Neshaminy Title I

Spotlight on Literacy: Vocabulary

Dear Neshaminy Families,

NSD Title I is back in action with another issue of Spotlight on Literacy. This newsletter is a series of on demand mini workshops that are available anytime, anywhere. They provide families with background knowledge, strategies and resources to support learners at home with reading and related areas. In this issue, Neshaminy SD Reading Specialist, Monique Macnamara, shares her expertise on vocabulary.

We have more great news! Dr. Peg Dawson will be joining us for a virtual Title I Parent & Family Engagement Night, Smart but Scattered: Helping Your Children Strengthen

Executive Skills to Reach Their Full Potential. Below you find the details and registration for this event.


Kim Maurizi

Title I Reading Specialist

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Vocabulary: What is it?

Vocabulary refers to the words children must know to communicate effectively. There are four main types of vocabulary:

  • Listening vocabulary: the words we need to know to understand what we hear
  • Speaking vocabulary: the words we use when we speak
  • Reading vocabulary: the words we can read and understand
  • Writing vocabulary: the words we use in writing

(Reading Rockets)

Vocabulary: Why is it Important?

Vocabulary acquisition begins as we listen in our native language and eventually as we read in our native language. As new words are collected and learned in a variety of contexts, we can use them in spoken conversation, or within our writing.

Isabel Beck and Margaret G. McKeown have studied vocabulary acquisition and researched the best way to develop a “robust” vocabulary. They state that “...large and rich vocabularies are strongly related to reading proficiency and school achievement in general.” They also point out that if children do not begin developing a listening, speaking and written vocabulary early on, the gaps in learning become very wide, very quick. They highlight the following data points: 1) high school seniors near the top of their class knew about four times as many words as their lower-performing classmates 2) high knowledge third graders had vocabularies about equal to lowest performing 12th graders.

(Beck, McKeown & Kucan)

Vocabulary Activities...


Use Your Words! Building Vocabulary

You can help your child be a better reader and writer later by building their vocabulary now. We know that children that have bigger vocabularies tend to be better readers and writers. They just have more words to draw on to express themselves. Helping children learn new words can be so easy and fun, we sometimes don’t even think about it. Here are some ideas to help you:

  • Create a “word-curious” environment. Praise your child when they ask what a word means. Look it up together if you don’t know.
  • Avoid “talking down” to your child but also avoid talking to him like he’s in college. Try and use vocabulary that might be just a little above your child’s ability.
  • Model an interest in words by saying things like, “I just love the sound of that word. I want to use it more,” or “Hmm, that’s an interesting word. I wonder what it means. What do you think?”
  • Talk through what your day will hold each day, “First, we’re going to have breakfast. Then, we’ll go to preschool. After preschool, we’ll have a picnic in the park. What do you think we should pack for our picnic?” By using the language of past and future tense by talking about things that have already happened and anticipating things that will happen, you help children understand the different forms we use for verbs.
(Raising Readers)

Vocabulary Resources!

**You may print resources and materials from the below links. If you do not have access to a printer, please email your Title I Reading Specialist for a print copy of the resource. Reading specialist contacts can be found at the end of the newsletter. In the email, be sure to provide the name of the activity, your child’s name and grade.

Title I Parent & Family Engagement Event!

Smart but Scattered: Helping Your Children Strengthen Executive Skills

Wednesday, May 25th, 6:30-7:30pm

This is an online event.

There’s nothing more frustrating than watching your bright, talented son or daughter struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework, putting away toys, or following instructions at school. Your “smart but scattered” child might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Join us with Dr. Peg Dawson because she has great news: there’s a lot you can do to help.

Dr. Dawson will answer the questions:

· What are executive skills?

· Why are they important to academics and life in general?

· How can I help my child reach his/her potential?

Register in advance for this workshop:

Click Here!

After the presentation, parents that complete a short survey will receive a free copy of Dr. Dawson's book, Smart but Scattered.

Title I Parent & Family Engagement Opportunities...

Each spring, Title I schools are required to develop a continuous improvement plan for the upcoming school year. Parents, families and community members are invited to participate in this process. If you are interested in participating on the steering committee for the planning, development or review of the Schoolwide Title I School Plan at your child's school, please reach out to your building principal.

Parent & Family Engagement Support

We have a Title I Reading Specialist available at each building to assist parents with supporting their child’s academic progress between home and school. One of the roles of the Title I Reading Specialist is that of a coordinator who provides opportunities for parents to participate in workshops and activities that will greatly benefit students. Also, the Title I Reading Specialist organizes and conducts, planning meetings with parents and volunteering opportunities that will help influence academic success. For more information, please contact the Title I Reading Specialist at your student's school:

NSD Title I Parent Handbook

Title I A. of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides financial assistance to school districts and schools with high percentages of children from families that may have various disadvantages. Read to find out more about Title I at NSD.

Neshaminy School District Title I

Please feel free to contact Michelle Burkholder, Director of Elementary Education, at any time with questions, concerns or suggestions regarding Neshaminy School District Title I.