Grade One Power Words

Your child has learned to read and write many words during the short time he or she has been in school. There are many high frequency word lists or sight word lists available on line that give you an idea of what words your child should be able to read at what grade level.  These are the words that research suggests appear most often in texts at a particular grade level. Two of the most common lists are here:

Dolch Words By Grade Level

Fry Sight Words (The First 100)

Grade One Power Words differ from high frequency or sight words because these are the words that the children need to learn to use correctly in their writing by the end of Grade One in order to be best prepared for the material that will be introduced in Grade Two. Children move through several developmental phases as they learn to write words.  From the early stage of using only the first letter to represent a word, your child is experimenting with the spelling of words.  Throughout the early years of primary inventive spelling is encouraged so that children become confident writers and are able to get their ideas on paper. By the end of Grade 3 and into Grade 4 more standardized spelling emerges. By this age and grade level your child should have a strong foundation in phonemic awareness(hearing the individual sounds in words), a good knowledge of phonics (what sounds letters make) as well as an understanding of the patterns that make up words.  All of this put together takes time to develop and creates an ability to use more formal spelling.

Below you will find The Grade One Power Words List. This list consists of the words often used in the children’s writing and many of these words have to be learned as they can’t all be sounded out. The children will be told that if these words are used correctly it will give their schemas enough power to be in Grade 2 next year. All completed work will be need to be edited for these words using one of the editing techniques we have learned this year at school. The goal is for the children to spell these words correctly in their writing by then end of Grade One without using the word list as a model.

Grade One Power Word List

Children gain knowledge about spelling by reading and writing. The more a child reads, the more words he or she is exposed to and this exposure helps spelling develop. You can help your child learn the Grade One Power Words by pointing them out while reading to your child or while reading with your child. When you are done reading go back and look at a few of the power words. Talk about the letters that make up the words while your child traces the letters with a finger. What does your child notice about the word? Can the word be sounded out? Are there any patterns in the word that your child recognizes?  Can your child use the word in a new sentence? Can your child write the word yet?

Keep in mind that many children can easily memorize words and spell them correctly when given in isolation but have difficulties using the words in the context of their own writing. As teachers and parents we need to look at each child and figure out what strategies work best for him or her to learn to use the Grade One Power Words independently. 

Oral Language

Oral language is an extremely important step in the development of literacy and is an integral part of the learning to read and write process. It is essential that these skills become well developed now as without strong oral language skills reading and writing development could suffer. I have been doing some oral language assessment in the classroom and have noticed that this is an area we need practice in so we are learning to really listen to one another in order to understand what is being said. We are also practicing answering in full sentences and adding details to make what we are saying more interesting to our audience. I have posted a few articles below to hep you understand what oral language is and why it is so important. We are really working on discouraging the one word answers some of the children are giving! Encourage your child to use a full sentence and tell you why by using words like because!


First Grader Language Milestones

What is Oral Language In Reading Development?
40 Questions That Get Kids Talking

Empowering Conversations With Your Child
Conversations With Children: Beyond One Word Answers