The research is clear -- children who have rich vocabularies and who are given the opportunity to learn new words have a much higher academic success rate. Although it is certainly possible to explicitly teach vocabulary, I love to incorporate "word collecting" in everything we do.
I have 5 ways for you to help YOUR students become Word Collectors -- learners who notice, learn, and use interesting and meaningful words!
1. Encourage reading!
2. Model classroom discourse!
Student: I tried and tried until I got the right answer.
Teacher: I love that you tried even when it was tough! That's called "perseverance". Can anyone else think of a time you "persevered" when things were tricky for you?
Getting better at infusing vocabulary into what WE do models for students what THEY can do. Students, by nature, love to learn new words, so we need to make sure we provide them with our expertise!
3. Study content!
Many teachers display unit vocabulary on a bulletin board or have students write them in their notebooks --do whatever makes sense for you to keep those key words accessible to your students.
4. Make it accessible!
We have hunted for different prefixes, for words that make sounds (onomatopoeia), words that have multiple meanings--and more!
5. Celebrate Words!
Meg has been teaching for more than 20 years and loves making a difference in students' lives by helping them see how fun and meaningful learning can be! She also loves teaching and working with adults, whether it be doing teacher training, blogging, or creating resources to help push teachers to try new things! Stop by her blog at The Teacher Studio for more ideas!