Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thinking about Word Work

Our district has made some changes to our K-8 Word Study program and I have been doing a few professional development meetings on incorporating Word Study.  During the PD,  I was asked about how to integrate vocabulary into the school day.  I think you have to start with your own life first and integrate vocabulary into your summer this will make the transition into the classroom more natural.  The first place to start is noticing interesting words-words that sound fun to read, new words for meaning, or words to help with your own writing.   For example, I am reading Making Learning Whole so as I read, I circle words for those reasons.

I collected words for me to use in my blog because they just don't come to me.  For example: variation, repertoire, endeavor, vigorous, empathy, diverse, ponder, emerge.  I know all of these words, but they don't flow when I am writing.  Now I have a list of them to use right next to my computer.  Just like I would ask my students to do in their writing in my classroom.  In the beginning of the school year, I will share my book and all my writing inside of it, my list of words as well as pull up a few of my blogs to show the students where I used my new vocabulary. This is an authentic mentor text that I believe will be powerful in my classroom.

Another way is to be on the look out for fun places for words, I am constantly looking for fun ways words are used.  For example while in NYC, there was a book stand on the street.  How cool is that? I even collected menus, cut out cartoons and constantly look through magazines.  Greeting cards are my #1 favorite thing to collect to boost word study in my classroom.

On a side note, I obviously always talk about my love of words and books with my own two children. This summer our daughter who is in Germany as a camp counselor at the Air Force base sent me the picture below to show me a bookstore for children.  I was so excited-thanks Anna :)


  1. I was quite impressed with the ways you collected all different kinds of thinking as you read MLW -- notes in the text, underlining, circling the words you gathered, notes on a pad, and now, probably, notes in Evernote!

  2. With your help and others I will be taking the plunge to Evernote this school year and of of course a little help from NCFL.

  3. Integrating word work into the classroom in an authentic way is (actually!) really hard to do. I think your modeling of this will be such a powerful lesson for your students.

  4. Thanks Tara for your comment and you're correct it is not easy but if I start preparing/thinking I will feel better. Building that foundation is really important so I better start with me :)