Let’s talk about sight words! If you’re like me, you might be used to old school lists like Dolch and Fry that are organized by frequency. Students learn the most common words like THE, AND, and I before moving on to other popular words, and then to ones that are less common. 

But instead of teaching words by frequency, there’s a new and improved way to organize them: when we reorganize words by phonics skills, students can focus on just one letter-sound connection and spelling pattern at a time.

For example, your students can work on THAT, THIS, and THEN when you’re focusing on the TH digraph or they can practice CAN, AN, and AND when you’re working on short A words.

The tweak is simple but it makes a BIG difference because it keeps beginning readers from getting overwhelmed by having to learn TONS of different phonics and spelling rules each week.

For instance, if your class focused on THE, AND, and all at once, students would have to learn the TH digraph, schwa sounding E, short A, and long I all at the same time. That’s a recipe for stress for brand new readers who are still just trying to get the hang of letter sounds. 

Reshuffling your sight words to focus on specific phonics skills helps students be more successful and develop their reading skills faster.

See how easily it works:

AN, AND, CAN, AT, and AM are grouped together to work on the short A sound.

IN, DID, WILL, HIM, and IT are grouped together to work on the short I sound...

With just a little bit of shuffling, you’ll be able to reinforce your phonics lessons AND check off your sight word list at the same time!

You can sort your own list or save time by grabbing our pre-sorted Dolch, Fry, and Zeno lists over on TPT! All you have to do is hit PRINT.

I’m excited to hear how confident and successful your beginning readers are about to become!

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