First graders are learning high frequency words in reading each week. These are words that are memorized because they do not sound the way they are spelled. Research indicates the more high frequency words we know, the better our comprehension will be.
Because reading and writing support each other, research also tells us the first 25 words are used in 33% of everyday writing, and the first 100 words appear in 50% of adult and student writing. The first 1,000 words first graders may read this year are used in 89% of everyday writing.
High frequency words are practiced daily in whole group reading, and weekly with an adult. I use parent volunteers to sit with each student and practice their individual cards. First graders call these "Book Box Cards" because their flashcards park inside their book boxes.