“In classrooms across America the development of sight word recognition continues to be a top priority when instructing emerging and beginning readers.” TeachStix
What Are Sight Words?
Sight Words (high-frequency, core words) are the words that are used most often in reading and writing.
Why Are Sight Words Important?
Sight words are very important for your child to master because “sight words account for up to 75% of the words used in beginning printed children’s materials”, ( Study to Identify High Frequency Word in Printed Materials, by DJ Kear & MA Gladheart).
There are different sight words for every grade level. Each set of words builds upon the other, meaning that once your child learns the Sight Words in Kindergarten, he will be expected to still recognize those words as he learns new words in first grade, and so forth.
Many of the over 200 Sight Words do not follow the basic principles, thus they cannot be “sounded out”. Beginning readers need an effective strategy for decoding unknown words, and knowing sight words is an effective method. (Speech Buddy)
READ MORE FOR BENEFITS, EXAMPLES, AND SIGHT WORD LISTS
Benefits of Knowing Sight Words
CONFIDENCE: Sight Words promote CONFIDENCE because the first 100 Sight Words represents over 50% of English text. A child who has mastered the list of Sight Words, can already recognize at least half of a sentence. Children who can already recognize the words are less likely to become discouraged and put the book down, rather he’ll have more confidence to read it all the way through. And, choose another!
COMPREHENSION: Sight Words help promote reading COMPREHENSION. As your child reads a book for the first time, instead of trying to decipher what ALL of the words mean, she can shift her attention to focusing on those words she is not familiar with. She will already know at least half the words, so focusing on the other half helps strengthen her understanding of the text.
CONTEXT: Sight Words provide clues to the CONTEXT of the text. Children who are familiar with sight words, may be able to decode the meaning of the paragraph or sentence by reading the sight words. If a picture accompanies the text, children may be able to determine what the story is about and add a few new words to their vocabulary. (Speech Buddy)
Examples of Sight Words in Children’s Text
“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold wet day.” The Cat in The Hat, by Dr. Seuss
“Where’s Papa going with that ax?” said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.” Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White.
How to Practice Sight Words
You will want to become familiar with all the words for each grade on the Dolch List for Basic Sight Words.
The key to mastering Sight Words? PRACTICE AND REPEAT! The more opportunity your child has to become familiar with these words, the better!
Resources to Help Your Child Master Sight Words
Your child will have a Sight Word list included in their binder or planner they bring home each evening. The list will focus on which list and words you child is currently trying to master. As your child masters a list, it is encouraged to continue to the next level. Sight Word assessments are given each 9 weeks to monitor learning progress.
Our beginning year Sight Words assessments indicate many Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students are unfamiliar with many of these words. We encourage you to work with your child each and every day in mastering these very important words!
Any questions or concerns you might have about your child’s Sight Word mastery level, please contact us. We are always ready and willing to assist you in helping your child be successful in achieving their learning and knowledge goals.
Download/Print Dolch List for Basic Sight Words
You can download the lists to your computer, IPad, tablet, and phone and have them handy anywhere, anytime for some quick PRACTICE & REPEAT study of Sight Words. Dolch lists words are grouped into five different sets of words beginning with Pre-primer through 3rd Grade.
See Elementary Academics page for Online Resources connecting you to lots of great educational websites for Preschool and K-4.