Sight words are frequently used or non-phonetic words that should be learned by ‘sight’ to achieve reading proficiency. Many schools still use the Dolch sight words list to teach new readers.
The primary benefit of learning sight words is decreased frustration in reading fluency. Since sight words comprise more than 75% of the words in all children’s literature, knowing sight words decreases the number of unknown words in a simple text. In addition, some sight words are non-phonetic (e.g. eight, light, because, buy) and would be frustrating for a new reader to sound out. Once a reader has mastered Dolch’s sight words, reading improvement can take place at a faster rate and with less exasperation.
Edward Dolch originally published his 220-word list (plus 95 nouns) of sight words in 1948. While there are other sight word lists, the Dolch list is still among the most frequently referenced.
The Cooper Place Sight Word swaddle blanket is designed to help parents teach their children sight words by making the Dolch list effortlessly accessible.