One of the toughest subjects to fit into my daily schedule was vocabulary. Oftentimes, vocabulary instruction gets pushed to the back burner and we focus more on reading comprehension. However, a higher vocabulary leads to higher reading comprehension. Which makes it even more important to spend some time daily on building that vocabulary. One of the easiest ways to start more intentional vocabulary instruction is to use a word of the week to build vocabulary.
If you want to learn more about how to teach vocabulary in Kindergarten and why it’s important, make sure to check out this post here.
Word of the Week
A word of the week is an effective way to add additional vocabulary instruction and practice into your daily schedule without spending too much time. If you do this every week for the year, your students will learn about 40 new words that they may have not learned otherwise. I followed a simple 5-minute routine once a week, and then sprinkled it throughout the rest of my lessons as needed. Oftentimes, it would pop up in our conversations throughout that week! Here’s how I implemented my word of the week.
Word of the Week Routine
With our word of the week, I introduced it every Monday morning during our morning meeting. It was written on our board or on our focus wall. Sometimes they knew what the word was, sometimes they didn’t know. Either way, your goal is to add that word to your students vocabulary that week! Here's a great vocabulary list to use for Kindergarten.
Here's some more ideas to practice the word of the week
Use it in a sentence
Have students practice the word by using it in a sentence. You can either have your students say the sentence orally to a neighbor or write the sentence as part of your writing lesson. At the beginning of the year, it may just be your students repeating the sentence after you and practicing writing the sentence.
Make a connection
The single best way to store a word in our memory is to create a connection. If students have some kind of connection to the word, whether its a text to world, text to self, or text to text connection, they will be more likely to remember it and use it. For example, if the word is “tangled”, maybe they’ve had knotty hair that their mother has had to brush out. Or you can talk about how cords get tangled in the classroom. These connections will help them remember the word.
Draw a picture
A fun and easy way to reinforce the vocabulary word into memory is to draw a picture. This is a good option for students who are not quite writing independently. It is a way to “show what they know”. Have them draw the picture and then label it using the vocabulary word.
Add it to a vocabulary notebook
If you like the “draw a picture” idea, then you can try to have a vocabulary notebook! With this notebook, they would write the word, draw a picture, then use it in a sentence. You could do this as a weekly writing center or writing lesson after they've been taught that word.
Here’s a free printable to glue into a notebook or just print and use with your students. Just enter in your information and it will be sent straight to your email!
For more vocabulary activity ideas, check out this post here: 5 Simple Vocabulary Activities for Kindergarten.
[…] suggest doing a “word of the week” or one of these other activity ideas found in this blog post here. You can also check out this blog post with 5 quick and simple vocabulary […]