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Vocabulary Practice and Discussion (Group) - Small Group Discussion 4

Foundations of Reading C&T 740


Standards: 1.2, 3.5 Candidates use research and evidence to develop school environments
that support and assess P-12 students learning and their own professional practice specific to
their discipline
Provisions for rich and varied language experiences
For the reading component, I have a large classroom library. I have spent a large amount of time and
money acquiring books from as many places as I can. The classroom library is in an inviting corner of
the room with a few plants and decorations. There are pillows and beanbags that students can lounge
in during independent reading. For listening, I try to choose more complex books that many students
would not be able to read on their own for our read aloud time. One of my favorites is Tuck
Everlasting. This book provides many opportunities to discuss rich vocabulary, poetic literature,
theme and symbolism. For the writing component, I encourage interesting word choice. In the past
students have taken index cards and written a generic word from their writing and then found a more
exciting synonym for the same word. They stapled the index cards to a bulletin board. During writing,
if students need a more exciting word they can peruse the bulletin board for new words. Students
enjoyed both the finding and sharing of new words.
After reading articles suggested by many of these classes, I have learned the necessity exposing
students to copious amounts of vocabulary. I am trying vocabulary concept eggs as taken from the
article, Flooding Vocabulary Gaps to Accelerate Word Learning by Brabham, Henderson, Coman,
Paleologos, Baugh this year.

Instruction in individual words


When I taught third grade I used words lists from Fountas and Pinnell or Dolch sight words. With
striving students, we put words on a metal ring and the students gave themselves a stamp on the back
of the card each time they recognized it correctly. We tried to practice every day. I have not been
using a sight word list with my grade fives. Maybe this is something I should look into.
From C&T 840, I have learned I should not teach words in isolation as I stated in the paragraph above. I
need to teach the word within the context of a sentence in several different ways or examples. This is
something I now do with striving readers that I tutor after school. I have learned many things through
these courses that have changed me as an educator.
Instruction in word-learning strategies
I teach a daily idiom to the students. The students use context clues to figure out the meaning of the
word or phrase. I started doing this activity when I taught in Mexico. Even though I taught in an
international school, all of my students were from Mexico. I found that they were not familiar with
English idioms and it was keeping many of them from fully comprehending what they were reading. I
have been teaching idioms ever since and find it a very powerful tool. I have also begun to teach more
morphemic analysis after attending some great word work training with Pete Bowers.
Fostering word consciousness
I love words and try to use new, unfamiliar words with the students every day. This year I had some
students who loved wordplay and puns. CNN Student News ends each newscast with a series of puns
and that helped encourage my students to experiment and take more chances when playing with
words.