A kindergarten sight words list should focus on words that truly break the phonetic code. Very few words should be taught as sight words. An English dictionary might contain 250,000 words, yet in reading instruction, we only teach about 150 words as sight words. Many Kindergarten sight words lists are littered with phonetically regular words like “play,” “see” and “teach.” Though these words are common, they are phonetically regular and should not be taught as a sight words. Look for a Kindergarten sight words list that focuses on true sight words.
I review sight words every day and my student still isn’t learning sight words
Ava reviewed sight words with her dad every day. Yet, she didn’t retain sight words. It appeared as if she were almost blind to sight words. Ava’s teacher was worried that Ava didn’t retain even the top ten sight words. Though she was a bright, articulate, creative girl and didn’t seem to have any memory deficits, words were different. They were a source of confusion and frustration. Ava was hardworking. She wanted to learn. She even focused when her dad brought out the sight word activities. Yet, every day she only recalled five of her sight words.
Her dad wondered: what is going on?
Systematic phonics instruction can improve sight word acquisition
Many students are like Ava. Students that struggle with sight words can perform well in reading. However, sight words alone will not boost these children to the next reading level. Kids like Ava need systematic, explicit phonics instruction.
Nearly every word has some phonetic regularity. Even sight words are somewhat regular. By definition, sight words break the phonetic code in some way. However, even sight words contain some aspect of the code. For example, the sight word “they” has the regular “th” component, “was” has the regular /w/ sound and “said” has both the regular /s/ and /d/ sounds. When a child knows the phonetic code, she can use her knowledge to access sight words.
Ava did learn sight words, but only after systematic phonics instruction. She finally acquired words on her kindergarten sight words list. When her dad showed her a word, she unlocked the piece of the code she could. The regular /th/ in “they,” /s/ and /d/ in “said” and /w/ in “was” helped her unlock these words. She could finally use the phonetic code to break into sight words.
Kindergarten Sight words list & free printable sight word game
The following are some of the most common sight words for Kindergarteners. Nearly all of the words break the phonetic code in some way. A few phonetic words have been added so kids can read books before extensive phonics instruction. Scroll to the bottom of the blog for a free printable sight word game for Kindergartners.
If you’d like decodable books, check out The Printable Phonics Books Library