Boosting Vocabulary

Most of my students have been diagnosed with language based disabilities, so it is important to embed language and vocabulary into all parts of our school day. One of the ways I do this is to target 8 to 10 vocabulary words for every theme. Here is what my board looked like during the water unit...


I use velcro to attach them in columns to the board that hangs in the morning meeting area. There are so many ways to use it to work on language at what ever level the student is at. 

Some of the ways my class has used it are:
  • Matching word and picture. If the student is a reader hand him/her all of the pictures to match to the words on the board. When I have a  non-reader I keep the words and have the student label the picture and then I supply the matching word. 
  • For students that are working on letter sounds and identification, I would only put out a few words and give the student the pictures. After the student labels the picture we work together on figuring out which word it could be by sounding out the word, identifying the first and/or ending sound, etc.
  • We play the "I am thinking of a..." game where I describe one of the vocabulary words/items and the students have to guess what it is. These types of  games are particularly beneficial for students with word recall problems. Once the class has a better handle on the words they can begin giving the clues.
  • Memory with the cards
  • We also play "Find the.." game. For this game I would hide the pictures and/or words (depending on who was playing) around the classroom. The students take turns drawing a card (the matching pictures or words) and then have to find it's mate in the room. This is great at adding in visual discrimination practice.
  • Have students pick one of the words and write about it. 


Word of the week!

       To further help grow my students' vocabulary we have a word of the week in the front of the room that we discuss every morning during morning meeting. For most of my students this is a challenging word. Here is what it looked like during the first half of the water unit...



At times we also work on multi-meaning words. When a multiple meaning word is the word of the week students are asked to state, act out or illustrate both meanings of the word. Great way to expand language and teach students to be more flexible when it comes to language!

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