Thursday, August 3, 2017

Academic Vocabulary in Kindergarten

   Academic vocabulary and accountable talk have always been an important focus in my classroom, but this past year I was forced to grow even more in this area. To be honest, last year was all about growth for me. I took a leap of faith and left an environment that was unhealthy for me - mid school year. GASP! Being the teaching addict that I am, I didn't miss a day of work. I moved into an interim kindergarten position which led to me spending December - May as a 3rd grade special education teacher. No, I had never taught anything but kindergarten. No, I was not licensed to teach special education. Yes, it was to date my best experience as an educator - but it PUSHED me. Many of the students that I had the honor of serving struggled with language. Retrieving vocabulary words like "zebra" could be difficult, so I fought hard for my kids to succeed with academic vocabulary. Visuals, songs, gestures, object lessons. I was pulling all of the tools out of my box and then I created an interactive academic vocabulary word wall that I just LOVED!

The growth I saw using these visual aids was incredible. My students were constantly interacting with these. When they weren't yet able to retrieve a word, they were going up to the poster and asking me to remind them of the word!!! YES! The kiddos added their own illustrations, synonyms, etc. using post it notes. Writing was totally transformed because the kids loved being able to get up and tear off a word strip from the vocabulary posters. Motivation is key and kids love to move. 

This year, I am heading back to kindergarten and I will be using similar posters to teach academic vocabulary! If you would like to use them too, you can grab them in my TPT shop. They are black and white, easy to prep, and allow for differentiation. 


Click the pictures below to find these resources on TPT! 


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