Sight Word Assessment

Assessments and data graphs are crucial for progress monitoring students' sight word mastery. Find out how I formally and informally assess students' sight word knowledge during guided reading using these FREE data graphs.

In order for students to become fluent readers, they need to develop a large base of known sight words. There are so many amazing resources and activities available online for fun ways to practice sight words, but how should we be assessing students' sight word mastery? Teachers need to be progress monitoring on a regular basis to determine students' known sight words and the ones they need to practice more. Find out how I regularly assess my students' sight word knowledge.


Informal Assessment During Guided Reading

Part of my daily guided reading routine includes sight word practice. This may include a quick write on white boards of known sight words or playing a fun review game. (For ideas of the games I play check out this blog post!) During these activities I informally assess students to see which words they know automatically and which are still unknown.

For each guided reading group, I have two separate data graphs. I select a graph of the Dolch sight word lists (PrePrimer, Primer, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade) depending on the students' current reading and ability levels. Typically I have one graph to document the words that students can READ and another graph to assess which words they can WRITE correctly. I like to track these skills separately since students' mastery of words they can read and write will vary.

Assessments and data graphs are crucial for progress monitoring students' sight word mastery. Find out how I formally and informally assess students' sight word knowledge during guided reading using these FREE data graphs.
Data graphs I use to informally assess students during guided reading.
As we complete the sight word activities, I document each individual student's success with reading and/or writing the word. If they are able to read or write the word quick and accurately, I give them a check in the box next to the corresponding sight word. If they are incorrect or hesitant with the word I give them an X.  As you can see from the picture above students will have multiple checks and Xs next to each word. This helps me determine which words to be practicing with students each day.

Formal Assessment for RTI Data Binders

Progress monitoring using formal assessments and data binders are a crucial component of the RTI interventions I provide. I aim to formally assess students' sight word mastery at least once a month.

To administer this assessment, I work with students one-on-one while the other students in my group read independently. Obviously it may take longer for classroom teachers to administer the assessment. If you're fortunate enough to have a teacher assistant or parent volunteers they can assist with the assessment.

Assessments and data graphs are crucial for progress monitoring students' sight word mastery. Find out how I formally and informally assess students' sight word knowledge during guided reading using these FREE data graphs.
Sight words are sorted into 3 piles during the assessment.

During the assessment, the students read the sight words to me. As they read the words I separate them into 3 separate piles as shown above: Nailed It!, Almost, Not Yet. If they are able to read the word quickly and accurately, it is placed in the Nailed It! pile. Words that are read incorrectly go in the Not Yet pile. If a student hesitates on a word, reads it incorrectly but self corrects, or needs to sound it out I place it in the Almost pile. This helps me make sure I'm only tracking the words that students have definitely mastered.

Sight Word Data Graphs

After administering the assessment, I fill out the data graphs for each student. As mentioned above, the data graphs are based on the Dolch sight word lists: PrePrimer, Primer, 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, and 3rd Grade. The list I use for each student depends on their current reading and ability level. 

Assessments and data graphs are crucial for progress monitoring students' sight word mastery. Find out how I formally and informally assess students' sight word knowledge during guided reading using these FREE data graphs.
Monthly data lists to monitor students' progress
The data graphs document which month the students master the sight words. Each month is given a different color on the graphs to provide a quick visual overview of when the students mastered the sight words. For example, the words the students mastered in September are colored red. I also write the number of newly mastered sight words at the bottom of the graph. It helps me notice trends of students who are progressing as expected or below expectations. This knowledge allows me to adjust my instruction accordingly to the students' individual needs.
Assessments and data graphs are crucial for progress monitoring students' sight word mastery. Find out how I formally and informally assess students' sight word knowledge during guided reading using theses FREE data graphs.
Submit the form below to download the data graphs in this post!



How do you assess sight words? Do you assess your students monthly or weekly? Please share with us in the comments below!

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