How many reads till words are automatic?
Use sounds to read this common Dolch Word List
Memorization: True Sight words
You probably recognize decoding and comprehension. You just may not know it!! You've heard a child working to put sounds together. They blend, stop, blend again. When they pronounce a word they recognize they move on to the next word.
Decoding sounds like this: Mmm. . . y, mmyy, my, d oo g, doo ...g, dog, rrr aaa nnn, rrr aaa. . .n, raaaan, ran,
AAA ww aay, . . .
This is independent reading in the making. It is the sound of progress. Yet, as you can tell, it is not smooth. A young learner gets to the end of a sentence. They often cannot remember what they read.
Add this "plot twist". A child works through the sounds of only some of the words in a sentence. The rest they have sounded out before. These are now sight words that they say quickly.
Decoding with a "twist" sounds like this: My, d ooo g, doo...g, dog, rrr aaa nnn, rrr aaa. . . n, raan, ran, away.
This begins to sound like a real sentence. With a quick reread the message makes sense.
Comprehension, another way of saying "the words make sense!" has been reached.
Did you notice something about the sight words in the decoding with a twist sample? These were from the Dolch word list.
The idea is that these words were sounded out in a list ahead of time. Maybe they were reread 4 or 5 times (On average, a young reader must use phonics to decode a word 4-14 times before it becomes automatic). They became familiar enough to be recognized on sight. These pre-learned words brought meaning to a sentence that might otherwise have been only choppy decoding.
By front-end loading the reading process (using phonics to read through frequently used words) Dolch Word List can help make this jump from decoding to comprehension sooner.
Word lists bring a sense of accomplishment to a young learner. They are a taste of success when a child is learning to read. Reading a real story is a sense of joy. Hopefully, the little person will experience a love of reading.
Many a parent has brought this excitement to a little one by rereading behind them. A child works through all the sounds of words in a sentence or under a picture. The parent reads the entire sentence after them smoothly. Now the sense of the story is conveyed.
Adults do this naturally. They are responding to the obvious enjoyment of the child. This is especially true of children who have been read aloud to often. Reading the same story all by them self is huge! Dolch Word List use can bring this moment of reading a "real story" sooner.
Sounding out word lists gives a child practice in letter sound use. If this practice takes place on specific words that they are likely to see in a story so much the better. Now those words are easily recognized. The result of these words plus ones they sounded out is similar to a parent reading behind them. The sense of the story comes across.
Word lists are compiled by frequency. That means someone else took the time to check the children's section to see what words were already there. If words are truly frequent you should be able to find them anywhere.
In reality you could make up a list of all the words that keep showing up in your own stash of children's books. It would be a frequency word list.
Someone already took the time to do this very thing. The point is this: making sure a specific book is not a fluke with unusual vocabulary may be helpful. Other than that, finding books for your preschooler with Dolch Word List vocabulary should not be very hard.
Tools For Your Young Reader