Saturday, April 8, 2017

Vocabulary Development: Part 5 Instruction Age 3 to Grade 3

Vocabulary Instruction begins early in the form of parent or adult-child conversation, as noted in the last posting.  There is also more “intentional ” vocabulary instruction at the preschool-primary grade levels. *
I would start by suggesting a few sources:
Speaking and Listening for Preschool Through Third Grade by Lauren B. Resnick and Catherine B. Snow, published in 2008 by the International Reading Association.  In this booklet (with video) they list 3 strands of Standards: (1) Habits, (2) Kinds of Talk and Resulting Genres, and (3) Language Use and Conventions.  The focus on vocabulary happens under Standard 3.3: Vocabulary and Word Choice.

Another resources: (*I haven't tried to copy a slideshare link, so I'm not sure how well it will show.)
Please note that this was a 2 hour workshop with time for interacting with the materials/handouts.

Handouts from this Workshop.  For complete handout, contact
Powerful Vocabulary, NAEYC Conference, October 2016, Fran Toomey (  Handout 1 – Frameworks (CHOOSE ONE)
Thirty Million Words
Dana Suskind, M.D.,  0-3 Years
Bridging the Gap, Christ & Wang (Young Children, 2010)
Beginning Literacy with Language, (age 3-5+) Dickinson & Tabors
Speaking & Listening for Preschool Through 3rd Grade Resnick & Snow
Toomey Synthesis
Tune In: Follow the child’s lead: notice what child is doing and join in, using “motherese,” responding  to child’s response (behavioral and verbal), use repetition (same stories, same words), get on the same physical level.
Provide purposeful exposure to new words
*Teach thematically to provide multiple exposures to words throughout the day through read-alouds, conversation, centers and projects. *Select books in which illustrations and text provide clues to word meanings
*Use interactive read-aloud style to engage children in cognitively challenging talk about books
*Create media center where children view DVDs, electronic books and  interactive read alouds
Conversation & Dialogic Reading
In the Home--Book Reading: Immediate Talk (about the book) and Non-immediate Talk (recollection of personal experiences, comments/qs about general knowledge (P. 49)
*Choose a variety of book types
*Discuss some aspect of the book before and after reading
*Use Intonation, gestures and point to illustration … without interrupting flow of text.
*Make the book experience overflow into other areas of life.
^Add words to familiar knowledge domains (KD)(people, animals, foods, households)
^Sort relationships among words in KD
^Add new domains from subjects and topics being studied.

Words that are developmentally* appropriate (See Handout 2)
Opportunities to use words in a meaningful way across time and place, beginning with the immediate time and place and expanding to other times and places
Representing/recording words in a form that encourages
remembering and retrieving
Dialogue is at the heart of word learning (Books and Conversation)
Stories are the starting place!

Powerful Vocabulary, NAEYC Conference, October 2016, Fran Toomey (}  Handout 2: CHOOSING WORDS
Small Kids, Big Words
Laura Pappano Harvard, 2008 PreK-Gr 3
Creative Curriculum
Steps Before The Study:
Choosing a Topic For Learning
TYC Vol 9 NO. 3     Download PDF 
OWL: Making Every Word Count
 (Page 27)
See Word Lists (pp 302-341)

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