Vocabulary Development Lerdahl 2016-2017

Vocabulary Goal

My goal is to implement teaching strategies and routines to better teach tier two vocabulary by providing students with the skills and opportunities to learn words independently, teach vocabulary explicitly, and promote an appreciation for words and their use.


As we build our reading community, I need to be cognizant that all readers need to be challenged with new and complex vocabulary. Students need methods for identifying challenging vocabulary independently. Students also need direct instruction for key terms related to class content. By dedicating time to the study of new vocabulary, students will have opportunities to improve in the areas of reading and writing, as well as other academic content areas.

How does this goal positively impact student learning?

Students who have experiences with new vocabulary and strategies to decode new words are more likely to be successful academically. Students will be able to improve comprehension of both narrative and informational text and be better prepared to handle increasingly difficult texts, as required by Common Core.

Teaching Methods

Self-Selected Vocabulary

Students kept a blank bookmark in their independent reading books and our class novel. As they read, students recorded new and interesting vocabulary words that they wanted to share with their classmates. Each day, we added two new words to our spiral notebooks and to our word wall. These words became our focus words to use in our writing, activities, and in class conversations.

Class vocab lists

Word Walls

Beginning word wall

Vocabulary Connections

Students worked with a variety of word lists to find connections between words. Those connections included synonyms, antonyms, parts of speech, roots, prefixes, and suffixes.

Vocabulary Games

To encourage our understanding of our words, students played vocabulary games to help them recall definitions.

Vocabulary Charades and Pictionary

Vocabulary Comics

My favorite vocabulary activities this year was creating stick figures that represented our vocabulary terms.

In the future...

  • Students create personal dictionaries
  • Create methods of encouraging use of new vocabulary in classroom conversations


I feel this goal was a good start to implementing changes to my vocabulary instruction. Next year, I plan to continue researching best practice for vocabulary instruction. In the end, providing students with opportunities to tackle new and unfamiliar vocabulary will only help them grow as a reader, writer, and conversationalist.

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