Recently I posted about an alphabet book that I created with my son by using a spiral bound stack of index cards. In the back of the book we had several extra pages and so we created a list of words that he knows how to read, mostly by sight. He loves to flip through and read his words. This is a great way for me to keep a record of his reading vocabulary.
I've recently partnered with Samson's Classroom, an online software company that provides games on sight words, spelling, and reading comprehension. They provided me with some interesting information about sight words.
Sight words are the most commonly used words in the English language. In fact, approximately half the words you encounter in day-to-day reading are sight words. When children fail to master sight words early on, they may get discouraged and quickly fall behind their classmates. On the other hand, students who recognize sight words gain the confidence they need to continually develop their reading skills and outperform their peers. Not convinced? Let's take a look at the percentage of sight words in some famous and important text.
Where Did These Numbers Come From?
You might be a bit skeptical of the claim that over half the words you read every day are sight words. I know we were when we first heard it. So we decided to put that claim to the test by building a program that accepts text and provides a count of the sight words found within that text. The more passages we tested, the more we were convinced. The importance of mastering the words on the Dolch list is obvious but these stats really help underline just how critical it is for early readers to learn their sight words.
More on Sight Words
In his 1948 book Problems in Reading Edward William Dolch, PhD. published a list of 220 "service words" that must be easily recognized in order to achieve reading fluency in the English Language. Many of the words on the list cannot be "sounded out" phonetically and have to be learned by sight. These "sight words" occur so frequently that mastering them is essential for early readers to maintain the confidence they need to continue developing their literacy skills. If you've learned one thing from this article, it should be the fact that more than 50% of the words we read every day are sight words.
Why Did We Write This Article?We wrote this article to expose you to the importance of learning sight words. When we discovered this information, we created a product called Samson's Classroom that addresses this need. We believe that it is the best product on the market to help students master sight words. If you want to learn more about Samson's Classroom, watch the demo video. The Samson's Classroom Team