Fry’s Sight Words: 100 First Words and Keyboard Practice
Fry’s sight words: list for first grade sight words
Teaching first graders to read is kind of tricky. When I first started homeschooling, Sanj was like “you got this in the bag, you’re an English teacher!”
Yea, I taught elementary school and I am certified in English, but teaching English Literature and Lit Theory is wayyyyyyy different than teaching letters and sounds.
Fry’s First 100 Sight Words
When you start teaching reading, there’s so many things to consider:
- letter shapes (what the letters are and whether they are capital or lowercase letters)
- phonemes (letter sounds)
- fluency (the ability to read the words with speed, accuracy, and correct tone)
- decoding (the ability to apply the knowledge that certain letters make certain sounds)
- sight words
Comprehension is also important, but what good is it if you can’t even just read the words?
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Sight Words Practice
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I’m not a fan of teaching kids to read before they’re ready. I’m not one of those people who think that an 18m baby can read flashcards. Like, no, Jeanine, your son isn’t reading, he’s memorizing shapes and sounds.
Which is precisely why I’m not a fan of teaching reading through sight words alone. There are words in the English language that don’t follow the typical rules that we go over when we review phonemes, decoding, and blending. They’ve been categorized into a group called sight words.
What are sight words?
Sight words are words that have to be memorized because decoding them is really difficult. They are words memorized by the whole – hence “sight,” just looking at the whole word).
That being said, there are just some words that your first grader is going to have to learn as sight words.
Fry Sight Words
Dr. Fry expanded on Dolch’s sight word list and analyzed the most common words found in publication. Meaning, he took tons of published material, analyzed the word count and realized that about 1000 words are used over and over.
His words are broken down by the frequency of which they appear. In other words, certain words only start appearing in books that are targeted for certain age groups. The word “Rhinoplasty” is not going to appear in a 1st grade book. It’s not on his list, either. It was just an example.
He recommends the following:
- The first 100 words should be mastered by Grade 1
- The second 100 words should be mastered by Grade 2
- The third 100 words should be mastered by Grade 3
- The remaining words 301-1000 should be mastered by Grades 4-5
Fine Motor Skills on the Keyboard
As a lot of learning is distance learning through virtual school, I’ve decided to level up the flashcards. Right now, kids are using the iPad or computer/laptop for virtual school; and a lot of the younger kinds (kinder, first, etc.) don’t know how to properly use a keyboard and mouse.
This activity is great in that it helps the student and child become familiar with a keyboard and encourages keyboard practice. It’s more important than ever for a child to independently use a keyboard on the computer or iPad.
Knowing where the letters are and what the flashcards say is more complex that just simply reading and memorizing a sight word. Not only is this activity integrating more skills, but it’s also practicing the fine motor skills of their growing hands.
I’ve included a keyboard template for you to print out in case you’re a teacher in a class setting. Even if you are a parent whose child is using a phone for school or sharing a computer with family. The printed keyboard gives the flexibility of taking this activity anywhere.
Getting Ready to Use the Freebie
- A complete list of Fry sight words
- Printable keyboard
- 100 flashcards with the first 100 Fry sight words
What Else You’ll Need:
- a printer
- regular paper or card stock or colored paper
- card holder
How to Use It
The complete directions are including in a parent and teacher guide in the first few pages of the workbook. To prepare the activities, I suggest printing them in black and white Astrobright colored paper or card stock. You don’t have to laminate them, but I did so to increase durability.
We have a wireless keyboard because it broke and I kept it, but I I’ve included a printable keyboard that’s perfect for a class.
I cut all the flashcards and since they are the same size as business cards, the flashcards sit perfectly on a business card holder. Since I printed them on colored paper, I arranged it by color, however you can differentiate it by word size, rainbow colors, etc.
Other Tools and Resources
Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Fry Sight Words Songs by Jack Hartmann
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I’m not usually a big fan of the Fry’s list (cause so many of the words on it can be learned more easily phonetically) but I love the idea of reinforcing your spelling words by adding them for typing practice!
Yes, adding the element of the keyboard makes it so much more fun!