Learning and using new vocabulary is emphasized in our classroom daily. Whenever I read a new book, I try to pull out a few words that may need some clarification before we start. I find that this is valuable in that the children hear me talk about the word before I read the book, and then they recognize the word when they hear it. We have a wonderful vocabulary unit that my fellow teachers and I worked on during the summer under dayle timmons' guidance. We use these books daily (fairy tales, folk tales, and various other fiction books) to read and teach vocabulary. The students love to hear the words learned from these books and repeat them often during conversations and are starting to use them in their writing - words such as clever, delighted, cozy, and adventurous.
We have stretched our vocabulary word wall to include a vocabulary math word wall. This is a portable chart that we use to review each new word learned in math. This has proved to be an excellent way to review math concepts learned from the first week of school. On this chart are the words: pattern, arrange, more, least, representation, compare, inventory, and equal. Before the math workshop begins, students are asked to tell what they know about 2 or 3 words from this word wall. This chart has kept all the previous lessons taught in math current and serves as an wonderful way to jump start a new lesson.
A word wall (any kind of word wall - vocabulary, word family, math, sight word, theme-based, science, etc.) is only good if you use it. The more you use it, the more the children will look to it as an indispensable tool. You will be delighted at the results!!