Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Exception Words

I recently posted about wanting to make sight word drawers for my oldest daughter. I consider sight words to be those peculiar words in the English language that cannot be sounded out phonetically and must be memorized (in other words, recognized on "sight"), such as one, two, once, what, the, etc. I did some research into sight words, and I kept coming across the Dolch word list, which is a list of the 220 words that appear most frequently in the English language. The theory behind the Dolch list is that if a child can memorize those 220 words, they'll be able to recognize (and therefore "read") 50 - 70 percent of the words that appear in books. After going through the list, though, I quickly realized that it wasn't what I needed at all. The list is made up of high frequency words, so it includes simple phonetic words like cat, bed, ran, had, has, got, on, etc. I guess the Dolch list is used in schools that don't teach phonics?

Anyway, after doing a bit more research, I realized that what I actually needed was a list of "exception words," or words that defy simple phonics. I made this list into a table, and then I cut and laminated everything. You can download a .pdf of the table I made here. If you would like to add/remove items from the list, you can download a Word version of it here. My list is a little different than the one I found online, just because I took some words off (not really ready to go into Nazis with my four-year-old yet), but you can always go through the list and amend my Word version of the table as you like.

Coming soon...the farm!


Gigi said...

Thank you so much for the information. I am wanting to make this for my son.
I also want to make small books for him to read that include the sight words.

Denise said...

If you want to learn sight words while playing a kid friendly board game you can try Er-u-di-tion. You can buy it online for about $25

Jill said...

What has been your approach in introducing the sight words? Do you use them as flash cards or do you have any other fun way for introducing? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I suggest reading the The Reading Reflex - PhonoGraphix or Why children can't read by Diane McGuiness (both US publications)for more advice. Many of the words you have included are not actually irregular - they are just less frequent versions of a sound.
I am bemused as to why you've included chord as an irregular? It's not! It has ch as the k sound - (Greek in origin e.g. Christ) and then has the most frequent version of the or sound - or!