When children are learning to read, they learn all about phonics. However, what happens when they reach certain words that the rules of phonics don’t actually apply to? What about the words that appear in our sentences on a regular basis? Should they have to sound out “the” every time they come across it in a sentence? No! For the first few years of school, kids should be learning sight words. This article contains worksheets and flashcards for the first 100 Dolch Sight Words! Enjoy!
So, who is Dolch and why did he decide what the 220 sight words should be?
The Dolch Word List is a list of frequently used English words compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD, a major proponent of the “whole-word” method of beginning reading instruction. The list was prepared in 1936. The list was originally published in his book Problems in Reading in 1948.
Dolch compiled the list based on children’s books of his era, which is why nouns such as “kitty” and “Santa Claus” appear on the list instead of more high-frequency words. The list contains 220 “service words” that have to be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency in the English language. The compilation excludes nouns, which comprise a separate 95-word list. Between 50-75% of all words used in schoolbooks, library books, newspapers, and magazines are a part of the Dolch basic sight word vocabulary.
Why are sight words important?
Sight words are an important component of language, specifically for developing readers. High-frequency words such as ‘the,’ ‘a’, and ‘in’ form the basis of writing.
Understanding these words is crucial for decoding unfamiliar material and building independent reading skills.
For example, spotting common sight words not only helps students understand a text in its entirety but also properly identifies the function of unknown vocabulary within context.
Moreover, speed in recognizing sight words reduces both physical and mental strain that can otherwise fester when trying to decipher each word one by one.
Being skilled in sight words allows developing readers to grasp sentence meaning quickly and move on to more complex elements easily.
What are the most common sight words to learn?
Sight words are an essential part of a child’s journey towards reading fluency, and understanding the most common sight words is essential for students to grow in their literacy abilities.
The most commonly seen sight words include everyday words such as ‘the,’ ‘of,’ ‘and,’ and ‘said.’ These frequently appear in the text, and learners need to be able to recognize them without having to sound out each letter manually.
Additionally, other essential sight words include numerals, colors, and shapes.
Mastering these terms allows young readers to navigate even unfamiliar texts confidently.
Building familiarity with basic sight words will make reading easier for learners as they embark on their educational journey.
Does learning sight words help with reading skills?
Sight words are an essential building block for language and literacy development in young children.
Learning sight words is a powerful tool to help children become stronger readers. By learning sight words, children can quickly recognize common words without having to decode them phonetically or depend on memorizing the spelling of long, multi-syllable words.
Research has consistently shown that recognizing sight words is important for the early stages of reading fluency, comprehension, and accuracy.
Additionally, mastery of these high-frequency words helps boost reading speed and confidence as one progresses through higher levels of reading complexity.
Consequently, instruction in basic sight word recognition can be a powerful tool to help achieve success in early reading skills.
At what age should kids start working on sight word learning?
The optimal age for kids to start learning sight words varies depending on the individual learner and their educational background.
Generally, research indicates that once children have established a good foundation in phonics and reading comprehension skills, it can be beneficial for them to begin learning sight words.
For example, it has been found that when kindergarten students are given exposure to high-frequency sight words early on during their academic careers, they exhibit fewer errors when attempting to read the grade-level text in later years.
Thus, recognizing the importance of sight word exposure in allowing students to progress with their reading ability is key when determining at what age kids should start working on these types of activities.
First 100 Dolch Sight Words:
For the past 10 weeks, I have been making printable worksheets and flash cards to help you teach and reinforce the Dolch Sight Words to your little ones. Some of you have asked, so here is the full list of the first 100!
- Words 1-10 – a, and, away, big, can, come, down, find, for, funny
- Words 11-20 – go, help, here, I, in, is, it, jump, little, look
- Words 21-30 – make, me, my, not, one, play, run, said, see, the
- Words 31-40 – blue, red, three, to, two, up we, where, yellow, you
- Words 41-50 – all, am, are, at, ate, be, black, brown, but, came
- Words 51-60 – did, do, eat, for, get, good, have, he, into, like
- Words 61-70 – must, new, no, now, on, our, out, please, pretty, ran
- Words 71-80 – ride, saw, say, she, so, soon, that, there, they, this
- Words 81-90 – too, under, want, was, well, went, what, white, who, will
- Words 91-100 – with, yes, after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could
Dolch Sight Word Games & Books:
Here are a few of my top picks to help you reinforce the sight words to your kids!