Monday, April 26, 2010

Tompkins Chapter 7: Knowledge of Words

I have wondered what words were supposed to be up on the word wall, but reading this chapter answered some of my questions regarding which words should be studied and recognized for the students. I believe reading is a great tool of interacting students with unfamiliar words. Hence, a list of unknown words should be listed on the word wall as a class, and use them to go back and understand when more of the same words shows up in other readings or is needed for spelling when used in writings. It is important for the teachers to explicitly teach the meaning and usage of the unknown words since there may be students (perhaps, English language learning students) needing more explanations and examples compared to other students. Moreover, new learned words should be repeated several times for internal learning on meanings of words for the students to truly own them.

It is important to learn words chosen by the teachers when reading, but it is also important for students to be able to recognize unknown words when reading and decide to look them up rather than skip them. Continuous exercise of word learning strategies (using text clues, analyzing word parts, and checking a dictionary) will support students’ word consciousness by developing their vocabularies.

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