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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sight Word Assessments

My experience before I became a Reading Specialist was primarily with upper elementary.  Not too long into the practice of actually becoming a Reading Specialist, I realized how important sight words are to beginning readers.

Beginning readers are so all over the board with their sight word vocabulary.  It is easiest to move students along with the number of words they can read quickly if you know how many words they already know.  I found that assessing my students as the beginning of the year is the best way to give them the most growth when compared to the end of the year.

Our district does not use either the Dolch sight word list or the Fry sight word list.  We have used in the past (changing now through committee work to align it with Common Core) a list that was mentioned in Regie Routman's book Transitions.  Many of the words overlap with the Dolch list seen below.

So therefore, I have some ready-made assessments for the Dolch sight words.  This helps the children that I see immensely, because I am always looking for growth in their number of sight words read.

I based the assessments on a popcorn theme.  I love telling students that these words sometimes don't follow all of the sounds that you have learned.  When you see them, the words just have to POP into your head like popcorn.

For each assessment pack, I made popcorn flashcards.  This picture shows have of the pre-primer words.

I also made bookmarks for each pack.  I did this so I could introduce just a few words at a time for the students.  I can make sure that they master that list and then move on to the next lists.  Each bookmark has no more than 7 words on a list (with the pre-primer, primer, and first grades have no more than 6 most of the time).  Here are the first 6 lists of the pre-primer pack.

The most important part of the assessment pack (I think, but what do I know), is the assessment forms.  For most students, checking their progress once a quarter (or trimester) would be fine.  However, there are some students that you are going to have to gently nudge along their sight word journey.  For these students, I use my progress monitoring sheets.  I check their progress more frequently than other students.  Here are the assessment forms for the pre-primer pack.

So there you have it!  A quick and easy way to keep track and help guide the learning of those all important sight words.

Other blogs do some fun things like give away items free to the first three people who respond back with their email attached.  Let's face it, look at the side of my blog and you will see that I have no followers yet.  According to Bloglovin, I have 1 person following me (and I have a feeling it is a colleague who is being nice)!  So, here's the deal.  I will give away an assessment pack to the first person who comments on this post AND leaves me their email.  You can have the assessment pack of your choice!  Keep in mind that this will be my first comment EVER since I started this whole process.  No pressure!  Seriously, I am just daring you to do it!


  1. Hi Amy! I just found your blog through Teacher Lingo. They promoted your guided reading signs. I love them and I am also a huge Fountas and Pinnell fan. I am transitioning from Reading Specialist for the past 11 years to the regular first grade classroom this year. Your blog looks great and I'm your newest follower!

    JD's Rockin' Readers

  2. Thanks for stopping by! I just checked out your blog and plan to add it to my Bloglovin list. Really cool theme by the way! Look to your email soon with regards to your freebie.

  3. Although this may be two years later, I am your newest follower and buyer (here and TPT). I love the popcorn theme. Last year with my students we did popcorn math to learn our math facts and it was a huge success. I look forward to trying the popcorn theme with my lil friends.

    Thanks, Shawndra