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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 12/10/20

1st Grade Dolch Sight Words - The Key to Early Spelling Success

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Dolch Sight words are the list of 220 words that researcher Edward W. Dolch published in his book "Problems in Reading" in 1948. Dolch established which words appeared most often in children's reading books. Around fifty to seventy-five percent of the words in any piece of text, whether intended for adults or children, will contain words from the Dolch glossary. Dolch believed that learning to acknowledge these words by sight would speed up children's reading fluency.

Many of the words on the Dolch list aren't decodable. This suggests that they can't be easily 'sounded out' using phonetic clues. For instance, 'cat' may be a phonically regular word that is straightforward to decode, but the word 'there' doesn't follow the foremost common rules of phonics, which makes it difficult to decode. Dolch words are therefore usually taught as 'sight words'. This suggests that the learner is going to be taught to acknowledge the word as an entire instead of breaking it down and decoding it.

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