How many High-frequency words do you teach in Kindergarten?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by zoey'smom, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Jun 23, 2011

    I know every school is different. How many High frequency words do you teach? How many words are too many? Our reading sereies teaches about 24 words. Last year I added to it, but I was wondering what everyone else does.
     
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  3. starbucks

    starbucks Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2011

    40 words - Our reading series has 30 words and I add about 10 extra words.
     
  4. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jun 23, 2011

    We have 46 high frequency words, 44 in our series and we also add "boy" and "girl". It's tough to squeeze it all in but the kids love learning new words.
     
  5. myKroom

    myKroom Habitué

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    Our reading series has 32, but I expect my kids to also know 11 color words!
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    The district requires 40, but that does not include color or number words or those cvc words and word family words we work on. However, students must master and own 30 to be meeting the standard.
     
  7. janney

    janney Cohort

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    We have 77 words.
     
  8. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    I also add color words also.
     
  9. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Does this include the color words and number words?
     
  10. funnyteacher

    funnyteacher Rookie

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    Jun 23, 2011

    We do about 125.
     
  11. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Wow! How many words do you teach each week?
     
  12. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Jun 23, 2011

    Wow, we're on the low end. We require them to know 23 and 109 at the end of first grade.
     
  13. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    125 seems really high. Our kids leave reading, but wow that is high. Our kids have to know 35, but of course they do learn many more than that.
     
  14. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 24, 2011

    They are only required to know 25 to pass grade level. All my students know at least 23 by the end of the first quarter plus their color words and most of their number words (0-10).

    My list is differentiated but all my students were given 5-12 words per week. The lists sometimes fluctuated based on the difficulty.

    I don't remember exactly what the ending number was, but my lowest student already knew over 50 words by sight by the middle of the year so I don't think 125 is that high.

    Our goal, internally not district wide, is to have them know as many of the pre-primer and primer level dolch words by the end of the year plus any content area words we can help them develop. There isn't a magic rule but rather just a push to keep going. They seem to really rise to the challenge!
     
  15. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jun 24, 2011

    We don't really have a required list. I just follow the words in our curriculum, and I introduce one per week.
     
  16. janney

    janney Cohort

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    Yes, it include red, blue, yellow, brown, black, one, two, three, and four.
     
  17. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Thanks everyone, I was just wondering. I wasn't sure if I should add to my list again this year. Last year I was over 75 words and the kids did very well. But I only expect them to know the 24 words and color words by the end of the year.
     
  18. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jun 24, 2011

    About 90, plus color words
     
  19. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 27, 2011

    As I stated, our district does have the minimum of 25 words but quite frankly most kids are easily able to handle much more. My students are actually ESL and many of these sight words are not found in their native language (for the ones that come with a strong first language). Yet all of my students can clearly handle many more than 25 words (even if you add the color words). Words like "to," "from," "by," "the," "a," etc. are not even present in our daily discourse (taught in their first language except during direct reading instruction). Yet they manage. I do recognize that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a full day program, etc. Have high expectations. They can do it!!
     
  20. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    I disagree that kindergarteners should learn 5-12 words per week (unless you are talking through analogy: look, book, cook). Sure some kids will get it (and they should be encouraged via guided reading), but it will confuse others. Most of our kids leave kindergarten reading above level 8 so I don't think teaching word after word is necessary. We have high expectations but still keep in mind that we are laying a foundation. I'd rather a kindergartener leave kinder knowing 35 words REALLY well (along with great reading strategies) than know 125 sight words so-so. As I said before my students leave kinder knowing many more than our 35 words - but that is all that is goes on the word wall.

    This is only my opinion as someone with a master's in reading. I just think sometimes we push too far.
     
  21. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jun 27, 2011

    I want to clarify that I don't have spelling tests, etc. I just expose my students to these words each week as we do our normal activities and we do have daily word study as part of our balanced reading program. Some of their words DO come from guided reading. As I said, it is individualized, but they do come out knowing more than 25 words. You just said it yourself, many students know many many more than 35 words. That was my point. Teaching words also doesn't mean we aren't teaching reading strategies, etc. either. Nor does it mean we have worksheets, etc. I personally have a love for words and my students end up having a love for words as well and for reading and writing. Our reading specialists also encourage this. Would I set the requirement at 125 for all students? No. But I do put more than 25 words on the word wall. For most words, they have individualized word rings for this (idea given to me by our reading recovery teachers).

    Can we push too far? Sure. I just don't think going over 25 words is pushing too far nor am I having to use developmentally inappropriate practices to expose them to it. Nor am I making this a central part of their overall reading program. There are so many more components. Do I agree that there are foundations we must firmly plant? Absolutely.
     
  22. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Jun 27, 2011

    I don't think anyone said kindergarteners SHOULD learn 5-12 words per week. Nor did anyone say their kids only knew their words 'so-so'. There are excellent teachers who have shared their thoughts on this matter who I have no doubt are making sure their kids are learning REALLY WELL. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you seem to be misinterpreting the intention of what others have shared as their practices.
    I work in a high achieving district. We tend to view standards as a 'floor', not a ceiling. Sure, the kids are achieving the standards, but we don't see that as a limit...there are certainly more than 35 words on the K word walls in my school.
     
