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.


6 responses »

  1. Thanks for your affirmation. Kids love words. We need to help them have access. I love the brick and mortar words idea. Giving them a structure and practice using these words is so exciting. We are working on poetry now and those kids with more words with a flow. Other kids need more supports. Great share.

  2. I love the contest with your dad! Or perhaps I should say I fancy it/adore it/am delighted by it! Vocabulary gives us several options so that we can find just the right way to express our thoughts, ideas, emotions, fears. Vocabulary gives students the freedom to interact with a huge variety of people. When we teach our students to speak like a scientist/artist/poet/historian, they can engage in a meaningful conversation with another scientist/artist/poet/historian. The bigger the vocabulary, the more options our students have to connect with other people. What a gift!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s