Dolch, Fry, Rebecca Sitton, Fountas and Pinnell - individually, they just don't cut it. Frustrated that requiring my students to study these lists (as ordered by the all-knowing and classroom-experienced administration) did not prevent them from failing to read fluently harder words that sight words are supposed to be designed to help ascertain, forced me to make my own. I painstakingly went through the readers (hundreds and hundreds) from the school's bookroom and counted how often I was encountering these words. I matched them up against the "expert" sight word lists and their claims. Maybe it's just been a long time since they reviewed what kids are reading these days, but there were obvious discrepancies between what they say are frequent words and what the kids are actually reading every day.
I plugged them all into a spreadsheet and sorted them into order by TRUE frequency. Then I sorted them into groups of around 11-13 words at a time that I send home every couple of weeks depending on the student (they all get them at different times - that is key!). I add to and adjust the list every year as titles come and go from our bookroom (in other words "as the words my kids read change!"). If you need to adjust the list to accomodate what your kids read, just type into the document - move stuff around. Add and delete as necessary. I show this list to parents on open house/curriculum night, explain how the program works, and send home a letter the next day explaining what they are to do with the words in detail. I will be posting the letter soon. The short summary of it is that the parents write the words on index cards, (only for the group I send home) and put them in a basket next to the child's bed. They must study the words for one minute every night, weekends included. I assess each child individually and send new words home as they become fluent. You would not believe how much faster they read when they know their sight words, and how much that faster reading helps them figure out unknown words from context clues that the sight words provide! Mr. Mentor :)
Kindergarten First Grade Master Sight Word List by Mr. Mentor
by Friend and Mentor
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License