What are DRA and Lexile Levels

What should your kindergartner know? Sight Words!

Posted on Posted in Blog, Color Me Educated, Reading/English

What should your kindergartner know? Sight Words!

It was not that long ago that my main concern with our youngest was for her to correctly identify parts of the body, shapes, and colors and to keep the ABC song going when I dropped out out as 'back up'.  Now, with my youngest baby starting kindergarten this school year I am reminded of two things:
  1. How time flies (sigh).  
  2. Schooling just got real (again).
Television and movies may lead one to think that kindergarten is about sweet, simple days of molding Play-Doh, singing songs and making friends.  If only it were so.  The name of the game in kindergarten (and thereafter) is reading.  Or at least I see it this way since in 2009, the average reading score of Black 4th-grade students was less than that of White 4th-grade students by 26 points and not much better for Hispanic student  either.
Teachers begin to help students become comfortable with reading with sight words. Sight words are words that are easily recognizable [i.e. ‘on-sight’] and are just about everywhere in a text.  Normally, sight words are introduced to children as early as 4-k, definitely by kindergarten. Helping your child to recognize sight words can assist with fluency as they make up a majority of the words in children’s books.


Here is a list of sight words below. Print them out and make as flash cards.

  • I
  • a
  • the
  • are
  • said
  • an
  • like
  • look
  • has
  • have
  • it
  • my
  • can
  • do
  • for
  • and
  • is
  • go
  • no
  • so
  • am
  • in
  • she
  • he
  • see
  • at
  • by
  • up
  • me
  • with
  • to
  • we
  • here
  • play


Tips for using Sight Words:

  • Learn/memorize four or five sight words at a time.
  • Review sight words before bed, in between commercial breaks of your favorite television show or perhaps while you’re waiting for another child at football practice. 
  • Ask your kindergartner to point out sight words while you are reading, riding in the car, or on television.

 Once kids begin to recognize sight words they will call them out ALL the time.  Which also means you can upgrade the learning.

  • After your kindergartner knows about ten to fifteen sight words ask them to make sentences using their newly learned words.
  • Check out more tips for your kindergartner here 



How do you encourage reading with your child?

One thought on “What should your kindergartner know? Sight Words!

  1. I am concerned that with the Common Core Standands and benchmarks, children will feel that same sense of failure that they had with whole language when they couldn’t read and spell. Research has already demonstrate that memorization by sight (without sound patterns) is the worst, most ineffective way to learn (put things into long term memory). Is anyone noticing that we are moving right back to whole language with this expectation of memorization of high frequency words (they NOT sight words). why not, instead, teach all the high frequency words phonetically? That is how Zoo-phonics does it. It makes it so easy because they are put into word families and taught sequentially. Children WILL learn HFWs easily and quickly through a phonetic approach. Let’s NOT go backwards.

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