  23. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    You're right. I am entitled to my opinion and stated that it was simply my opinion. And what I was responding to was a post that said... "each one of my students receives 5-12 words per week". It's not just me... if you read some of the best known reading experts (Goudvis, Harvey, Fountas and Pinnell - just to mention a few)- NONE will tell you to include that many words on a word wall each week. They will also tell you that introducing too fast will confuse children. That was my point and I stand by that. We are all entitled to our professional opinions. However when a new teacher or a teacher is asking a question I will answer it to the best of my ability. Does that mean he/she has to listen to me - absolutely not! This community is supposed to be a place where we can agree and disagree. Just because I think differently than you doesn't mean that my opinion is not just as valuable.

    Now to cutnglue: After reading your last post, I think we are actually closer in beliefs. Exposing children to these words sounds great, but if they are on a word wall they are to be held accountable for those words in reading and writing. I believe that 125 words on a kindergarten word wall is too much. I do have individualized rings of words for differentiation like you mentioned.
     
  24. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I had a feeling we were closer than it appeared. :)

    I do put more than 25 words on the word wall. I don't penalize students though if they don't spell a word right that was on the word wall, etc. but I do train them to continue looking at the word wall as a point of reference. There are just too many fun ways to encourage this. Wait until St. Patty's Day when the Leprechauns mess up the word wall. Teehee.

    The words on the word walls though are shared words. Meaning that I have exposed them to all students at one point or another. There are more than the 25. Not all of them are high frequency words but there are more than 25 high frequency words on my board.

    Learning to use the word wall, however, isn't an isolated skill. Besides the benefits that come from the word wall, there is an added benefit of learning to look up and use the walls and other areas of the room to support our learning. Reading Around the Room is a great activity as well that further supports this skill. There are other places in the room that have groups of words. One of my favorite is our letter of the week list. They are class created and compiled into a book where students can look at them often. I also have opportunities to do word sorts, practice word families, and other forms of vocabulary instruction. Some of these also get made into books students can look at. One of our class dictionaries is a picture book of the 95 Dolch Nouns. I never really taught my students any of these words directly but I'm always surprised at how many they know by the end of the year by referencing this book frequently. (Yes, I assess them).

    We have lots of tools for words. The word wall is just one of them.
    Teaching vocabulary, etc. happens both naturally and explicitly. BOTH are important.

    At this age, I focus more on being able to read it than being accountable for writing it at this stage but most of my students end up with a decent writing/spelling vocabulary, though not as large as their reading vocabulary by far. It happens through natural REPEATED exposure as well as applications of strategies. Reading and writing are interdependent. Not to mention lots of opportunities for practice!

    I do understand that natural approaches allows our students to become natural explorers and not focus too hard on the fact that there is only a right way to do it (over drilling). While I am aiming to teach the pre-primer and primer words (not all students get all of them by the end of the year), the words I pick come from things we do during the week. I also purposely design lessons to use repetitive words throughout the week when applicable to give them this repeated exposure and practice but in meaningful and purposeful ways. I believe good vocabulary instruction is peppered throughout the day in all content areas and using many modalities. Picking words of the week for direct instruction is a challenge because I have to consider both my students and the lessons I am exposing them to and both natural and explicit opportunities that will arise as well as shared and individualized instruction and of course being flexible with where the learners take us.

    I know I'm getting away from the Op's main point here. :whistle: I do, however, think we need a lot more of these kinds of dialogues here and I'm actually enjoying it. :2up:

    (P.S. Yes I know we are getting away from "Letter of the Week" and it is not heavily incorporated into my instruction but rather used for specific purposes. That's another topic altogether. I think maybe I might be a bit too all over the place for this post today. :p)
     
  25. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    When I taught kindergarten, we taught between 75-100 words, depending on the group we had. My word wall had tons of words on it, and was part of a center each day (using "binoculars" to look and then write words, make the words with Reading Rods, point at words with magic wands and read them, etc.) We also read the little high frequency readers in groups as well. My kids had fun with our words, and didn't get stressed out about them, even though we tested them each Friday. They did not need to know them as part of promotion, though we would use that in SBLC meetings if we were recommending someone be placed.
     
  26. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Wow! I did not realize my post would cause so much discussion and controversy. I like that we can come here post questions and get different oppions on how to do things. Thank you everyone who posted.
     
  27. map

    map Companion

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    I use the first two cd's and dvd's from Heidi Songs. I also have available the 3rd cd and dvd for my high students. Very simple way to teach sight words. Kids love the little songs. We use wipe off boards and clipboards with paper to copy the words as the music plays. I find the majority of my students have 75 plus words by the end of the year.
     
  28. ampete

    ampete Rookie

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    Anyone have a link with a list of the "normal" high frequency words for Kindergarten
     
  29. k-tchr

    k-tchr Rookie

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    Aug 9, 2011

    Our district requires 40. We also teach the color words. Some have many more, but 40 words are on the progress report.
     
  30. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I'm tutoring a homeschooled child (4 hrs per week) who was 6 this spring. I'm just going with the flow of his needs and interests, but he is reading fantastically. Of course, his spelling and writing aren't on the same level, but his reading skills are so admirable. He seems to naturally use context clues, prior knowledge, 'what sounds right', self-correction, as well as phonics. It is wonderful to see. He also reads with expression and reflects punctuation in his oral reading. I do word work with him - blends, phonics, sight words, spelling patterns.

    He is quite witty and has a good sense of humor about any errors he makes, so we have lots of fun. Once he misread 'gardenia' as 'grandma' and he kept it up every time he came upon the word 'gardenia'. It was pretty funny.

    When I do a dolch word check with him, he can read almost everything through the 2nd grade words, probably higher by now.
     

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