Welcome to Vocabulicious! This is a blog by teachers for teachers. Posts will be focused around creating a Word Conscious environment in classrooms all over the country. Teachers K-12 will be able to learn, connect and share new ideas relating to vocabulary lessons and activities.
About the author: My name Liz, and I started my career in education as a fourth and fifth grade literacy teacher in Vermont. After completing my masters degree in literacy education, I transitioned into the word of Educational Technology as an Instructional Coach. While writing my masters thesis, I conducted an active research project to implement a vocabulary program into my classroom. This work helped my students and I become more conscious of the words around us. I was always so intimidated when deciding which words to teach students each school year. How does one decide with 88,500 words in the English language? There is a way to make teaching vocabulary manageable and fun!
The more colleagues I consulted about my research, the more I realized that vocabulary instruction is essential, but often something that gets pushed to the wayside due to other classroom demands. So, I decided to use my research and expertise to create low investment, high return vocabulary resources for us busy teachers!
The vocabulary lessons I started implementing in my classroom are focused on depth of knowledge, not quantity of words taught in a year. So, guess what? I teach ONE word per week for each week of the school year. Each day within that week students complete a different activity all themed around that one word. Some activities include whole group conversation, others partner talk and many independent practice.
That’s right, in 36 weeks we focus on only 36 words. By the end of the year students are always using these words in their conversations and their writing. It is because we hang these words on our word wall, we live with them every day, the actually because part of our classroom community. It is actually incredible to see. The trick isn’t picking magic words, or having students memorize a definition.
The trick is choosing relevant words, those that come up in the books their reading and conversations they may be listening in to and of course sticking to a plan and making word learning part of your classroom routine every single day.
Please join me along this word learning journey and subscribe to my blog!