Stick around and learn about rapid word recognition charts. Find out what they are, why to try them, who will benefit, and how to create your own.
When I saw a response to a question in a Facebook group that referenced rapid word recognition charts, I was instantly intrigued! Rapid word recognition charts? Hmmm… How did I miss knowing about this intervention? Would it benefit students who face challenges learning to read? As usual, I set out to learn more.
I also started wondering if all the roll & read charts I see (and made to use with my students) are the result of creative teacher minds that adapted this activity. Keep reading and let me know what you think.
What Are Rapid Word Recognition Charts?
A rapid word recognition chart is a matrix that usually has 5 rows of words. Each row contains the same set of 5 or 6 target words in a different order. After reviewing the target words, students read the words in each row aloud. Then, they reread the words on the chart multiple times.
Time your students for one minute and record how many words they read or record how long it took them to read all the words.
In my opinion, timed readings are optional. Read more about this below.
You can also create these charts with letters and numerals.
What Is the Purpose of Using Them?
The purpose is to increase the number of exposures a student has with a targeted set of words.
The repeated reading practice that rapid word recognition charts provide can improve your students’ automaticity with word recognition. Words that a student automatically recognizes are considered to be the words that comprise their sight vocabulary. Automaticity in word recognition will help your students become more fluent readers.
Fluency encompasses accurate and speedy word recognition as well as reading with expression. So you’ll be addressing 2 out of the 3 components of fluency- not bad.
Indeed, the ultimate purpose is to help your students become fluent readers.
Who Are They Designed For?
You can use rapid word recognition charts with students who:
- are reading on any level.
- would benefit from additional practice with accuracy or speed in word recognition.
Since you choose the words to target, you can meet the instructional needs of all your students.
Create Your Own Rapid Word Recognition Charts
It’s not hard to create rapid word recognition charts yourself.
Select Your Words
Start by choosing 5 or 6 words that meet one or more of these criteria.
- Your students have the skills to decode the words.
- They focus on the concepts you are teaching.
- The words are phonetically regular.
- Or they are phonetically irregular words you are teaching.
- The words occur frequently in the text your students are reading.
- A student has difficulty recognizing those specific words.
- They are target words you’ve pulled from a book (early reader) or passage you’re planning to use for repeated readings.
Ways to Make Your Charts
The easiest way to create your own is to use this Rapid Recognition Chart Generator from Neuhaus Education Center. This is an Excel file.
There are directions for entering a list of six words, letters, sounds, etc. Once you enter your words, it will generate 5 ready-to-print charts with those 6 words. The words will be arranged in a different order on each chart.
You can also create a table in Powerpoint or Word and type in your words, using each selected word once in each row. Click the highlighted words to download a free editable Powerpoint template for rapid word recognition charts.
Made For You Rapid Word Recognition Charts
Need charts for your beginning and struggling readers?
Rather have someone else select the words and do the work to create the charts?
Looking for appealing charts with added value?
I’ve done that for you!
What Words Did I Choose?
First, I chose high-frequency words from 2 well-recognized lists. One list has 220 words and the other includes 1000 words. Next, I selected words from those lists that were phonetically regular short vowel words.
The first set I created covers CVC words while the second set covers short vowel words with consonant blends and digraphs.
What Will I Have at My Fingertips?
- ways to introduce the words by making the connection between phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters).
- an activity to analyze the phonetic similarities and differences in each set of words.
- rapid word recognition charts to help your students develop automatic word recognition.
These charts are systematically organized by phonics skills.
- new and cumulative review word lists
- an action break (snap, clap, slap, or stomp) in each row to keep your students engaged (plus a version without the action breaks)
- open-ended ways to record success
How Can I Use Rapid Word Recognition Charts?
You’ll want to use these activities:
- with your whole class
- in small instructional groups
- with individual students
- with paraprofessionals
- for homework
Are Timed Readings Necessary?
While one component of fluency is speed, timed activities can be a sticky issue. Some students will be motivated by timed readings. Other students will be devastated.
You know your students. Without a doubt, it’s not worth risking a shutdown or a meltdown. It’s okay to focus on accuracy. You’re still likely to see progress.
I included five empty boxes at the bottom of each chart. You can use these to record the number of words a student reads successfully in one minute or how long it takes a student to read all the words.
Alternatively, you can reward a student for effort or accuracy. You can put a sticker or stamp in each box. You can also draw a check, a smiley face, or a seasonal image in each box.
Where Can I Find These Ready-Made Rapid Word Recognition Charts?
Head on over to my TPT store where you’ll find these available to purchase.
- CVC Rapid Word Charts For Automatic Recognition of High-Frequency Words
- Consonant Blends and Digraphs Rapid Word Charts With High-Frequency Words
Find Out More…
If you have the time, you might want to explore a little more.
- Rapid Word Chart (Orton-Gillingham Support imse)
- Fluency (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)
- The Importance of Orthographic Mapping (Just Ask Judy related blog post)
What do you think? Are you ready to try rapid word recognition charts? Share your experiences in the comments below.