As I discussed last August, Dolch sight words are a group of words recognized by early childhood educators that are important for children to be able to read “on sight” since they may not follow regular phonics rules or may simply be common words that can be committed to memory rather than being sounded out each time. The entire group of Dolch sight words include over 300 words that are divided into five groups by suggested age, starting with pre-kindergarten and going through third grade. Then, there is a sixth group of Dolch sight word nouns. Naturally, the words increase in difficulty at each grade level.
In my years of teaching kindergarten, I found that once children understand the utility of sight words and are able to follow the practice of seeing a sight word and committing it to memory, they love adding to their sight word vocabulary since it increases reading fluency and speed. So, regardless of the fact that my young students were in kindergarten, I found that many were ready to attempt the First Grade, Second Grade and Third Grade Dolch sight word lists well before beginning those grades.
My experience in the classroom was certainly supported by the countless emails I have received from parents and caregivers saying their young child had already learned all the Pre-primer (preschool) and Primer (kindergarten) level sight words and asking when I was going to add the remaining sight words to the Reading Skills section of the website. With these requests and my own experience in mind, I have decided to add sight word flashcards for the First Grade, Second Grade, Third Grade and Nouns Dolch sight word lists. Of course, I will also add easy-to-read sight word sentences and sight word games to support learning these important sight words.
First up are First Grade Dolch sight word flashcards (scroll down past the pre-primer and primer sight word flashcards on the same page).
As you did with the other sight word flashcards, I suggest introducing your child to only two or three sight word flashcards at a time. Also, before beginning you can allow your child to look through the entire stack of flashcards and ask your child to point out any words he already knows. Although titled First Grade, Second Grade or Third Grade, there are many basic words on each of these lists that your child may already know. For extra tips on introducing your child to sight words, you can refer to my earlier blog post which includes six easy tips for helping all children quickly learn sight words.
Next week I will add a list of easy-to-read sight word sentences and some sight word games to go along with each new list of Dolch sight word, so be sure to check back for those.