• What are they?

    High frequency wordsare the words that appear most often in printed material. These words mightalso be called sight words.

    Why are they important?

    High frequency wordsmake up the majority of the words a child will encounter in print. If the childhas learned to recognize these words quickly and automatically, he or she willhave far less to decode and will be able to focus more on readingcomprehension.

    What can we do at home?

    It is very importantto provide a little bit of practice every day. Five minutes for five days in arow will be far more effective than 25 minutes on just one day. Flashcards areprobably the easiest way to practice, but here are some more ideas to keep yourpractice interesting.

    Play Bang - Using index cards, write onehigh frequency word on each card and write "Bang" on two or threecards. Put all words in a bag. Players take turns pulling out a word out of thebag. If the player can read the card, he/she can keep it. If not, he/she putsthe card back in the bag. If a player pulls out a bang card all of the cardshave to go back in the bag.

    Play Tic-Tac-Toe - Create a tic-tac-toe boardand write one high frequency word in each square. Players play as usual, excepteach player must read the word in the square before he/she can write down an xor an o.

    Play Checkers - Laminate an oldcheckerboard, and using a dry-erase marker, write the high frequency words onthe board. Players play as usual, except before the checker is moved, theplayer must read the word. If he/she can read the word, he/she can move. Ifnot, he/she stays in the current square.

    Play Concentration - Make two sets of highfrequency cards. Mix them up and turn them face down on the table. Players taketurns making matches. In order to keep the match, the player must read thewords.

    Play Go Fish - Make two sets of highfrequency cards. Shuffle them, and deal 5 cards to each player. Place the restface down on the middle of the table. Players must read the word when askingfor a match. If no one else, has the match, the player tries to find a matchfrom the pile on the middle of the table. Players keep the matches, and the onewith the most matches at the end of the game wins.

    On the Go Words - Place the high frequencywords in a sheet protector, and, using some pins, paperclips, or metal rings,attach the words to the back of the car seat so that your child can easily seethem from his/her seat. As you are driving, he/she can read the words to you.If he/she does not know the word, he/she can spell it out, and you canpronounce it.

    Big Words - Many children enjoy andbenefit from using large motions when learning high frequency words. Have yourchild write the words on the driveway with sidewalk chalk, trace the words inthe air, make the words out of Play-Doh, or spray a thin layer of shaving creamon a table or counter and trace the words in shaving cream.

    PS - There are otherideas in the Letter Recognition section that would also work for High-FrequencyWord practice.