Learning About Sight Words

by beagoodmom on February 28, 2007

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Have you ever noticed how your kids can see “Wal-Mart” on a shopping bag and know what it says? Or how they know Aldi’s “Crisped Rice” does not say “Rice Krispies?” In learning to read, the first step is what educators call “sight words.” These are words that children understand and read as one thought, without having to figure them out. In its most basic form, they are not really words to a kid, but an image or logo. In some cases, the earliest readers will not even see the word as a series of letters, they see it as one shape, one letter of sorts. (We can ask MOM, a 30 year educator to explain more about this to us in the comments).

I found this article which discusses the importance of sight words in learning to read. It also gives ideas for practicing with sight words. According to the website “the 100 most common words actually make up about 50 percent of the material we read! The 25 most common words make up about one- third of our written material.” When you break it down like that, it seems easy to teach your child to “read” a huge sight vocabulary early. Of course they will still need to learn phonics, spelling, etc. Sight words are not a replacement for learning how words work, but they do give an early reader the confidence to figure the other things out.

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