I’ve been getting some messages from parents noticing the gap in vocabulary acquisition in their students 3rd grade-12th. This is a great opportunity for parents to take the initiative to develop this skill in their children as it’s not generally a strong teaching area in literacy instruction. Easy steps you can take at home:
1. Find a space on a wall in your home to write new vocabulary terms your child comes across in reading on index cards and put the definition with an example of the word in a sentence (pictured). Challenge you child to use the words in a sentence when in conversation such as at dinner time or in anything they write. 1-5 words a week should be introduced. This should be done for kids K-12. Need a list? The Children’s Word Book (pictured) gives lists grades K-6 that we use to create state assessments. You can order it on amazon. For 6-8 and 9-12, get the 100 Words books also on amazon. Any word you introduce, the kid needs 12-15 uses of the word to acquire it, so repetition and practice is key. Here’s a guide to creating one at home https://thestay-at-home-momsurvivalguide.com/exposure-to-print-make-word-wall/
2. Increase your child’s access to words by having them watch news that’s made for kids grades 4-9. News shows are excellent ways for kids to get info and learn new words. If they hear a word they like and want to learn to use, have them add it to the home word wall. Here’s a great one from CNN https://www.cnn.com/videos/cnn10/2020/04/07/ten-0409.cnn
3. Get a good workbook. Vocabulary Workshop has a full set of practice books for grades 3-10 on Amazon. Easy activities that include an answer key. For HS, the 601 words gives amazing practices for high school. Build Your Vocabulary is also a great book that gives a systematic method of development. There are MANY on amazon. Check the reviews.
The better your kids can use words on their own, the better they will do on standardized tests and in writing! This investment in developing your child’s personal vocabulary will pay dividends in college readiness assessments, Elementary and Secondary standardized assessments, essay or creative writing and access to college courses/AP courses which equals $$$ for college. Let me know if you have questions.
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