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ELA Community of Practice Update 

The District’s K-5 ELA/Literacy Community of Practice Team has worked together to research the Science of Reading (SOR). The team’s overriding goal is to find resources and define strategies that enhance reading instruction. During the 2022-23 school year, the team identified several areas of priority focus, including phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and high frequency words. We have been hearing from teachers about the need for high frequency word lists to support instruction, therefore the team has put together lists of targeted words for each grade level from K-3. 

These word lists are research-based and aligned to the Science Of Reading and the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) scope and sequence for introducing phonics and spelling patterns. Sources such as Wilson, Fountas and Pinnell, and PowerWords were used in the development of the lists. Words were selected to support student accuracy and fluency as they develop as readers. The lists include words most commonly encountered in print with both regular and irregular phonics patterns. With so many high frequency word lists available, these common lists provide consistency and equity within the district. 

WRSD High Frequency Word (HFW) lists for each grade level, along with printable copies and digital spreadsheets for tracking student progress may be located on the WRSD website through the Professional Development Tab, under WRSD *New* Instructional Resources. 

In alignment with what we know about the SOR, we suggest a shift in instruction from visual memorization to orthographic mapping that will result in automaticity. The following information may guide and support you in the instruction of these high frequency words within your classroom:

  • Some HFW are decodable and can be taught in conjunction with phonics lessons.  (ex. can, it, went). Create opportunities for students to learn these words along with other words with similar phonics patterns. 

  • Some HFW are less decodable, but still have some letter or letter strings that are familiar and predictable. Many words deemed “irregular” still  have patterns that are found in other words. For these words, learning the sound-spelling mapping for similar words can make it easier to spell them. (ex. want/wash or should, would and could). 

  • Create opportunities for children to work on orthographic mapping of HFW. Guide them to “pull apart” the phonemes in irregular high-priority words and match each one to the grapheme(s) that represent them. By doing this work of mapping the spoken sounds to the written letters, students acquire mastery of these trickier words more efficiently. 

Additional Resources

  • Watch video Here on Orthographic Mapping.

  • Review strategies HERE at Really Great Reading.

  • Read Keys to Literacy article HERE about Orthographic Mapping. 

  • Read the Reading Rockets article HERE about teaching high frequency words. 

  • Check out a list HERE of the 109 most encountered words in print. 

Posted by jane_daly On 14 September, 2022 at 11:02 AM