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Pinnacle Elementary School
Climbing The Mountain To Success Through Education
Fry Words



We can enable our children to greatly increase

their reading efficiency when we teach them to

read half or more of the words they encounter in

a quick and automatic manner.

"For instructional purposes these are usually

referred to as sight words or sight vocabulary

because we would like our students to recognize

them in less than a second. Why? Because this

enhances their chance of getting to the end of a

sentence in time to remember how it began."


"Amazing, isn't it? We have over a half-million

words to communicate with, but half of

everything we write and read depends on only

0.02 percent--on only those 100 most frequent

words." — Frank B. May in Reading as Communication


What exactly are "sight words?" These are

words that good readers may instantly recognize

without having to "figure them out." There are

two reasons why sight words are an essential

component of good reading: First of all, many of

these words do not sound like their spellings

might suggest, so "sounding them out" would be

unproductive. Also, a good reader really can't

afford the time to dwell on too many words, or

he may lose the speed and fluency necessary

for determining the author's message.


How should we decide which words to teach as

sight words? Studies suggest that the most

common words in our language, known as "highfrequency

words" would be the best place to

start. Believe it or not, the 100 most common

words actually make up about 50 percent of the

material we read! The 25 most common words

make up about one-third of our written material

(Fry, Kress, and Fountoukidis, 2000).



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