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Helping students build their Vocabulary helps them understand what they are reading. When readers come across unfamiliar words, comprehension breaks down. Learning strategies for figuring out new words is a critical step to becoming a fluent reader.
Vocabulary knowledge involves stored sound patterns (phonology) and mental representations of meanings.
There are four distinctions within a learner's Vocabulary.
Typically, Vocabulary growth is relatively slow until a learner has 50-100 Productive/Expressive Vocabulary words, usually at the end of the second year of life. At this point, a sudden jump in development ("vocabulary spurt") is common where learners add 10-20 new words per week.
Teachers support language development by using and providing Vocabulary that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using word wall words).
Audiobooks allow students to hear fluent reading and to experience books above their reading skills.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Daily review strengthens previous learning and can lead to fluent recall.
With this interactive technique, teachers help students become storytellers by listening and questioning.
Dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge.
When teachers provide explicit instruction in comprehension strategies and model when to use them, students learn how to flexibly apply them to make meaning of texts.
Seeing and using new words repeatedly and in many contexts is critical for Vocabulary acquisition.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they use and solidify their understanding.
Free choice supports learner interests and allows more complex social interactions to develop.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Games help students visualize how to connect one fact to another.
Adding motions to complement learning activates more cognitive processes for recall and understanding.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthen recall.
In guided inquiry, teachers help students use their own language for constructing knowledge by active listening and questioning.
Spending time with new content helps move concepts and ideas into Long-term Memory.
Imagining allows students to step back from a problem or task and think about it from multiple angles.
Independent reading promotes reading development by emphasizing student choice with teacher support in selecting books, as well as by making time for free reading.
Practicing until achieving several error-free attempts is critical for retention.
As students work with and process information by discussing, organizing, and sharing it together, they deepen their understanding.
Rhyming, alliteration, and other sound devices reinforce language development by activating the mental processes that promote memory.
Literacy centers with reading games, manipulatives, and activities support learner interests and promote the development of more complex reading skills and social interactions.
Providing physical representations of concepts helps activate mental processes.
By talking through their thinking at each step of a process, teachers can model what learning looks like.
Teachers sharing text-to-self, text-to-text, and text-to-world connections models this schema building.
Instruction in multiple formats allows students to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their reading work.
Connecting information to music and dance moves enhances Short-term and Long-term Memory by drawing on auditory processes and the cognitive benefits of physical activity.
A parent evening meeting about how to support literacy at home with one follow-up meeting with each family has shown strong results for students' reading development.
Reading aloud allows students to hear and practice reading and fluency skills.
Visuals help students recognize relationships within words and sentences to develop reading skills.
Talking with students about what they know about the topic of upcoming work helps activate their Background Knowledge or reveals gaps.
Reading aloud regularly exposes students to new and familiar vocabulary and texts.
Reading aloud books about skills children are learning provides another model for their development.
When students explain to others, they deepen their understanding and gain confidence in their learning.
Students build their confidence and skills by reading and rereading books.
Books for vision differences support reading development for learners with visual needs.
Books of varying complexity and reading levels are necessary for all students to experience reading success.
Multicultural and diverse books are critical for supporting all students.
With rhyming and creative word use, poetry is a genre that supports the development of early literacy skills in particular.
Books with SEL topics, such as developing friendships and identifying emotions, help teach these skills.
Transforming written text into audio activates different parts of the brain to support learning.
Students develop reading skills by listening to and speaking with others in informal ways.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.
Videos developed with discussion guides can teach students about SEL skills.
Web-based dictionaries and thesauruses can serve as visual and audio resources for students to expand their Vocabulary knowledge.
Word sorts are multisensory activities that help learners identify patterns and group words based on different categories.
A word wall helps build Vocabulary for reading fluidity.
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