An expansive sight word vocabulary is a great tool for helping children become confident - and fluent - readers. The list of Dolch sight words I have been using on my website to make sight word flashcards, sentences and games includes those common words that early childhood educators believe children must be able to read “on sight” (without pausing to sound out) in order to become successful readers.
Through my years in the classroom, I found that sight word flashcards are the most effective way to introduce children to new sight words. They allow children to focus on two or three cards at a time and, once learned, the new words can be easily added to the existing pile of mastered words. Also, the small size of flashcards makes it easy for children to quickly review them by simply looking at a card and then placing it at the back of the stack.
Still, I know that learning new sight words means repetition and memorization and this type of learning can become monotonous and boring for children. I believe the easiest way to keep your child engaged while learning sight words is to show him first-hand how knowing sight words contributes to smooth and comfortable reading.
For each set of eight first grade sight word flashcards, I created a list of eight corresponding sight word sentences which are stocked with the eight sight words on the corresponding flashcards as well as sight words from previous lists which your child has likely already mastered. Because these sentences include sight words your child already knows, he will be able to quickly and confidently read entire sentences, not just “beginning readers” sentences such as “I am sad” or “My cat can nap.” As your child discovers he can read complete sentences, he will begin to view himself as a successful and capable reader, which will fuel his interest to learn more sight words.
In addition to simply having your child read all eight sentences, you can try using these sight word sentence worksheets in a variety of other ways to keep the activity fun.
- Ask your child to go back and circle words from previous lists. Direct him to use a yellow crayon or colored pencil to circle all preschool words (to match the color of the sight word card) and a red crayon or colored pencil if the word is on the kindergarten sight word list.
- Ask your child to count how many times each new sight word appears on the page. To make this activity more fun, tell your child to read each sight word card and place it on the table. Then, give him some beans or buttons or cereal pieces to use as counters. Each time he spots a sight word in the sentences, he can place a counter under or next to the sight word card.
(In case you were also looking for the Dolch sight words for second grade, third grade, and nouns, I wanted to let you know that I have some delightful Easter worksheets to add to the website next week and then I will come back and add the remaining Dolch sight words flashcards and sentences to the website. Also, I am working on some amazing sight word games that I hope to add to the website soon, so be on the lookout for those!)