How many Sight Words should a Kindergartner know?

The Question:
How many sight words should a Kindergartner be expected to know?
The Answers:
Suzette Montera-Smith 
Our kindergarten kids are expected to know 100 sight words and our kids are newcomer refugees and English as a 2nd language learners! The amazing thing is they can do it!
Lisa Fisher Erickson
 Just went over this in my literacy studies class – about 50 at the end of kinder – here’s an interesting link: http://lickitysplitlearning.com/Dolch-Sight-Word-Flash-Cards.html
Anastasia Ratner 
We teach 71
Angelan Ringland 
This year in Texas it’s at least 25, but we teach 40.
Wynn Godbold: life, love, and lesson plans 
Our county teaches 2-3 per week so that is about 70 for the year.
Jenn Kram 
We expect them to know at least 50, but many will leave knowing 100 or more. We have a good amount of kids that will leave kindergarten knowing 300!!
Jenny Fletcher Davis 
‎50 words
Empowering Little Learners
 Mine know about 30 right now. I should say some… Not all. I think the answer really depends on your district… It seems these days we don’t really have a choice in what’s dap and what’s not. I made this and it has greatly helped. Totally free sight word motions! http://www.empoweringlittlelearners.blogspot.com/2012/02/pre-primer-primer-sight-word-motion.html
Stephanie Lee Jaros
 Our curriculum teaches 34, but I always add more depending upon the ability of my class.
Linda Witkowski 
Ours is about 50.
Christie Lozen-Looney 
Assessed on 49, but most learn way more.
Marla Baier 
Our goal is 150-200. Some already know 600!! And this no joke.
Julie Peterson
 Reading this makes me sad.
Andrea Colwell 
Our standard is 25, but many love learning them and have gone above and beyond. I have sight word super heroes in my room, they get a prize for the first 25 and then stickers for every set after that as high as they want to go. It’s amazing how much it helps in reading and writing too!
Dusti Evans Ozburn 
‎81!
Carol Toney Johnson
 Our district has 100 words.
Laurie Steinke 
When did learning a boat load of sight words by the end of K ensure we would have successful readers who comprehend and LOVE to read?
Kelly Petrucci 
As many as they can handle. Different amounts for different kids. I usually base it on their reading level.
Kim Nations Pool 
We have a list of 30 or so :-)
Chrissy Pierson 
‎25 (read and spell) to meet the state standards but I teach 100 of them. Most can read at least 50+ by now.
Ruth Morris Masella 
We have a list of 60. We teach them monthly. August- Color words September-Number words 1-10 and each month after 5 words per month. They can do it! I have been doing this for many a year! :-)
Sarah Fisher 
Our sight word assessment is 77 words.
Vickie Plant 
We have a list of 110 (most common words in reading) and they are expected to master 70% (I’m in Florida). It sounds like a lot, but most of my kids are able to do it and I have about 6 who know all 110 already. It has made a big difference in their reading.
Nadine Inglis Berger 
I’m not sure anymore!!! Imagine It has 51 words…17 of which are on the Dolch Primer list which…Surprise!!! The Dolch list is the one that the school system used for their formative..without informing us….and knowing words doesn’t make them better readers. I have kidlets that can read over 40 words but don’t apply any decoding skills to figure out unfamiliar words…what does the common core call for?
Kathrene Beasley
 When did we lose sight of the importance of teaching children to love books and reading and speaking and writing. Memorizing a list of words does not equal reading. It does casue teachers to lose sight of what is important to teach everyday.
Misty Tindell Sparks 
Anybody out there use the fry words?
Bette LoPresti 
We use Mc Millan Treasures which introduces 24 words. To them we add the color words and number words from zero to 10 plus a few extras such as “yes” and “no” so we ended up with a list of 66. The first grade teachers believe that if they can read at least 35 words when they come in to first grade they are doing well. I would say most of my kids are reading between 35 and 50 by this point in the year. I have a child who could read 119 of the 120 Dolch words when I assessed her in January. She reads with expression and comprehended at level 7 on the Rigby. This is not the norm, of course. My lowest kids can read about 15 and that is with constant repetition. We read our Word Wall every day, which I think has helped a lot this year.
Cristine Kocher Noel 
IN Ga the standard is 30 in 1 mn, but we push for a hundred and even 220 Dolch words. We are going to start using the FRY words next year as well. I have 4 students at 220 with 2 of those doing about 200 or 300 FRY words. I think is is ridculous. Next year they will have to write a paragraph on the same topic. When did 5 year olds stop being 5.
Charlene Daigle 
I teach in a low income school and they require 54 but most of the kids may get 20 on average.
Latisia Craig 
We teach 102, I hope that they leave with at least 75
Glenda Stephens 
Our kids are supposed to know 25 but many of the words are in our readers so they know a lot of words if you count color words and names of friends, etc.
Kristen Reuschel White 
We have a list of about 120.
Sarah Rose 
We do the Fry first 100 list, but also teach color words, number words, and a handful of other important academic words
Joni Dale Libglid 
New York State has 25 sight words for Kindergarten and 100 for first grade. My team and I teach 50 sight words so they are not so far behind in first grade!
Cheryl Dycio 
Our district has a list of 32 words. Most of my students can read them by June. Many read way more than that.
Kim Kearbey 
My district suggests 30 but they are more focused on reading a level C/D . Most of my kids know about 80.
Dawn M. Burns-Morants 
Our district here in the Denver area expects 45 and to be able to spell six.
Karen Burkel-Spaventa 
Usually 90% of my kiddos each year will know all 75 I teach by the time they leave K. Many of the words are CVC words in which they can know by sight or just sound out for me.
Cindy Tuisku 
Wow! We require 20, but most kids can do more. I’m shocked by how many some of your districts require!
Cecilia Doyle 
What a huge difference from state to state…Common Core does not have a number attached. Our reading program only has 18 sight words that the students should be able to read & write. Our school increased the number to 42 which includes color words. We also try to do more with the students that are able to. Many are not ready for this. Dolch is the source we used. I teach in MA.
Cheri Dodson Smith 
this whole stream makes me very sad….
Mary Hewitt 
I think we have 49, but each year as I teach I find new ways to teach and most of my kids know all the 49 and are into extended. Unfortunately, if they don’t learn sight words they will struggle to read – because our language is full of words that can’t be sounded out. The hard thing is some of my low kids can get these words, but to apply them in text is hard. I try to get my kids to love to pick up books and want to read. I think our new READ Well by 3rd grade is going to make more kids feel like a failure . . .. . … .. its not a solution to getting rid of NCLB. Not all kids are capable of learning tasks at grade level. . .
Melissa Hartley Haile 
‎25
Angie Babcock Geiger 
Our district expects kdg students to read 50 words by the end of kindergarten, but most students are able to read more than that… last time I assessed sight words the average was between 65 and 100. (Wyoming)
Tonya Richards 
We teach the top 100, but they are expected to get a mix of 30 at least.
Sharon Bohn
 We use the Journeys series :( which introduces 40 words that our students are tested on. They also learn color words and number words. Once the kids achieve the 40 we give them the Fry Words first 100 words.
Jenn Boudreau
 We use Scott Foresman Reading Street and it has 40 words. I’m shocked at the ones over 100!
Julie Dean Glennon ‎
18
Patty Townsend LeRoy 
I think this begs the question of “What is a SIGHT word?” The word “the” is definitely a sight word, as is “was”, “of”, “one”, etc …Words like “red” on the other hand, is a CVC, as is “mom, “can”, “but”, “not” “has”, etc. Do you consider “I” , “a”, “he”, “me”, “we”, etc SIGHT words? This may explain the discrepancies in district “expectations”
Lisa Bourquin Bell
 I have read every one of these and I literally feel sick to my stomach. To think I was upset that my district raised the number to 33 with a mastery of 25! I feel so sad for our kids.
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7 thoughts on “How many Sight Words should a Kindergartner know?

