Vocabulary...that is going to be my focus this year. It is not a strength. I'm not sure there has been a point in my career where it was. I've tried different strategies...some I liked and some I didn't. But it cannot be said that it was ever a strength.
But my hope is that this time next year, my tune will be a bit different!
When we looked at our core curriculum as a building, we discovered that vocabulary was something we needed to work on as a whole building. So the framework team started digging through resources to find out what would work well for our building. Isabel Beck's Text Talks was a good fit. Have you seen it?
Now we cannot add another program into our day, but Isabel Beck lays out a great routine that will actually work with the books that we are already teaching. You can check out a FREE sample of her lesson that goes along with "Ruby the Copycat" by clicking on the image below.
What I really love is her repeated use of the words, kid friendly language, usage across contexts, and incorrect usage. She also assesses the students on the words that they have been working on. It is a great routine and her program uses high interest books!
This is what we are going to work towards in my building. My partners Karen, Kathy, and I decided that we wanted to try it out in a manageable way this year through the nursery rhymes that we are already using in our daily guided reading groups. Instead of only focusing on Phonological Awareness aspects of they rhyme, we will discuss some of the "vivacious" vocabulary that can be found in them.
So here is what we did this summer:
First up, we gathered all of our nursery rhyme books (fractured, silly, originals):
Then we looked at each of the rhymes and determined what vocabulary words would fit the needs of our students. And we came up with a list for the year. Here is an example of a few weeks in January. These are the poems (they may be original or fractured versions) that we will use at the beginning of our guided reading groups and the words that we will hone in on:
These particular words will be used throughout the week in a variety of contexts but introduced in small groups. They will also be assessed in small group orally
I am really excited to find out how this works for us this year. As we become more comfortable, we will add this routine into other aspects of our day but we needed to start somewhere.
As I have been thinking about vocabulary this summer, the book "Storm Is Coming!" popped into my brain. Have you read this one?
I LOVE this book! Basically, the animals are so scared because they do not know what the word "storm"even though they seem to understand rain, thunder, and lightening. What a great way for us to introduce the importance of language and vocabulary!
I hope you can help me along this "vivacious vocabulary" journey this year!