The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom!

Holly B. Lane, Stephanie Arriaza Allen

Morgan Fulk, Section C

February 11, 2016


Developing sophisticated vocabulary is an important technique every student should acquire and every teacher should teach. There are different ways to frequently and deliberately include the modeling of vocabulary in the classroom. Vocabulary plays a huge role in predicting success for reading comprehension, academic performance, and school achievement. Students use vocabulary in almost every aspect of school, therefore it needs to be well developed. During vocabulary instruction, there needs to be multiple exposures to the words, both definitions and contexts. It is also important to engage students in deep processing with the words, which allows the understanding of the word to stay with them. It is also important to note that there are three tiers to vocabulary including: basic words, comprehension words, and low frequency words. There are marked differences in vocabulary with different SES and different learning abilities.


Vocabulary- knowledge of words and meanings

Word consciousness- aware and interested in words and meanings

Oral- words that we use in speaking or recognize in listening

Print- words we recognize or use in print

Receptive- words that a person can comprehend and respond to

Productive- words that can be produced in appropriate context and match the intended meaning

Classroom Jobs!

One of the stories from the article is about a teacher who strengthens her students vocabulary by the use of classroom jobs. At the beginning of the year, the zoo keeper was just the student who fed the animal. In the middle of the year, the job titles changed and so did their job description, however, the "job" itself did not change. The Animal Nutrition Specialist now is required to provide nutritional sustenance to the rodent friend.
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Practicle Use!

Practicle Use!

Set up the a classroom routine that allows students to give positive comments to their peers. They may start simple saying Sally is nice and Charlie is funny. As the teacher, model the use of words they may not know. For example tell Sally she is amiable and that Charlie is whimsical. Once the students start hearing these words, they will be intrigued. Now would be the time to encourage them to find their own words.
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Word Walls!

Personal Opinion

I loved this article and I think it is crucial to teach vocabulary. There are many different ways to teach it and some work better than others with a group of students. The only limitation would be the students within the classroom. As mentioned in the article there is a marked difference in the vocabulary of students from different SES, and those with different learning abilities. Therefore, it is important to differentiate the words and encourage all students to expand their vocabulary. I think the teaching of sophisticated vocabulary would be encouraged by many outsiders. I'm sure parents want their child to have a developed vocabulary and I know that future employers expect their employees to have a well rounded vocabulary. Having a sophisticated vocabulary will also make a child's life easier. They will be able to understand what they read and what people are talking about. Students will also be more independent and able to work productively on their own because they won't need someone explaining or comprehending text for them.

The Teachaholic!

This is a great resource to use for another idea about encouraging students to frequently use new and sophisticated vocabulary! It is a blog written by a classroom teacher who has creative ideas about how to teach new words.

The Balanced Literacy Diet

This website has many different ideas on the use of vocabulary in the classroom. I really like the one pictured. It is of a word ring that has different words you can use instead of big, small, mad, funny, and you can add even more! Plus, there are even more amazing activities on this website that students would love and learn even more vocabulary.

Reading Rockets!

Reading Rockets is a great resource for literacy. This specific link gives access to the top ten resources recommended for teaching vocabulary! The links are great and allows you to develop a better understanding on all the possibilities to include sophisticated language in the classroom.

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1. Would you differentiate vocabulary? Why (how) or why not?

2. How would you display vocabulary in your classroom?

3. What do you think is the most important vocabulary aspect for students to learn and why?

(Hint: knowing words, knowing meanings, making connections, recognizing words)


Lane, H. B., & Allen, S. A. (2010). The Vocabulary Rich Classroom. The Reading Teacher, 362-370.