Here is a list of the 100 most common words in the English language. I copy this page, 2/student; keep 1 in my assessment binder and send the other home for practice. I test each student 1:1 at the beginning of the year, then usually again around Christmas, after March Break, and end of year. As a child is reading the words, if they miss 10 in a row, I stop. I high-light words they don't know and make a copy to send home, so parents see how they are doing. Once they get 100, no further testing is required and I send a little certificate home.
You will need School Bell font for the page layout to fit properly. You can find it here for free: http://www.fontspace.com/font-diner/schoolbell or you can edit the page yourself. :)