sound out CVC words (or better) by themselves and we've bought a whole load of 'Jelly and Bean' books and the Ruth Miskin ones and these have been great because even if parents don't hear their children read (I never understand why you wouldn't want to hear your child read but that's another topic...) then the children can still make progress with what they're taught in class. However, I still have quite a lot of children who are largely clueless when it comes to the high frequency words and whilst I do include these as a list in their reading records and go through them when I listen to them read, they are less good with these. Is this a major problem?

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This is a difficult one with the current push on phonics but I am in favour of learning a sight vocab alongside phonics.

I taught the HFWs by encouraging the children to blend those that were phonically possible and the others as tricky words.

Have you checked the JP handbook or appropriate for guidance?

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on re reading not sure that answers your question, sorry!

Are the same children struggling with phonics and word recognition?

 

My 7 yr old nephew is still struggling to read. He lacks motivation but appears to have holes in his phonic knowledge--could be related to his early hearing problems although no one seems sure of that but does not seem to have been consistently taught word recognition for his non phonic based scheme.

 

So for some children it may matter?

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I only have 3 children in my class who haven't got any clue at all about how to blend sounds and they also only have a very limited repertoire of words that they recognise on sight.

 

As you say, Susan, there are a lot of those high frequency words that CAN be sounded out but the knowledge of di/tri graphs needed for these is tricky. My LEA has asked us to teach up to the end of card 14 in 'Playing with Sounds' and this only covers ll, ff, ss, zz, ck, sh, th, ch and qu so the skills needed to tackle words like 'look' and 'they' aren't covered by this. Of course, for my most able they are learning oo, er, ee etc but this would just confuse some of the others.

 

I worry about giving out mixed messages: I spend so much of my time banging on about saying the sounds so you can hear the word and asking them to write down the sounds they can hear in the words they want to spell that it then seems a bit much to ask them to memorise whole words - somehow the two things seem to contradict each other. Does that make sense?

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me too Moose, I also worry about mixed messages. We have put a lot of input into the jolly phonics this year and the children although not as good as yours at blending, are better than they have been in previous years. But then they come to the HFW and try to use the same strategies and of course can't for many of the words. Im not sure off the top of my head how many of the 45 words are phonically decodable but I do thinks its extremely difficult to give quality time to both equally, especially as we have 100% EAL, 25% special needs and only a shared TA. I had thought about colour coding the words next year to those that can be decoded and those that can't so the chldren get a visual clue as to whether or not they can. Does that make sense?

 

Our LEA has been quite assertive that it will not take on board anything from the Rose Report and will not abandon the Searchlights model or promote synthetic phonics as the 'primary' method.

 

I can hear that song in my head..you know the one that goes......'there may be trouble ahead'..

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Well... I noticed with "Playing with Sounds" that there is a 'different' list of High Frequency Words and... e.g. like... doesn't come out until Grade 1. So I don't know if it is that the HFW list has been changed and they have not made an official announcemente about it. When we find words like 'look' then I incidentally talk about it and also put other examples: book, cook, hook, took. You say it once and they recall it afterwards! Sometimes I am so amazed with them :D !

 

I agree with you that the best is to see what suites best for each child and not get stuck with only one method.

Edited by SmileyPR
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Yeah I can only echo everything that's been said already really. Ours can ostly sound out CVC words... the top group can do harder words. But some are stumped by the HFW list.

 

We did as mentioned and sent home all the ones that CAN be sounded out first (it worked out at about 20 if I remember) and now this term we're just concentrating on the 'silly' words that don't sound out - we're finding that the ones that have aquired all the their sounds and use them confidently are picking up the HFWs too - but the few that are still aquiring some of their sounds are lost with the HFWs.

 

Incidently, what are the Jelly and Bean and Ruth Miskin books? are they easy readers or CVC readers or somehting like that?

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We use Action Words alongside JP and find most children pick up HFW. I think its important to introduce these before children really get into building up words then they dont waste effort trying to build phonetically irregular words (most English words arent regular) My BIG arguement about relying on one method of teaching reading. Sorry my pet grumble!!!!

 

BTW the action for look is to make a pair of glasses with your forefingers and thumbs (also the oo sound in look)

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