Monday, April 26, 2010

March 30 - Tompkins, Chapter 7, Expanding Students’ Knowledge of Words & My Study Student

I love the concept of incidental word learning; I think that understanding it is a huge step to how we as teachers can form realistic expectations for our students and use it in a classroom. Encouraging students to read on their own time and at their own levels by setting time aside in school is also so beneficial in their development of language as well as a classroom community. When my 5th graders Drop Everything And Read, for example, I take note of who is reading what, and then ask them about it later so that they can get excited about what they are reading and practice comprehension simultaneously.Specifically, my study student’s thirst for stories and knowledge enable him to have the motivation to continue reading. I see it daily as he talks unabashedly about his books and what he is learning, and I can see it play out in the classroom because he is a more mature 10-year-old and does indeed have a larger vocabulary.

This topic also reminds me of the video we watched in class about the teacher who had a year-long project called the “word wall.” The concept was used to help younger students with recognizing words, and created a sense of pride in how much they had learned since the beginning of the year (it was something very tangible to see). Not only did the word wall consist of new words, though, they were words that the students worked on weekly and could recognize through repetition and mastery. I would love to incorporate something to that affect in a classroom one day.


  1. I agree so much with you on getting our students to read on their own and how vital that is. I remember having silent reading time everyday in grade school and the benefits of it. I see in my class now however that it is not enforced. They have jobs, and one of them is silent reading but most of them flip through the pages and go to their next job. This is the case everytime with my study child. He is at such a low reading level and he is not interested at all. I try to read with him one on one and that keeps him on task, but it is still a struggle. I have tried different things such as have him look at the pictures and make up stories, but this only works once in awhile. He is at a frustrating point, and I really wish there was more we could do for him.

  2. I also agree that silent reading is so important to student's interest in reading. I think it is important to let students read books that interest them, even if the reading level is higher then the students. It would not be good to discourage student's interest in books just because they might not be able to read the whole text. One thing that might help a student get interested in is making his own story about something that is interesting to him. Encouraging him to develop a story. This way he would be able to read it back to him, and maybe give him some confidence.