A balanced reading program consists of phonics and sight words. I have found it helpful to review sight words with my beginning readers. I have included a file that has the 50 most used words in the English language. By teaching your student these words you will help them to be successful readers.
You can also use this list to track progress. Use a different color pen and see how many words your student knows every 5-8 weeks. It is exciting to track the progress of your student. This is a great work sample to keep throughout the year.
Hope this is helpful!