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K-12 Assistant Principal
MRS. RATLIFF


For the Love of Words
Help your child build a rich vocabulary, and in turn, strong reading and writing skills.
 
Recently, the above titled article came across my desk and shouted at me to share this topic with parents. The entire article can be viewed at http://www.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=8100 , and is a GREAT read.  (Some highlights are included in this article.)
 
Language is used to express intentions, describe feelings, and understand the ideas of others. It's a skill frequently taken for granted, and yet as a parent, it’s pretty amazing watching the tremendous language growth that occurs from birth through a child's early years.  But did you know that learning new words, and A LOT of them, plays a major role in the reading process, and contributes greatly to how well a child understands what they read? A reader cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words mean. Research shows that children who reach school age with smaller vocabularies, less depth in prior knowledge and background experiences, and fewer experiences with hearing stories and exploring with print are more likely to have significant problems in learning to read. We know now that if we boost children's language and picture book experiences early in life, later difficulties can be lessened or even avoided. (www.scholastic.com) How can parents work towards such a seemingly lofty goal?

At Home Vocabulary Activities

Read Aloud – Continue to read aloud to your child – even after he/she is able to read well independently.  Choose books that are above your child’s reading level because these books are sure to contain vocabulary that is new to your child.  By reading these books aloud to your child, you are introducing words into his/her listening vocabulary, and this will make it much easier for the child to recognize and understand these words when he/she comes across them in the future.
Preview Words – Before reading to or with your child, scan through the book and choose two words that you think might be interesting or unfamiliar to your child.  Write the words on sticky notes and tell your child what the words are and what they mean. As you read the book, your child will be listening for those words.
Hot Potato (version 1) – Play hot potato with synonyms.  Choose a word, and then your child has to think of another word that means the same thing.  Take turns until someone is stumped.  For example, you may say, “Cold,” and your child might say “Freezing.” Then you could say “Chilly,” and so on. Try the game again with antonyms.
Hot Potato (version 2) – Play hot potato with categories.  For younger children, the categories can be simple: pets, clothes, family members.  For older children, the categories can be quite complex: the Revolutionary War, astronomy, math terms.
Word Collecting – Have each family member be on the lookout for interesting words that were heard that day.  At dinner or bedtime, have everyone share the word they collected and tell what they think it means.  If the child shares an incorrect meaning, guide him/her to the correct meaning.  Try to use some of the words in conversation.
There’s an App for That (FREE) Bluster! by McGraw Hill; Kids' Vocab – MindSnacks; Same Meaning Magic; Opposite Ocean; and tons more!
 
Want more information?
http://www.readingrockets.org/helping/target/vocabulary
 
http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/learning/tips-for-helping-kids-and-teens-with-homework-and-study-habits/vocabulary/




 
 
Contacts
+ Ratliff, Pamela
Click on name to see details.

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