Knowing words by sight is an important part of becoming a fluent reader. Less time is spent on decoding words and more time is spent on understanding what the text means. Sight words were originally defined as words with irregular spellings. In other words, children are unable to sound them out so they have to be memorized. High frequency words are the most common words used in written language. The word lists you see today are most likely a mix of sight words and high frequency words. Research suggests that the best possible strategy to use when teaching children unknown words is to teach them how to DECODE words. This provides the child with a greater connection to the word than simply memorization. It also gives them strategies to apply to other unknown words. Keep in mind in order to cross the word off the word list, most schools require the student to be able to read the word in three seconds or less. With that in mind, decoding in addition to practicing the word frequently in text as well as in isolation should make an unknown word into a known word in no time! So what are these non-decodable words? According to Reading Research.net, there are 38 non-decodable words that must be learned by sight. Click the attachment below to see which words they are!