Sight Words-How’s My Child Doing?

Find out how your child is doing writing sight words using these 5 easy steps!

Keep it Positive

Above all, keep the atmosphere very positive.

Moreover, tell your children and students that these activities help you (as their teacher) know how to guide and help them. These relaxed assessments help you know which activities to do and which games to play to help them keep learning!


In addition, I suggest completing each of these activities at least once a month. For example, you can conduct a different assessment each week of the month.

5 Minutes–Words

  1. First, have the children write as many sight words as they can in five minutes.
sight words-one child's list
A 5 year old’s work

Next, count the words that are spelled correctly. If they write at least ONE more word correctly than the time before, give them a sticker or whatever reward you want!

Dictate Words

2. On another day, say the words that the children have learned. Have the children write each word down to make sure they can remember how to spell them. Continue to practice any forgotten words.

sight words-one child's list
From List 2

Dictate Sentences

3. Again, at another time, read complete sight word sentences that the children have learned and practiced.  The students write the sentences that you say.  Continue to practice any forgotten words.

sight words in sentences
From List 3

30 Minutes–Paragraph

4. Fourth, give students 30 minutes to write about a topic of his/her choice.  It can be a fictional story, non-fiction information or a free write about anything.

When my son was  5 3/4 years old, he wrote about lions.

a picture of a lion

First, we discussed what he knew about them:

  • how they look
  • where they live
  • what they can do with their legs
  • food that they eat

Then, I gave him 30 minutes to write.  This was an informal assessment to find out what he was able to do all by himself.

Beforehand, I told him that I couldn’t help him with his writing in any way.  After 17 minutes he said he was done.  He had completed the first 4 sentences but still hadn’t mentioned what the lions can do.  At that point, I simply said, “You haven’t written about what the lion can do.  You still have 13 minutes.”

He spoke a couple more things that he knew about lions then went back to writing, adding the last two sentences.

This is what he wrote:

January of his Kindergarten year

A Mix of Correct and Phonetic Spelling

Notice how he mixed correctly spelled words with phonetically spelled words.

This is our goal! We want the children to be writing the words that they’ve learned correctly. Then, any new or unknown words are spelled phonetically (using the letters/sounds that they hear.)

The lion piece that my son wrote was after he had spent a year working on letter sounds, writing sight words and sight word sentences.

Reading Words

5. Lastly, you can assess the children’s ability to READ the sight words. Print out the list of words that they’ve completed most recently.

Have each child highlight all the words that they can read easily and confidently.

Continue practicing any unknown words. More importantly, reward the students when they can read all of the words on their list!

Print the Steps

Lists of Words

Here are the lists of words that correspond with the lists of sight word sentences:

Please note, that I created the sight word sentences and theses lists of sight words from the master list of high frequency words found on the Dolch Word Lists.