At the beginning of first grade, most children are "emergent readers." They are able to read familiar books that contain some of the high frequency words below. They are beginning to use their knowledge of letter sounds and the patterns in the text to figure out unknown words. During first grade, children learn several important strategies to decode more difficult words, to understand more complex stories and to read more fluently.
High frequency words (sometimes known as "sight words") occur often in both conversation and printed text. These words are used so often in books that first graders need to be able to read and write them quickly. A first grade student needs to immediately recognize these words in print, without slowing down to "sound" them out.
Words to Know:
- Discover which words your first grader already knows by listening to him read and asking him to write a few of the words at a time.
- Play matching games, like word lotto, with five pairs of words at a time.
- Make "pocket cards" of the words your child doesn't know by sight. Write one unknown word a week on a 3"x5" card and post it somewhere in your house where she will see it frequently. Find that word in a favorite book. Save those pocket cards for review.
- Write two words that begin the same: like/look. Talk to your child about what are the important features that make them different.