Common sight words students are expected to master by the end of first grade include a, is, in, on, to, too, does, know, put, most, high, only and look. Large, light, people, another, father, said, change and through are more challenging common first grade sight words.
A sight word is a word that is automatically recognized by the brain while reading. Sight words for emergent readers are chosen based on their frequency in beginner texts, as well as their complexity. Whereas many early literacy words are broken apart by syllable and sounded out, or decoded, sight words generally are more difficult to read phonetically.
Schools typically develop or adopt a literacy curriculum that includes a list of approximately 100 sight words for kindergarten, First and Second grades. These lists vary slightly by curricula set. One widely used list is the Dolch Sight Words list, which contains a total of 220 sight words for students in grades pre-kindergarten to second grade.
Repeated exposure is one way to help a child master sight words. Printable cards such as the Dolch Sight Word Flashcards available from mrsperkins.com are a great tool for parents and children to use together to help reinforce sight word recognition. ABCYa.com offers a free sight word bingo game for a variety of grade levels.