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Making Vocabulary Instruction Practical, Powerful, and Playful, All Across the Day

Jan 16, 2025
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Date: Thursday, January 16, 2025

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades 3-8 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

When you’re planning your year of curriculum, one topic that undoubtedly comes up is what to do about vocabulary. We know that commanding a robust vocabulary is crucial for readers and writers, and that it’s a cornerstone of knowledge building work. But many of us have also experienced struggling with where vocabulary fits into the day, how to figure out the words to emphasize that will be high-leverage for students, and how to make the whole process engaging and effective for students. This day will help you do all of that. 

You’ll learn how to pick the kinds of words from shared texts and experiences that will have the biggest payoff for long-term vocabulary learning, and you’ll hear about some quick ways to introduce those words to kids. Most importantly, you’ll consider the fact that new vocabulary isn’t fully part of our repertoire until we’ve had a chance to use it a lot–in lots of different ways–and so you’ll try out a variety of lively, engaging games and activities that get kids using and interacting with words, exploring multiple meanings, and ultimately owning their new words–instead of taking a test and then forgetting them. 

Of course, vocabulary is also built in other ways–through reading, through learning about morphology, through careful study of context, through fostering “word consciousness” in kids. Another part of this day will give you the knowledge you need to teach kids about word parts and word-solving, and predictable places in your workshop to include this teaching. You’ll see what a morphology lesson can look like and think with colleagues about where this work might fit in your day.

Along the way, you’ll hear about the most relevant research that can guide your work, and how that research can look in the classroom. And you’ll look at the practicalities of how and when this work fits into your workshop, from read-aloud to content area studies and writing instruction. 

In the words of researcher Freddy Hiebert, “words are labels for ideas.” When students grow their vocabulary, they also grow their knowledge of the ideas that authors use– ideas like justice, evaporate, or revolve. They also grow their ability to capture their own powerful ideas in words, and share them with the world. Join us for a day that will help you feel more confident teaching vocabulary– and growing students’ worlds. 

Across this day, expect to:

  • Learn how to choose which words will be the highest leverage to teach.

  • Experience five engaging ways to give kids practice with new words.

  • Understand the ways that morphology can support students’ vocabulary development.

  • Experience how a morphology lesson might be taught.

  • Discuss the research surrounding vocabulary learning and best practices for instruction, and think about how that research looks in day-to-day practice. 

  • Hear about practical ways teachers have built vocabulary instruction and practice into their reading and writing workshops without sacrificing other goals.

  • Plan with colleagues how you might apply the day’s learning to your work.