The limits of my language are the limits of my universe-Goethe
We are at the point in the school year where my students are able to read most of their sight words and are able to decode many others. As we flex our thinking muscles, we are working on increasing vocabulary words.
Students learn vocabulary words informally when they are immersed in a word rich environment. Anchor charts with rich words and lists of synonyms can be used to create a word rich environment. Students learn new words through rich conversations, personal reading and daily experiences with read aloud texts.
We are working to increase our Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary during literacy centers. Students are given 4 vocabulary words that go along with our thematic unit. In the example above, the words were love, heart, friend and valentine. The children had to write a sentence in Pic Collage to show they understood the word and then they illustrated their sentence in Doodle Buddy and imported it into the Pic Collage. They will also be allowed to look for pictures on Safari to demonstrate words soon. (I was a little hesitant to have them look up images for valentines words…) After they created their Pic Collage, they shared it with their team and read the sentences of the other children. A colleague of mine uses Strip Designer with her first graders to demonstrate their vocabulary words. Either of these apps work great. You can save the work to the photo library or upload to PaperPort to demonstrate workflow.
To teach vocabulary, we must use rich and robust instruction through multiple exposures. Children who acquire a substantial vocabulary are often able to think more deeply, express themselves better, and learn new things more quickly. They are also very likely to be successful not only learning to read, but also in reading at or above grade level throughout their school years.
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