The Vocabulary Rich Classroom

Haley Slusser, Section B, 2-11-16

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Main Idea

Vocabulary is a critical factor in the development of reading skills


For children to actually learn and use the new words, teachers need to make sure that those encounters allow children to make connections with their prior knowledge and experiences.


For most vocabulary instruction should be on tier 2 words—those words that adults use with ease in everyday conversation, reading, and writing. Tier two includes words that are key to comprehension and are frequently used by “mature language users” (curious, gazing, mysterious, stingy, scrumptious, and drowsy.)


There are four types of vocabulary: oral, print, receptive, and productive.

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My opinion

I enjoyed reading this article and it made me more conscious about how to effectively go about teaching vocabulary. Teaching vocabulary is important and should be done at every grade; there are always more words to learn. There are word walls, anchor charts, read alouds, and games that can help students become more aware and knowledgeable of words. I liked how the teacher did the morning meeting and used different words to describe her students. This got the students interested in new words, and gave them practice using new words. Some students who struggle with speaking, or ESL learners will struggle with vocabulary and using complex words can make them feel insecure about their learning abilities. I will be more conscious to use a wide range of words. I will label things so that students can visually see more words that will help make more connections.

Questions for discussion

1. Why is it important when teaching vocabulary to not “dumb-down” the words?

2. What do you think would be the hardest part in creating a vocabulary rich classroom?

3. How could you differentiate instruction when working with vocabulary?

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