Teaching in High Heels

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bright Ideas Blog Hop {#2}

Hi y'all! Happy Sunday!
Today I'm joining some amazing teacher-bloggers for another round of Bright Ideas.
So...grab that second cup of coffee...hop along with us...and have fun!

As teachers we all know how crucial vocabulary instruction is, right?
Research has shown that vocabulary influences fluency, comprehension, and student achievement. It plays an important role in learning to read as well as reading to learn. In addition, a broad vocabulary is essential for effective speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills. We can't deny the importance vocabulary instruction has in our classrooms.

Today I am here with a few tips...just a few little things that I find helpful in fostering vocabulary development in my own classroom. 
In my classroom, I use authentic literature to explicitly teach vocabulary. This is not to say that I only use fiction read alouds...no, that's not the case. While I do find teaching good fiction pieces extremely helpful in teaching vocabulary, I often find myself using nonfiction pieces as well. A good nonfiction article can be invaluable in teaching academic language. 
Relating the vocabulary word to a concept being taught and supplying a kid-friendly definition is very important. Doing so will help your students tremendously. So go ahead...use the word in a sentence and give several meaningful examples...then switch roles and have the students do what you have just modeled. 
Have your students use the word...ask them to restate the definition, explain its meaning in their own words, or give an example of the word. If they can do this, then they have demonstrated understanding of the word...if they can't...it's okay, don't worry...they just need more exposure to this new word. 
Display the vocabulary word in anchor charts, concept maps, or create a 
"fancy words" word wall to display the targeted vocabulary. All of this exposure will have your students learning and internalizing the new vocabulary in no time. 
I always have my students write the new word and its meaning in their own words...using a kid-friendly definition. Then I ask them to draw a picture or symbol to represent that word. Doing so helps bring the vocabulary word to life and it will most definitely help them remember it. 
Model the use of academic language. Point out the new word as you read the text. Use the word frequently...and set high expectations for your students to use it as well. Ask your students to construct sentences with the new word and encourage them to use the new vocabulary when speaking. 
Reinforce the word through interactive games. Play with and manipulate the new vocabulary...find rhyming words, synonyms, antonyms. 
Create vocabulary games and interactive word walls. 
Have fun with the new acquired language! 
Allow plenty of opportunities to read. Reading allows your students to be exposed to words all the time. So...have them read, read, read! They can read to themselves, to a partner, or even to you...the point is to have them read so they are soaking up that rich content language.

I hope you find these tips helpful...if you have any more to add to the list...I'd love to hear from you! 

Next up on the blog hop is Finding Joy in 6th Grade...she has a great classroom management tip.
Just click on her button to check it out.
Alternatively, you may want to visit the link-up below and choose a topic that interests you!

Happy hoppin'! 


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