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Sounding Out Sight Words

An alternative to rote memorization

Learn the phonograms and spelling rules needed to sound out the Dolch words!A list of 220 high-frequency words and 95 nouns compiled by Edward Dolch and first published in 1936. These words are commonly thought of as words that must be taught and memorized as whole words.

Teacher - Are you tired of drill sight words?
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There is a better way!

Learn the skills needed to unlock English words!

Filling in the Gap

Ten minutes a day!

Ten minutes a day!

67 lessons explain 315 Dolch words and unlock the reasoning behind THOUSANDS of additional words! The Dolch words are a list of frequently used words compiled by Edward Dolch in 1936. These words are commonly taught as words that need to be memorized by rote as "whole words." Many teachers and parents mistakenly believe these words cannot be sounded out and are exceptions to the rules.
Empower Students with the Skills to Read Real Books!

Empower Students with the Skills to Read Real Books!

Students who memorize sight words often practice reading with books that combine highly-controlled words with carefully chosen pictures to facilitate guessing. Real children’s books, however, are not controlled by sight words, and picture clues are not always available. This is the reason many students who approach reading by memorizing “whole words” often plateau in their reading levels and struggle with more advanced texts.

Once students learn accurate phonograms and spelling rules, they are equipped to read and enjoy real books at the same level they can listen and comprehend!

Efficient

Efficient

When students memorize a sight word by rote, they master the skill to read exactly one word!

When students learn one systematic phonics skill, they master a skill that will unlock thousands of additional words!

Eliminates Confusion/Provides Answers

Eliminates Confusion/Provides Answers

Most students have learned an incomplete form of phonics that causes confusion and leaves hundreds of the Dolch words as exceptions to the rules. By learning the phonograms and spelling rules this confusion is replaced with understanding of how English really works. In addition to solving the Dolch words, students develop the skills to unlock 98% of English words!
Multi-Sensory Fun

Multi-Sensory Fun

Includes three suggested games from the Logic of English Game Book in every lesson! Multi-sensory games are an excellent way to help your students master the foundational skills of reading and spelling!
Logical

Logical

Sounding out the Sight Words logically explains 95% of the Dolch words and tens of thousands of additional words. Only seventeen of the 315 Dolch Words (5%) have an irregular spelling and require additional instruction. Five of the words have spellings shaped by morphology — the meaning of the word’s roots — and are understandable once the root is explained. Five words have undergone shifts in pronunciation that students can comprehend with instruction. The remaining seven words still have recognizable connections between their spelling and pronunciation that help students sound out the word in spite of a sound with an irregular spelling.
Builds Reading Fluency/Teaches High-Frequency Words

Builds Reading Fluency/Teaches High-Frequency Words

Sounding out the Sight Words teaches the skills needed to read high-frequency words—the small number of common words that make up the majority of English texts—without rote memorization of whole words.
Based on the Science of Reading

Based on the Science of Reading

Students who memorize whole words by sight are developing connections in the brain that are associated with struggling readers!

Students who learn the sound and letter correspondences develop connections in the area of the brain associated with strong and fluent readers.

A Reference for High-Frequency Words

A Reference for High-Frequency Words

Use the book Sounding Out the Sight Words to answer student’s questions about specific words or to teach required “sight words” before they have been introduced in Foundations or Essentials.
Download the full introduction

How the Book Works

There are two ways for teachers to use Sounding Out the Sight Words!

Lesson by Lesson
Teach the skills in order using the mini-lessons on each teacher page. Then have the student use what they just learned to read the Dolch words and additional words on the student page.

or

Word by Word
Look up a Dolch word in the comprehensive index. Find the teacher page where it is introduced. Teach the skill or skills needed to understand its spelling. Then have the student read the word!

teacher and student page laying flat
One side is for the teachers.
Step-by-step instructions in green guide teachers on how to teach the new skill. Ideas are also included for review and practice.
Additional instructions to review previously taught concepts are included for those who are teaching the skills lesson by lesson. The list of Dolch words that include concepts from a previous provide a reference to look up the the skills needed to master these words.
Play fun games from the Logic of English Game Book to help students master phonograms, develop word level fluency, and practice spelling!
Dolch words that use this concept, but will be taught in a future lesson, are also included.
The other side is for students.
The new skill is provided at the top of each student page.
The Dolch words that can be read using only this lesson’s skill and the basic sounds of A-Z are listed in the first green column on the left.
Additional words that can be read using only this lesson’s skill and the basic sounds of A-Z are listed in the second green column.
Dolch words that can be read using this lesson’s skill and skills taught in previous lessons are listed in the first blue column.
Additional words that can be read using this lesson’s skill and skills taught in previous lessons are listed in the final blue column.To find which additional skills are needed and where they are taught, see the chart “Concepts from Previous Lessons” on the teacher’s side of the book.

Sounding Out the Sight Words

Sounding Out the Sight Words Book

Pre-Lesson

Review the most common sound for each of the twenty-six letters. These sounds are often taught in ABC books and phonics curriculums. This knowledge alone empowers students to decode 58 of the 315 Dolch sight words.

Systematic Phonics Skills

  • Decode CVC words that use only the first sound of each phonogram.

Lesson 1

Every lesson introduces a systematic phonics skill which explains one or more of the Dolch words. New phonemic awareness skills are introduced that will help students to further understand and master the Systematic Phonics Skills.

Systematic Phonics Skills

  • Read ALL the sounds, in order of frequency, of the single-letter phonogram s.
  • Decode words that include the phonogram S saying its second sound /z/.

Phonemic Awareness Skills

  • Identify a sound as voiced or unvoiced.

Lessons 2-3

Students learn new systematic phonics skills unlocking additional words.

Systematic Phonics Skills

  • Read the sounds, in order of frequency, of the multi-letter phonogram th.
  • Decode words with the multi-letter phonogram th.
  • Decode words with phonograms that say more than one sound. Recognize the possibilities and try each of the sounds until the word makes sense.

Lessons 4-5

As skills build, students who are learning the concepts in order now apply them to words which use previously taught skills.

Systematic Phonics Skills

  • Read the sound of the multi-letter phonogram ee.
  • Read the sound of the multi-letter phonogram er.
  • Decode words with the multi-letter phonogram ee.
  • Decode words with the multi-letter phonogram er.
Download the sample lessons.
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