High-Frequency Word Instruction: Reinforcing Sight Word Recognition

Leveraging High-Frequency Words
Whole Group
Building Readers' Word Recognition


In this video, the teacher is focuses on teaching high-frequency works in a systematic way. First, a list of previously introduced high-frequency words are reviewed. Next, students identify the words as the teacher reads the morning message. Then, meaning is given to the function words as students practice writing the words using their whiteboards.

Key Take-aways

• High-frequency words require explicit phonics instruction rather than using flashcards or memorization.
• Identify decodable high-frequency words that align with your phonics scope and sequence.
• While working with words that align to our phonics continuum, we also want to be sure students understand the word’s meaning.


Teacher:          We are going to go over some high-frequency words. A high-frequency word is a word that we see all the time when we’re reading stories or anything that we have or any of our assignments. Okay? So we’re going to read our morning message today and we’re going to try and find some high-frequency words. Okay? I have a few here first. So let’s take a look at these Ready eyes over here. Anybody know what this word is?

Student(s):      I.

Teacher:          I. Good. Anybody know what this word is?

Student(s):      Have

Teacher:          Beautiful. And what about this word?

Student(s):      You.

Teacher:          Oh, you saw it. You. excellent. Okay, so I, Have, and You. We are going to look for these words in our morning message today.

Student(s):      Good morning my first-grade friends. I hope you are having a wonderful morning. Today is a new day full of exciting opportunities.

Teacher:          I, You, and Have. Excellent job. Very good.

Teacher:          Alright, you are going to get a board. You’re going to get a board. Okay. We are going to practice writing some words down real quick. Okay? First word I want you to write is I, can you write I?

Student(s):      Yep.

Student(s):      Uppercase?

Teacher:          Yes. You can do uppercase. Now I want you to write another word. Are you ready? Yeah. I want you to write the word see.

Student(s):      See

Teacher:          See

Teacher:          The word see.

Teacher:          /s/

Teacher:          /ee/

Teacher:          Good. I like how you’re sounding it out. See. Where’s the word see Camilla? Is that the word or the letter? See. Remember…see?

Student(s):      S.

Teacher:         Yeah. And then what letter?

Student(s):      E.

Teacher:         And I want you to write the word the.

Student(s):      The

Teacher:         The

Student(s):      /th/

Teacher:         What are your letter?

Student(s):      T-H-E.

Teacher:          /th/. Right? We worked on it before.

Teacher:          Alright, so let’s, let’s act this out. Ready? We’re going to say, I…

Student(s):      I see the bird.

Teacher:          Okay. I see. I’m going to, I’m going to do it first. Ready?  I see the Smartboard. Okay. You’re going to tell me. I see the and you’re going to pick something in the room. What do we see in our classroom? Zoe?

Student: I see the…Kapinos.

Teacher:  You see the Mrs. Kapinos. Haha