Professional Development

August 17, 2012

How to Easily Monitor & Track Sight Words in First Grade

One thing I know can be difficult and tedious is tracking and monitoring sight words in first grade. From teaching the words and practicing to remembering to assess students and record data, it can be more than overwhelming.

I remember in my early years of teaching struggling to assess each and every student on 1000 many sight words each nine weeks and always feeling rushed to do to it all at once – on top of the regular report card and reading level assessing. It was hard to keep it organized and keep the students’ progress display up to date. So,  I decided to do something about it.

I am SO excited to share with you my Sight Word Superhero pack!  It’s turned into the perfect resource for tracking first grade sight words and monitoring students’ progress using Fry’s first 100 words. Let’s jump into how to easily track and manage sight word data for your students, and how this resource will help you do it.

Make a simple and organized data binder.

I found over the years that the best way to stay up to date on the data for first grade sight words is to keep it all in one place. Here’s how I set up my binder:

  1. Use a cover page to label the binder and make dividers for each of the four nine weeks.
  2. Print out a form for each nine weeks for each student and put them behind the right divider.
  3. Print out each set of sight word cards on colored cardstock. Then laminate them and put them on a binder ring. Finally, put the four sets of cards in the binder pocket.

Then, I’m totally set to assess at any time! All of these items are included in the First Grade Sight Words pack.

Get students involved in tracking their own progress for first grade sight words.

One thing that always motivates students to practice their sight words is to see progress in a concrete way. In my old district, we were required to track and post student data. This morphed into student data folders.

These are super simple to make. Just print off the student data sheets and put them into a bradded folder. Then, students can color the first grade sight words they have mastered and easily see the page get more colorful. I also love to use this to show parents students’ progress, too.

I also liked to create a classroom display. An easy way to show students’ progress is to make a class pictograph. When students can read all of their sight words for those nine weeks, they get to add their superhero to the class graph. The superhero-themed first grade sight work pack includes everything you’ll need to make one for your classroom!

Assess students every week.

Yes, every week. This is how I stayed up to date and not get behind on assessing sight words. Just pull out your binder with your checklists for each student and sight words on the ring, and you’re ready to go!

I liked to do it on Fridays during my computer lab time. If you don’t have computer lab time, don’t worry! You can squeeze in assessments during:

  • Whole group restroom breaks
  • Whole group water breaks
  • Morning work time

While students unpacked for the day, waited for classmates to finish up, or completed work, I listened to them read their weekly sight words. As they read the words, I used the checklists to keep track of what they got correct and what they missed. If they missed a word, I wrote down what they said. This is great information for RTI data, too.

Use a simple and motivating reward system for learning first grade sight words.

Celebrating students’ successes is a great way to help them feel proud of their work. It can also help motivate other students as well. One way to do this that’s simple, yet fun, is to have student certificates for when they have mastered each nine week’s set of words.

I included these in the First Grade Sight Words pack so you’ll be totally set. Print each nine weeks on a different colored cardstock and have them ready to go for when you assess students.

This is exactly how I created an easy routine and used a helpful resource to stay organized with my data for first grade sight words.

The First Grade Sight Word Data & Tracking uses Fry’s First 100 words and includes:

  • 9 Week Sight Word Card Sets
  • Classroom Data Display
  • Teacher Data Binder
  • Student Data Folder Materials
  • Student Certificates

Once I finally figured out to manage tracking sight word data, the stress of it all melted away. When progress report and report card time came around, I had everything I needed to share how students were doing with sight words. Don’t feel overwhelmed by sight word data tracking any longer – start using this proven system to see the benefits in your own classroom! Get yours HERE.

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Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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