Sight Words Skills: First 500
This section will explain what sight words are and why it is so important and useful to memorize them.
Sight words are just words that it is really useful to be able to read automatically without having to think about them. This unit will help you to memorize the 500 most important sight words in English. When you are learning to read, it can be really hard exhausting work. You have to struggle with almost every single word and it can take a long time to read anything. Knowing these Sight Words will make it so that you know a lot of the words right away. Then reading won’t take so much focus or energy. You might even start to enjoy it!
It is very important to understand the difference between memorizing Sight Words and figuring out what words are by using the strategies from the units in the Alphabetics category. The Alphabetics units teach you that you don’t need to memorize every word. In those units, you learn patterns that can help you figure out what a word says even when you don’t know it right away. That’s usually the best way to learn a new word. But Sight Words are different. There are two main reasons why it’s better to just memorize them.
1. These words are everywhere! These sight words are the words that come up the most often when you are reading. In fact, if you learn just the first 100 words, you’ll be able to read about half the words on a page no matter what you read. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! If you learn to know these words automatically, then you won’t have to take the time to apply the rules and figure out what each word says every time you see it. A lot of the time, you’ll just know the word right away. Won’t that feel great?
2. A lot of these sight words don’t follow the Alphabetics rules. When a word breaks the rules, you just have to memorize it. Here’s something that is strange but true about English: the more common a word is, the more likely it is to break the normal spelling rules. If you look at the 10 most common words in the English language, 4 of them don’t follow the rules. Because so many of these basic words don’t follow the normal spelling rules, trying to use your Alphabetics strategies to figure out these words wouldn’t work. You would end up frustrated and confused. That’s why we have you just memorize them.
So, normally you will want to pay attention to the letter patterns to try to figure out what new words say, but these Sight Words are a special exception. In the Basic Reading Workout Plan you will memorize the first 500 sight words, but don’t worry, you won’t do all 500 all at once. The first 500 words are broken up into lists of 100 words each and you can earn a certificate each time you master a new set of 100.
Now, go to Model section to get instructions on how to have a Coach show you how to memorize these important words.
In this section, you will get help from a coach to learn how you can memorize the Sight Words you don’t already know.
Here are the 5 lists:
Print two copies of the list you want to work on. Keep one for yourself and give the other one to a coach. You will break each list of 100 words up into 4 groups of 25. There are 25 words in each column. To start working on a column, you will need to try to read the words to a coach. Look at each word and try to say it right away. You cannot do this activity on your own. You need to have a coach confirm each word as correct or incorrect. If you can say it right away and the coach tells you it is correct, then check it off the list. You won’t need to practice that word. If you can’t read the word right away, you will need to practice it. Leave it blank for now. Remember, the goal for this unit is to be able to read these words easily and automatically. If you have to take time think about the word or sound it out, you’ll still need to practice it, even if you read it correctly. Make flashcards for the words you need to practice.
Read through the set of 25 to a coach each week. Once you can check off at least 20 out of 25 on that group, you can start a new group of 25. When you start a new group, keep practicing the words you were still having trouble with from any previous groups.
The most important thing for practicing sight words is that you need to know right away whether you are right or wrong. There are two ways to know for sure if you’re reading the word right or not:
The 1st Hundred
The 2nd Hundred
The 3rd Hundred
The 4th Hundred
The 5th Hundred
You can earn 5 certificates for this unit, one for each list of 100. When you think you are ready, you can have a coach test you on the Hundred that you are working on. To get ready, print two copies of the list you are working on and give one to your coach.
When you are ready, start reading the list to a coach. For each word you read automatically, the coach will give you a point. If you have to pause and think about a word and sound it out, you won’t get credit for that word this time. If you can get 80 points out of 100 on a list, you’ll earn the certificate! Any words that you miss, you should keep practicing until you master them, but you don’t have to get a perfect score to earn the certificate. Then you can move on to the next list.