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Prettysqueaky Prettysqueaky is offline
 
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Sight Words-vs-High Frequency Words
Old 07-31-2011, 06:38 PM
 
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I think this is a Pet Peeve of mine, but I strongly dislike it when people say I'm creating a list of sight words. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sight words are those words that students recognize immediately (within 3 seconds) and can read them without having to decode. While high frequency words are those words that are commonly found in the English Language.

Take my last name...for my students my last name is a sight word because they can immediately recognize it upon sight! It is not a high frequency word because it does not occur in 70-85% of written English.

Sorry but I had so many parents last year that kept asking for a sight word list and saying the other teachers were sending home a list. I sent a list of High Frequency words and because "sight words" is all they (the parents) heard in kindergarten they were confused about the high frequency words.


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Old 07-31-2011, 07:46 PM
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:35 AM
 
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I think you may have been the one to answer my questions not too long ago about the differences between the two! I am new to first gr this yr and didnt have a clue! (still kinda foggy on the concept!)
So things like the dolch list- sight words?
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Old 08-01-2011, 04:37 AM
 
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I don't see that as a big deal. I think it's great that the parents are asking for words and want to help. The differences in the vocab don't bother me....

We call them popcorn words because they pop up... just to confuse the issue lol.
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Agree with jkristen...
Old 08-01-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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I understand that it's frustrating when people use terms incorrectly, but parents don't have the background/knowledge base that we have with educational terms. Regardless of what the parents call them, at least they are asking for them to help practice with their children. If their incorrect use of the terms really bothers you, send a letter with a high-frequency list or explain it at open house/parent-teacher conferences.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Hopefully the high frequency words become sight words for students and they recognize them automatically.


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Sight vs High-Frequency
Old 08-01-2011, 02:54 PM
 
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Don't sweat the small stuff. Parents who are involved and willing to help at home are a blessing.

To use an analogy, think of it like this....sight words are FRUIT and High-frequency words are APPLES (A type of fruit). High-frequency words are in the category of sight words so that students can recognize them quickly and read more fluently.

But I acknowledge that the term "sight words" encompasses more than just high-frequency words. (The category FRUIT contains more than just APPLES.) As students become more fluent readers, many decodable words transfer into their sight word memory. In fact, I have students practice some word families of decodable words to help them move them into their sight word vocabulary...so I DO create lists of sight words in addition to high-frequency words. It's not unreasonable or weird to ask for a list of sight words. High-frequency words are not the only ones that need to be recognized or practiced.
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Old 08-01-2011, 03:12 PM
 
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I never thought to distinguish between the two terms. My goal is for hi-frequency words to become sight words. Been teaching a long time, so...
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Old 08-01-2011, 06:44 PM
 
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I'm not talking about parents....I'm talking about teachers not knowing the difference.

I feel it starts in Kindergarten and that's why I have to correct parents. I don't mind informing them...but a teacher that's been teaching for years...well it just drives me bonkers..when they say "I'm creating a list of Sight words."

It's like teaching students to add and subtract and instead of saying "regrouping" you say "carrying and borrowing."

So to clarify I'm not angry with parents but teachers. I've seen it far too often and they in turn miseducate parents.
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focus
Old 08-01-2011, 07:40 PM
 
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So, I'm new to first...we should focus on high frequency words, right? Like the dolch list?
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Goal
Old 08-01-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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Isn't the goal for the high frequency words to become sight words? Therefore, one teacher might refer to them as sight words because that is what she wants them to become, where another teacher wouldn't use that term because the words aren't sight words yet. I think it is all in how you look at it. That being said, I believe common language in a school or district is critical for our students, especially our at risk students. I think it is important to have a school wide discussion about which term to use and everyone should use it whether they agree with the term or not. Our job is to make learning as easy as possible for our students not get to use the term we want over some other term. Sorry, but this is a big issue in our district in all subject areas.
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:03 AM
 
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I know I finished my master's in reading and specialized education. So I think the issue starts with teachers not knowing the difference. But I agree completely with you agedteacher a discussion needs to occur and that the ultimate goal is for high frequency words to become sight words for our students.
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