  1. My 4 year old spells & writes her first name. She knows 60 sight words & is learning basic addition (1+1, single digits). I chose not to put her in transitional kindergarten this year as the school district we are in rated a 1 on greatschools. I’m just hoping she’ll be able to compete with the other kindergarten kids in a better school district next year.

  2. Sight words on this level are a hindrance to the development of strong reading ability. Being trained to recognize a word by how it looks undermines the skill of learning to read and decode a word phonetically. Sure, the kids learn the words, like a trick being taught to a puppy. But they lack the fundamental skill and practice of sounding out words. It’s more important to understand the mechanics of how the words sounds. Throw a new unfamiliar word in their path and they have no clue how to sound out and decode. There are very few legitamite sight words. I’m thankful our school teaches phonics (almost absent of sight words, except for a very few that don’t follow the rule of phonics). It has resulted in strong and confident readers as well as helps with spelling.

  3. My daughter knows 50 & she is at the bottom of her class. Our GA district pushes sight words to the limit like it’s a commandment from God – 125 goal this year. She remains stressed out. She complains she wants to quit school b/c she says it’s embarrassing for her (the teachers post on the walls what level the children are at & she’s the furthest behind). Her school acts like she must be slow or something & the principal even suggested ADHD medicine. Here I’ve been giving her a hard time b/c I thought she was just being difficult by not catching up to her piers. Then I read all of your posts & think, my God!!!, my daughter is ahead of many of the other state requirements. What the hell is all the fuss about & why are these people crushing my poor baby girls confidence?!

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