Introducing Vocabulary

Vocabulary is the knowledge of words and their meanings. Teaching vocabulary consists of 
several things. 
1. Expressing words through multiple meanings. Ex: fly (insect, something a bird can do, a way to travel in a airplane)
2. Giving students the tools they need to effectively communicate orally and in writing. 
3. Kids need to be able to explain what words mean as well as understand what they mean. 

Research shows that students need to be exposed to words in multiple contexts in order for them to stick. Today I'll be sharing how I introduce new vocabulary words in my classroom. 


Vocabulary instruction is a critical part of your literacy block. Come read how I introducing new words to my students using the research based strategy My Turn, Your Turn.
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When introducing vocabulary I like to use the My Turn, Your Turn strategy. This comes from the book Word Nerds:Teaching All Students to Love Vocabulary. 


This model focuses on 6 things when introducing new vocabulary to students. 
1. making predictions about the meaning
2. teaching parts of speech 
3. give a kid friendly definition
4. discuss what they already know
5. use it in a sentence

Here is an example of how it works. Teacher holds up a vocabulary card with the word bursting.

Teacher chants, “My turn, bursting. Your turn, _______.”
Students fill in the word bursting as they chant together.
Teacher claps the syllables as she slowly and carefully pronounces the word.
“My turn, BUR-STING, 2. Your turn, _________.”

They hold up the number of syllables with their fingers and say the number.
• Teacher gives part of speech.
• Discuss what you already know about the word. Turn and talk. 
• Use it in a sentence. Turn and talk. 

Example 2
Teacher: All right, the next word for this week is My Turn, breathe, Your Turn, 
breathe.
•Teacher: The word breathe has one syllable. Students clap and show with their fingers.
•Teacher: The word breathe is a verb, so it is something that you can do.
•Teacher: Ok boys and girls, what do we know about the word breathe? Turn and talk. 
• Teacher: Breathe is how air moves in and out of your mouth and nose-like an air tank. Model and have students do. 
Let’s try it in a sentence, “I want to breathe some fresh air.” Can you try? Turn
and talk. 

We repeat this process with each new word introduced and refer back to this method 
throughout the week. Once the kids have it down, I'll call on students to lead
My Turn, Your Turn to review. 

I hope you can use this strategy in your classroom. If you are looking for more ways to 
to implement vocabulary into your classroom, you can check out this post about 
implementing vocabulary games into your classroom. 

You can also check out my vocabulary Pinterest board for more ideas. 









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