Saturday, January 30, 2010

Creating a Love for Words and Language in Early Childhood Education

 
“An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language.”~Martin Buber


When I was young my dad read us the book, 40 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary. I still remember some of the words and the meanings….I was in grade school.
Every now and then I give the preschoolers a word to use though out the month. I will use it in a sentence in different ways…point out its uses…and listen for opportunities when they use it.I like to incorporate it as part of the preschool curriculum. I have really noticed a difference in their language.
The word this month was, IMPRESSED.
As a class we clap for one another and they share with the group when they use it.
I found Marko staring at ‘Sushi’ the Fish. He was making faces at her and I walked over and asked him what he was thinking about.
“Ya know what, Ms. Barbra.”
“What would that be, Mr. Marko?”
“Well, I really like Sushi, here…you know why?” He said puckering and making faces at her in the tank.
“Actually, I was waiting for you to tell me….”
“Because she always looks impressed.” He said still puckering.
“Hey everyone! Let’s give Marko a hand!” I called out.
We all began clapping.

6 comments:

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

Haha - that is impressive!

Barbra Stephens said...

Thank Deborah,
I guess the next word should be 'Flabbergasted'
because I sure was.....

Theresa Milstein said...

I'm impressed too! What a wonderful idea to have children consciously incorporate vocabulary words into everyday speech. When a student or my children have a word pop out of their mouth that sounds beyond their years, it makes me smile. And gives me hope.

Barbra Stephens said...

Seems like they learn the ones we don't want them to use oh so quickly, doesn't it?
I really could see how my dad was on to something when he kept out focus elsewhere.
Oh...I still learned the naughty words....
but the words with content as well.
I got a much greater response from people with those words....at least the kind of attention I really wanted.

Dan Gurney said...

I remember reading somewhere that you can create a more cohesive classroom culture by intentionally infusing your room with unusual vocabulary. Your class gets a sort of "in-group" feel to it. I try to add high octane words as often as I think of them, which is pretty often. So we're "fond of" celery with peanut butter; we have "consideration" for each other's feelings and so forth. From time to time we even make up words that are own very own private words and similes.

Barbra Stephens said...

I hadn't thought of it that way but it is true. Words & situations have a bonding effect and leave imprints on our memory and thought patterns. I suppose I try not to be so blown away by kids accomplishments all the time- I kind of feel most of the time it's all really is what they are capable of doing in the first place. (I prefer to be delighted, enthusiastic, and encouraging).
I like the way you speak to the children,Dan....I can really relate.