Sunday, August 28, 2011

Expanding Vocabulary - Word of the Day

You'll quickly learn that I love the Daily 5 for Literacy! Our 2nd grade team pioneered the Daily 5 last year and since then we are singing it's praises. We have even led 2 rounds of workshops for the rest of our staff to get them into the Daily 5 as well. Last year I learned so much about literacy and reading and getting kids motivated to read! This year I am trying to hone in on what I am teaching and figure out the best practices to teach each strategy or skill.
One area of Daily 5 that I really wanted to improve
on was "Expand Vocabulary". I started by doing a Vocabulary Word of the Day. I use my ipad2 (another love) for one of my mini-lessons to introduce a new word each day. I use Vocabulary Builder, Grade 1 and Grade 2. It's an awesome app.

After I show the kids the word and explain it's definition they share sample sentences or meanings at the carpet. Then I have them go to their seats and write the word in the Wonderful Words Book (more on that later). They can also draw a picture next to the word.
I needed somewhere to display the word of the day so that the kids could see it and hopefully use it. As wall space is short I decided to make a word of the day display on the cabinets above my sink. I really like how it turned out.

The kids have a lot of fun with the word of the day. I find them using it often during the day and week and also finding it in their reading!

One of the most fun things we do with our word of the day is post in on twitter. The leader of the day gets to come up with a sentence that uses the word of the day which I then publish on twitter, along with the meaning of the word. I have encouraged the parents that follow us on twitter to reply to the word of the day tweet and use the word in their own sentence. The kids love seeing what their parents say! A recent example for "hustle" was "Second graders often do not like to hustle when they get up in the morning."

So far I'm loving the word of the day. It's helping my students tune into those interesting words as they become better writers and readers!

How do you help your students tune into interesting words and expand their vocabulary?


  1. What do you do after you get done with the words of the day? This is always the problem for me. I run out of room to display them all!

  2. I have also seen the word of the day used as the transition word for the day. Each time the class changes activity they use the word of the day as the signal. :) Love your blog!-- Nicole

  3. Love this! Thanks for sharing- I blogged about the Grades 3&4 version and mentioned you :)

    3rd Grade Thoughts

  4. I came across this post through Stephanie @ 3rd Grade Thoughts. This post couldn't have come at a better time for me! I am doing some post-grad studies here in Australia and Sunday afternoon's lecture touched a lot of vocabulary expansion (focused on kids aged 3-5 in particular).

    I love how you were able to integrate ICT into vocab for the kiddos! For one of my assignments I'm developing a 'Word of the Week' tool for the younger group (I think a word a day would be too much for the littlies, in order for it to sink in). The app and the 'twitter' idea are fantastic!!!

    @Carpenter Family Chronicle - I know it's about 8 months too late to reply, but I had thought about the displaying past words as well. This is what I was going to do for my Word of the Week. I was going to make a large laminated poster to use every week to write in the bits and pieces for the word of the week, then take a pic at the end of the week (so we can add to it every day, a new sentence, etc). Then print out the pic (normal page size) and create a display book or page, so they kids can look back at the previous words, if they want to use it in their writing etc. I was also going to add the word to our word wall with our sight words, etc. But have them showing as a different coloured background or something, to distiguish them as the 'word of the day/week' words we had previously worked with.

  5. Can you tell me more about your daily 5? It sounds great. You can email me at At what parts of the day do the children get to do these activities?

  6. Expanding vocabulary is one of the best modern issues for all. it has lots of benefits in terms of exploring the approaches to guide along with making the best conversations for the smoother operational plan in exchanging the words properly. Therefore it’s a good approaches to all.