During my years in the classroom, literacy was evident in everything we did however I am learning now that there are key elements that have considerably more impact than others. Vocabulary was never something I “taught” explicitly however research shows that teaching vocabulary has a great impact on students’ ability to comprehend text.
This morning I was enlightened again regarding vocabulary through a blog post that a colleague shared with me. The message that struck me was that teaching vocabulary does not consist of me telling students what it means or having them looking up the words in a dictionary, teaching vocabulary requires students to interact with the words multiple times in order to develop their own understanding of the new words. Again, the explicitness of teaching vocabulary rather than incidentally touching on new words for students is what is crucial in developing students understanding of what they read.
Beth Fertig shares her thoughts on the importance of teaching vocabulary in the following blog post, as you read and watch the video consider, “How can I begin to explicitly teach vocabulary with my students? What opportunities can I give students to begin interacting with unfamiliar words?” To Improve Reading: A Few Key Words