Teach High-Frequency Words for First Grade Reading

Dolch Sight Words for First Graders and Beginning Readers

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Sight word lists are a helpful way to improve your child's reading skills. This list of frequently used first-grade words was developed by E.W. Dolch in the 1930's. These words often appear in first-grade level reading material. There are many ways to teach sight words to young children, whether preparing them for first grade or working with a child who is showing early signs of learning disabilities.

They will encounter these words in picture books and school materials, so familiarization with them can help their reading ability.

First Grade Sight Words

after, again, an, any, as, ask, by, could, every, fly, from, give, going, had, has, her, him, how, just, know, let, live, may, of, old, once, open, over, put, round, some, stop, take, thank, them, then, think, walk, where, when

Why Learn Sight Words?

Sight words are learned as whole words rather than sounding them out or decoding them letter by letter. Children with learning disabilities in reading or dyslexia may have more difficulty in reading with sight words as compared with the other methods. However, working on this skill can help increase reading speed, accuracy, and comprehension. When a child can spot these words by sight, they can then more easily comprehend the context of other words in the sentence. If you don't know whether this is the best reading tactic for your child, discuss it with your child's teacher.

Sight Word Reading Strategies

Focus on a small number of sight words each week. Five words or up to 10 words can be about the right number. You can use flash cards, matching games, bingo games, and label object that match the word. See a variety of strategies for teaching sight words at home.

Sight Word Flash Cards

Are you ready for more sight words beyond Dolch?

Other lists include Fry and the top 150 written words. You can also make you own custom sight words flash cards. Use these flashcards of common first-grade list words to download and print for building sight word vocabulary and spelling skills. This comprehensive set of sight words is enough to keep your child learning for a whole first-grade year of homeschooling or as supplemental practice for a school year and a summer for children attending formal school.

Work with only five cards a week to avoid overwhelming your child. If he is interested in doing more, add a couple. The key is being responsive to your child's learning pace. Each child will have their own learning pace, so don't try to either force them to learn faster or hold them back if they absorb the new skills quickly.

You want to keep the flash card session fun and game-like. Don't turn them into a chore to be dreaded. Think of rewards such as a favorite physical activity, healthy snack, or screen time. Learn the best strategies for using flashcards.