The ability to decode words is crucial to reading, but a number of high frequency words are still worth learning whole.
For example, some words cannot be “sounded out” in the usual way using phoneme-grapheme correspondences because they have irregular spellings. In these cases, what you see is not what you hear. Not all sight words are phonemically irregular in that way - some are just worth knowing whole because of how frequently they are used.
Download Dolch sight words list: kindergarten below.
The two most common lists of sight words are Dolch words and Fry words. Both Dolch and Fry word lists are based on the most frequently occurring words in the English language. These lists can be printed out and kept for reference.
Common Core Alignment:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.C Read common high-frequency words by sight