Assessing sight words using snap words

Assessing Snap Words

When you are ready to assess Snap Words, it is just as easy as in the instruction process! Child1st Publications provides tons of assessment materials for free – no sign up required! Or, you can use some of the strategies I suggest below to assess sight words.

Print the Snap Words Lists

Child1st Publications has these charts and these lists for all of their Snap Words. Simply print them and you are ready to go! Students can read directly from the list, or you can show them the Snap Word cards. I like to indicate whether the student knew it in normal print, didn’t know it, or needed a cue. Usually, I just do a simple check mark or “v”, “a”, or “s” to represent if they needed a visual, auditory, or sign language cue.

Use as Flash Cards

You can use the actual Snap Words or these free word wall cards to assess students. Use the tracking forms from above, or make up your own to keep track of how students are progressing.

Using Games for Assessment

This is my favorite classroom hack. Break out your old games, or hit up a yard sale. And yes, I’m talking games like Candy Land for 5th graders. Ants in the Pants, Don’t Spill the Beans, Cootie, Connect 4, etc are all excellent games. You want games that don’t require a lot of directions or take forever to play – don’t get Life, Monopoly, or Scrabble out for this. Play the game like normal, but before students take a turn they have to correctly read a word. This is great because you can play with a group of several students and take data on all of them at the same time. And, it’s super great because you can use different stacks of cards for different students. Sometimes when we play, I have kids who are only working on the same 5 Snap Words again and again and other students working on decoding words with a vowel team. You can get tons of data in a fun, non-threatening way when you use this strategy.

Recognition in Text

Every so often, I find a story or paragraph that has multiple opportunities to read Snap Words. Not every word is going to be decodable, and most of the words kids won’t recognize. That’s ok. I print a copy of that piece of text for each student I’m assessing. One on one, I have the students read it to me. The only thing I’m scoring on is their ability to read the Snap Words in the text. I may make other notes, but really all I’m checking is to see if they are mastering the words in text. I use similar notations as I mentioned above to show if they knew it right away, or needed a cue to remember the word.

Tracking Progress

I keep data on my students, but I also like students to keep their own data. I give every student a blank hundreds chart, and we color in one square for every word they learn. It is so satisfying to students to see how many words they have learned! Some kids even need extra hundreds charts because they learn so many words! (Want to know a secret? You can also sneak in some math here by asking kids how many words they have learned, and instead of counting one by one, have them skip count and use the chart like we would expect in math.)


Snap Words assessment is super easy. Just like instruction, it can be done quickly during the day and provide you valuable information about how your students are performing in recognizing sight words.

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