Sight words or Dolch words, are vocabulary words that need to be memorized by sight in order to achieve language and reading fluency. Some sight words are abstract or can't be sounded out phonetically; but by learning to recognize them instantaneously, kids can decipher new words within a context.
In 1948, Edward William Dolch, Ph.D., published a list of 220 common "service" or "tool" words (including adjectives, prepositions, verbs, etc.) in the book Problems With Reading. The list was divided by grade (pre-K to third), and was compiled after analyzing various children's books published since 1936. Dolch later compiled a separate sight-words list of 95 nouns, but his original list is still commonly referred to and used today.
Originally published on MrPrintables.com and reprinted with permission. Copyright © 2013 Meredith Corporation.