Those who work with students in grades PK-2 are diligent about teaching students sight words. Teachers build word walls, play spelling games, provide practice in literacy stations, and more. All this is done to support students’ reading and writing of high-frequency words. However, beyond the classroom, we also need the students’ parents to see value in helping their children memorize these words.

Cherry Tree Elementary School (Carmel, IN) first grade teacher Jill Holtsclaw shared an idea for accomplishing just that. Reveal a typical grade-level text to parents…after blackening out all the sight words. This will likely leave only a handful of words visible.

The point? High-frequency words appear frequently! Once parents recognize the impact that sight-word memorization has on reading, their support at home in this area is likely to increase. We want parents to understand that when students can read high-frequency words with automaticity, then their fluency and ultimately their comprehension soars.

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