I love vocabulary! I adore learning about words and word parts, their etymology, how to effectively teach vocabulary, and using new words in my own vocabulary. Here are just a few of my interactions with vocabulary recently.
-Today, our pod meetings at our middle school focused on teaching strategies for vocabulary, especially for EL students. The phrase “brick and mortar words” was new to me. The “brick” words are our tier 2 words that students need to be explicitly taught. “Mortar words” are those that help students process the content (because, therefore, agree, as a result, opinion, etc.).
-I learned a new word today: cognates. A cognate is a word that sounds and looks similar in two different languages. Example: famille (French) and family
-I am currently working with a student each Monday and Wednesday on noticing words he does not understand when reading independently. We work on strategies that he can use on his own to learn new words.
-My dad and I have a running contest to see who can use a word in conversation that the other one doesn’t know. He’s winning.
-Kate DiCamillo says she sprinkles “$10 words” into her writing. Our fifth graders just participated in Lunch Date with a Book after reading Flora & Ulysses. With each group, we mentioned the wonderful words the author used throughout her book.
-The instructional coaches in our district read Visible Learning for Literacy by Fisher, Frey, and Hattie earlier this year. One of the strategies that has a large effect size is teaching vocabulary.
This school year, vocabulary seems to be a theme for us, as it should be. The size of a student’s vocabulary is an indicator of educational success. Our endeavor is to increase the chances of success for each and every student.