Nadine has been researching and testing how to improve her class’ vocabulary. Here, she shares how she has been getting on and encourages others to give it a try.
Bringing powerful vocabulary into the children’s daily diet is one of the latest buzz terms at the moment. I have been fortunate enough to have the challenge of doing this in my own setting and I am a long way off where I want to be, but I wanted to share the journey I have found myself following, so far.
I had, somewhat foolishly, assumed that because I used powerful vocabulary with my class and also with my own children, that everyone else did as well. However since I have been researching others practise, I have found that this is not necessarily always the case. Whenever I have a snippet of time in the evening, on weekends when my children are away or in the morning before anyone in my household is awake, I am frantically reading. I have absorbed published texts, from cover to cover, that have been invaluable to my background knowledge such as ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap’ by Alex Quigley and ‘Bringing Words to Life’ by Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown and Linda Kucan, to name but a few. I’ve lost time online, trailing through Twitter threads to gain an insight into how others are developing the use of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary and finally, having strengthened my own knowledge I have been trialling different techniques within my classroom.
I then incorporate other ways of bringing these words into our daily lives
I have found that without too much reminding the children’s vocabulary is beginning to improve and they are starting to use these Tier 2 words in a range of different subjects.
I am a long way off the perfect model. I’m just a teacher putting it all into practice but I’m thrilled with the progress that the class and I have made so far and as I’m certain that others are looking to improve the language that is being used within their classroom practice, I wanted to share this with you all.