Learning to Read Using Sight Words
Sight words are words that should be memorized to help a child learn to read and write. Learning sight words allows a child to recognize these words at a glance without needing to break the words down into their individual letters and is the way strong readers recognize most words. Knowing common words by sight makes reading easier and faster, because the reader does not need to stop to try and sound out each individual word, letter by letter.
SightWords is a new resource co-developed with the Georgia Preschool Association to teach children to read. The website's free and printable resources are designed to promote learning in both formal and informal classroom settings. The content is simple to use, tailored to the needs of homeschooling parents.
The Dolch Sight Words is the most commonly used set of sight words. Educator Dr. Edward William Dolch developed the list in the 1930s-40s by studying the most frequently occurring words in children's books of that era. The list contains 220 "service words" plus 95 high-frequency nouns. The Dolch sight words comprise 80% of the words you would find in a typical children's book and 50% of the words found in writing for adults. Once a child knows the Dolch words, it makes reading much easier, because the child can then focus his or her attention on the remaining words.
The Fry Sight Words list is a more modern list of words, and was extended to capture the most common 1,000 words. Dr. Edward Fry developed this expanded list in the 1950s (and updated it in 1980), based on the most common words to appear in reading materials used in Grades 3-9. Learning all 1,000 words in the Fry sight word list would equip a child to read about 90% of the words in a typical book, newspaper, or website.
SightWords.com's features include:
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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