The Vocabulary - Rich Classroom

Lauren Schwalm - Section C - February 11th, 2016

Four Types of Vocbulary

  1. Oral Vocabulary - Words we understand when communicating aloud.
  2. Print Vocabulary - Words we know when we read or write.
  3. Receptive Vocbulary -Words we understand when listening or reading (less well-known and used)
  4. Productive –Words used when speaking or writing ( Well-known and familiar words)

Levels of Knowing Words

Level 1- No Knowledge of the Word

Level 2- General Sense of the Word

Level 3- Narrow, Context

Level 4- Some Knowledge of the Word

Level 5- Rich Knowledge of the Word

Throughout this article it stressed the importance of teaching your students new vocabulary words. But first you need to get a sense of what your students already know. When introducing a new word to your students you are able to evaluate their knowledge of the word on these levels. If they start at a level one, how well do you want them to know the word of choice? The level of knowledge needs to be determined.

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Ms. Barker's Kindergarten Classroom

Within the article an example was given to reinforce the use of modeling and vocabulary growth in the kindergarten classroom. During circle time the teacher had five classroom jobs that students were responsible for. These jobs entitled at the beginning of the year; line leader, caboose, cleanup helper, zookeeper, weather watcher. The line leader was the first student in line and led the class to various destinations.The Caboose was the student at the end of the line, and made sure everyone was following the line. The cleanup helper, made sure that the floor was clean. The zookeeper would monitor the classroom pets. The weather watcher would inform the class on what was happening with the weather. These jobs were used as a gateway to teach the students new vocabulary words. These jobs were now referred to as:

Cleanup helper------------------------------------Custodian

Zookeeper---------------------Animal Nutritional Specialist

Weather Watch-------------------------------Meteorologist

The teacher used modeling and repetition to introduce and use new vocabulary. These jobs provided them with a baseline of the understanding. They referred to these jobs by the original name for months before developing a more complex name. The jobs started out as very basic knowledge and vocabulary used was basic and developed into more complex words.

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Personal Opinion

In my opinion this is an awesome idea for integrating new vocabulary words. Students love helping out within the classroom and they are excited about their jobs and want to do well at their jobs. This would be the perfect way to teach students vocabulary words that they would be able to make connections with in the community.
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Ms. Rivas's Fourth Grade Classroom

This teacher held class meeting with her fourth graders. Within these meeting she wanted each of her students to be greeted and feel welcome within the community. She developed the idea of having each student say a positive descriptive word. As the weeks went by she decided to lead this action and use words that the student were unfamiliar with. This peaked the interest of the students and motivated them to learn these new vocabulary words. The next time she did this activity with them the words became more complex and students were motivated to learn new words. The teacher started to notice that the students were using these words in the conversations with peers and within the classroom. They were learning more descriptive words and implementing them throughout their lives.

Personal Opinion

This in my opinion would be a valuable strategy to use with the older grades. There are researching the unknown words and defining them. The students are also becoming comfortable with these descriptive words, and using them throughout their daily lives. This strategy creates a positive learning community and provides students with a pick me up. This is a great idea and it would be easy to come up with accommodations to use in various classrooms.
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Discussion Questions

  1. How can you amplify the use of vocabulary within your classroom?
  2. What vocabulary teaching strategies have you observed in past experiences, where these strategies effective?
  3. How do you see yourself teaching vocabulary within your classrooms?

APA Citation

Lane, H. B., & Allen, S. A. (2010). The Vocabulary-Rich Classroom: Modeling Sophisticated Word Use to Promote Word Consciousness and Vocabulary Growth. Reading Teacher, 63(5), 362-370.