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High frequency words in Kindergarten Messages in this topic - RSS

jalwa
jalwa
Posts: 1


2/28/2018
jalwa
jalwa
Posts: 1
My school district has decided that Kindergarten students should learn 100 high-frequency words by the end of the school year. Is there any research that discusses numbers of words Kindergarten children should learn? Common Core Standards are very general and just say "Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do, does)."

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Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Helenann Steensen, Fountas & Pinnell Consultant
Posts: 542


3/1/2018
jalwa wrote:
My school district has decided that Kindergarten students should learn 100 high-frequency words by the end of the school year. Is there any research that discusses numbers of words Kindergarten children should learn? Common Core Standards are very general and just say "Read common high-frequency words by sight "/


In Appendix C, page 175, of the Benchmark Assessment Guide: Scoring Optional Assessments, Fountas and Pinnell give Suggested Criteria for the Use of Optional Assessments including High Frequency Words. These charts summarize the different optional assessments included in the assessment and provide reasonable goals based on research. They state that these goals may be adjusted to fit your district standards.

Research behind the Benchmark Assessment is linked here: http://www.fountasandpinnell.com/research/

Fountas and Pinnell suggest that Kinder students have a core of about 25 words "...along with a few specialized words they have encountered.  Many children will know more words; ...the precise collection does not have to be the same for every child..." (Word Matters p. 89)  The focus is on learning "how to learn words" and how to use known letters, words, spelling patterns, word structures, and word meanings to learn and/or solve new words; use them as resources that will help them learn to read and write other words.

The texts that most kinder students are reading independently probably have a limited number of HF words in them.  Sample your Guided Reading Library texts for levels A-D to establish the list.  Once students understand how to attend to the print, how to use known to get to new, and how to use the parts in flexible ways they will be able to "memorize more basic sight words for automaticity," to have a repertoire of 100 words by the end of first grade.  If you teach the children how to use spelling patterns then you do not need to teach every word that uses the pattern.  For example if a child learns can and learns how to change can to make man then the child knows how to make most if not all of the -an words so all of those words are not on the list.  It is more important to teach the Kinder children to become word solvers than to just learn words. 

Word Matters is an excellent resource that explains this in more detail.  The Fountas and Pinnell Phonics Lessons have lessons for teaching HF words each month of the school year, but also provide lessons for the other categories of word solving.

I hope this helps.

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Helenann Steensen, Official Fountas & Pinnell Consultant, Heinemann
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