It is estimated that students learn between 3,000 and 4,000 new words each year, with the typical student knowing some 25,000 words by the end of elementary school (Graves and Watts-Taffe, 2002). It is obvious that five pre-selected vocabulary words from a basal textbook doesn't make the grade. Even if a new word is taught each day, in addition to five pre-selected vocabulary words for the week, that is still less than 400 words a year. So, how can we maximize vocabulary acquisition? Here are five ways to support your readers in becoming vocabulary virtuosos.
Perhaps the hardest thing to hear at the beginning of the year is, "I don't know what to write about!" Every year I am faced with the challenge of creating life-long readers and writers that can self-select books and writing topics on a daily basis. So when we created a class graph of our favorite subjects and writing received one vote (one vote!), I knew I had my work cut out for me. So where do I begin? Here are some easy methods to get your writers thinking independently:
Angela Bunyi, a teacher at Barfield Elementary, has made her portable 4th grade classroom an oasis in Murfreesboro, TN. Learn more.
Creating a classroom theme can be both fun and motivating, but is it possible to find one that has a true meaning for your students as well as yourself? I wanted something that kept me motivated and focused, yet didn't require a make-over to a space we already find inviting. One quiet student helped me find what I was looking for, and the idea has quite literally "grown" from there. Maybe it will grow on you too.