100 Sight Words Versus Phonics
The 100 Sight Words for Prep and Grade 1 is the quick route to reading in English. It doesn’t change the importance of phonics in early literacy. Sight Words are set down for Prep and Grade 1 to learn for immediate recognition. These words are frequently occurring in texts. About 40 should be learned by the end of Prep and the full bunch of them towards the end of Grade 1.
Analysis of The First 100 Sight Words – well, 115 – reveals that 21% have irregular spelling. The rest of them follow any one of 22 spelling rules in English. With immediate recognition of these words, a child is half-way there to knowing these rules and being able to apply them to other letter combinations.
When teachers refer to a spelling rule or spelling pattern, it means there are groups of words within that rule. For example, ‘find’,’rind’, ‘pint’ and ‘kind’; and then we have ‘mint’, ‘hint’, ‘kink’ and ‘wind’. The conclusion is that ‘i’ can be a short or long vowel when followed by two terminal consonants. “Find’ is listed as a sight word but it has many bed-fellows. So it is not a word with irregular spelling.
These twenty-two spelling rules are not all taught in Prep and Grade 1. They are taught progressively to the end of Grade 2 along with many others as well.
The purpose of making these 100 Words into “Sight Words” is to enable the early primary school children to begin to read simple texts without having to learn spelling patterns and rules in the same short space of time. And there is wisdom and common sense in educators doing this.