How to Assess Sight Words

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Here I am sharing the method I use to assess sight words with my students. This is a video tutorial from

Here I am sharing the method I use to assess sight words with my students.

This is a free tutorial for teachers and parents from

Do you need to assess sight words? Use the tools I am sharing here to help you create your own approach for assessing and tracking sight words.

This tutorial is useful for helping you determine where you should start with your sight word instruction. Also, it will give you a way to track student growth and share data with families.

Free Word Works Video Series

This is the first in a series of videos I am creating due to requests. I am finding many parents looking for ideas on how to help their child with reading at home. In this series, I will be sharing some of my favorite easy-to-implement strategies.

Here I am sharing the method I use to assess sight words with my students.

What are sight words?

Sight words are common words that we ask students to memorize. We want students to know these words on sight instead of needing to sound them out.

Often sight words are words that are not attached to meaning. Some examples are to, the, of and is.

Other terms you might hear to name sight words are:

  • service words
  • high frequency words
  • snap words
  • instant words
  • Dolch Words
  • Fry Words

The final two, Dolch Words and Fry Words, refer to a specific list of sight words. You can find a list of each grouping of words and read a little bit about by reading An Introduction to Fry Words and An Introduction to Dolch Words.

Resources Needed for this Tutorial

I personally prefer to use Fry Words when working on sight words with my students. For this tutorial, I will be using the first 100 Fry Words.

The printable tools I am using are here:

Fry Sight Word Lists

Fry Sight Word Checklists (for assessing students)

You will also need a pen for yourself while completing this check.

You will complete this assessment in a one-on-one setting with a student. I know this can be a challenge when you are working to spend time with each student while monitoring the rest of the class.

I always found that checking sight words gave me information that helped me in working on individual goals for each student and was incredibly valuable. Even though it was not always easy, this is one task I made sure to work into my beginning of the year planning.

This was one task I liked to complete myself. By completing these checks myself, I was able to know that each child was assessed in the same manner. It also gave me an opportunity to get to know each student a little more.

My next video will help you use this data to implement an effective strategy for helping your child master sight words.

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