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A word a week

  • 1.  A word a week

    Posted 05-06-2021 04:34 PM
    Hello,
    In the fall I want to introduce a new word to my three year olds every week. Are there any resources that you would recommend using to aid in my choosing of the words?

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    Tiffany Myers
    Lead Teacher
    Ymca
    Franklin PA
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  • 2.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-07-2021 07:50 AM
    Hi Tiffany, I work with that age group and what I do for vocabulary development, I select words based on the lesson topic: For example if we are learning about recycling, I would select (recycling, decomposition, reuse, reduce) I also select words from the book that I used for read aloud: For example if I read the Three Little Bears, I would select (big, little, bed, chair etc). I think it is good to focus on words that they will be exposed to in their learning environment (Library, Discovery, Dramatic, Computer etc. Therefore, I would suggest labeling their environment and use it as teachable moment as they play and learn. I hope this helps you.

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    Florence Britton
    Teacher Assistant
    Gilmore Memorial Preschool
    Paterson NJ
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  • 3.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-07-2021 09:17 AM
    I would choose words that connect to what you're already talking about, seeing in the environment, are in a song that you sing, etc.  When I was teaching and we were studying about the body, the kids always loved learning the word "esophagus".  They loved the sound and the fact that they could trace it from their throats to their stomachs.  In the springtime you could teach them new words related to the season:  ornithologist, the names of birds, etc.  The more it's related to something in their world, the more they'll like using it.

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    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
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  • 4.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-07-2021 09:24 AM
    ​I think the words you choose would depend on your goal for introducing the words in the first place.  Are they words just for the sake of exposure or are they words that you want them to be able to recognize or read?  If you just want to expose them to new words, I would observe them for areas of interest or take words from books they like to read.  If you think they are interested in word recognition then you may want to consider working on learning letter sounds.  Then, you could introduce words that incorporate those sounds.  You may also consider introducing one word from a word family each week (ex: at, bat, cat, hat, mat, sat, rat, etc) so the children can explore rhyming words.  Just some things to consider before you go looking for word lists.

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    Brittany Hutt
    Group Supervisor
    Montgomery County Court Child Care
    Norristown, PA
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  • 5.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-07-2021 09:40 AM
    Consider choosing words that have meaning in the moment. On a beautiful day, talk about GLORIOUS weather. Threes enjoy saying words like "precipitation" as much as they do "tyrannosaurus rex". Instead of sitting in the shade of a tree, talk about your sycamore tree. Trouble in the block area - frustration might be a good word to introduce. Build an obstacle course so children can experience various position words as you say them together. I have a friend who took photos of her children demonstrating various emotion words for a class book. There can be good conversation about words like disappointed or enthusiastic. She wanted her children to be able to express feelings beyond happy, sad, and mad. You have a fun idea that could play out in so many ways.

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    Elizabeth Sherwood
    Professor
    SIUE
    Glen Carbon IL
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  • 6.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-07-2021 11:23 AM
    As everyone else has mentioned, I would align your new word(s) with your weekly theme. This will make it easier to incorporate them into daily interactions and conversations. You can also add words to increase emotional awareness (frustrated, agitated, overjoyed, perplexed, etc) and math vocabulary (increase, quantity, estimate, etc).
    Use picture books as a guide if you get stumped. Children's picture books contain 40% more rare words than standard spoken language.

    Happy vocabulary building!

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    Christina Roseli
    Ventura County Office of Education
    Oxnard CA
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  • 7.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-08-2021 12:13 PM
    The previous comments re introducing vocabulary in the context of the current class interest, and through books, are absolutely spot on. New vocabulary should always be introduced within a meaningful context, and reinforced within the context rather than through drills.

    But I just wanted to shout out one of my favorite books: "13 Words," by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman, which explicitly introduces words as words (aka vocabulary) via a wild, silly story, with context and very clear explanatory illustrations. Excerpt: "Word #1: Bird. The bird sits on the table. Word #2: Despondent. The bird is despondent. In fact, she is so sad because..." ​​​Fun! (Note that the two human characters in the book (the rest are talking animals) are pictured with white skin.)


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    Serena Krombach
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 8.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-08-2021 11:20 AM

    Hi,
    I love all of these suggestions!!! 

    The only thing I can add is the great importance of choosing how to sound out the words.

    For example, sound out the same word at different volumes - quiet, medium, loud and quiet again.

    Sound out the same word at different lengths - long and short.  And then at different volumes too.

    When you have words of two or more syllables make one syllable short and quiet and the other loud and long. Think of the fun you can have with "tyrannosaurus rex."

    Put a pause in between each syllable.  Silence is very important too.

    When you begin to integrate the use of Creative Sound Play into learning and sounding out words you're children are also developing their active listening skills, inhibitory control, creativity flexibility phonemic awareness, and more.

    Finally, as you know because there is nothing more fun a child loves doing then making sound, creating intentional sound with words can make for excellent short transition games and exercises that transform into valuable learning bursts, especially when they are repeated throughout the day and when children are given the chance to lead them.

    I hope this is helpful and if you're interested in learning more about integrating Sound and Silence with your teaching you may want to visit www.creativesoundplay.com.



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    Hayes Greenfield
    Founder
    Creative Sound Play
    Brooklyn, NY
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  • 9.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-09-2021 08:53 AM
    Hayes:
    "Integrating sound and silence..."  That's wonderful!  Thank you for bringing this forward.  It's an added element that I hadn't thought about quite so clearly before.  I'll be using your suggestions and passing them on to the teachers I support.

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    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
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  • 10.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-09-2021 01:11 AM
    Hello Tiffany,

    I highly suggest you read aloud as often as you can... the research is very clear about all the benefits of reading aloud, including vocabulary.

    I lead a recent course on reading aloud and tech, here is one resource I created for those teachers which could be helpful for you: http://bit.ly/readaloudGailLovely

    One little bit of research: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30908424/  in fact, there is research which shares the level of vocabulary in conversation is far more limited and simplistic than that when a book is shared... so many reasons to read and read more!

    Gail


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    Gail Lovely
    Suddenly It Clicks!
    Walsenburg CO
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  • 11.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-09-2021 11:16 AM
    Hi Aren,

    So glad you find it helpful!

    If any of your teachers have any questions please let them know that I'm happy to help.

    Also, I forgot to mention pitch - hi, low and anywhere in between. Just another wonderful aspect of sound and silence to include.

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    Hayes Greenfield
    Founder
    Creative Sound Play
    Brooklyn, NY
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  • 12.  RE: A word a week

    Posted 05-09-2021 12:05 PM
    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I will definitely be trying these suggestions!

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    Tiffany Myers
    Lead Teacher
    Ymca
    Franklin PA
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