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This program is organized using the Fry 1,000 instant words. The Fry word lists or "instant words" are widely accepted to contain the most used words in reading and writing. The lists are divided into ten levels and then divided into 4 groups of twenty-five words, based on frequency of use and difficulty.
It is important for young readers to instantly recognize these words by sight in order to build up their reading fluency. It is also important for readers to practice words in meaningful context through phrase and sentence writing and reading practice.
As you individually meet with students, you’ll quickly be able to identify words that they are having trouble with.
The levels are designed to start off with the most common, simple words, then progress to more difficult words.
At the beginning of the year (although you can start at any time), I assess students individually starting at the first hundred. If you feel that the student will not need that level, you can start at a later level. I find that the process does not take too long and that it is worthwhile in assessing student reading abilities. I continue assessing each list until a student reaches instructional level.
The assessment tracking sheets have three options for you to mark for each word. You can check "fluent," meaning the student immediately read the word correctly. You can check "not fluent," meaning they read it correctly after hesitating or sounding it out. Lastly, you could check "incorrect," meaning they either read it incorrectly or did not know it.
During the assessment, you will need the "Assessment" sheet for the level you are starting with. I usually keep this on a clip board. Sit next to or across from the student you are assessing. Give the child the sight word list (half sheet). Tell the student that you want to listen them read these words. They should do their best and read the list from top to bottom. If they make a mistake, they can correct it (then mark "Not fluent"). They should read the words one after another. There is no need to time students for this assessment, but you can if you desire. On the assessment sheet, there is room for assessing each level 3 times. It is not necessary to use all 3, but you can use all (or more) if needed.
If the student reaches independent level (1 or no errors), you can move onto the next list. Depending on the age and attention span of the student, you can immediately move to the next list or wait for another time. I keep track of student mastery of each level on the "Tracking Sheet."
Once you have found your student's instructional level, now their work begins! I give students a copy of their words, along with the parent letter, to take home for practice. My students have an agenda and take home folder, so the words live in the folder and we write in our agendas daily to study our words.
Each list includes the following activities for practice:
~ Flash cards
~ Word Search
~ Handwriting practice (Good, Better, Best)
~ Alphabetical order practice
~ Mixed practice (Roll it!)
~ Speed Reads
These tasks make great center work, morning work, or homework. There is no need to use them all. Simply choose the ones that you and your students like (or choose them all!). The sheets have minimal directions on them, as you'll see. This is for a reason - flexibility. This program is designed to meet a variety of levels and needs, so I left the directions minimal, so you can tailor them to fit your students' needs.