School Wide Vocabulary Plan

Sitting here in a K-12 ITRT Meeting today, and we are having some Staff Development time with Kendall Latham on literacy training. I am having mixed emotions about this SD because many of the points coming up are hard for me to implement in my position. Other parts of the SD have been good because we have had the chance make some of the points valid for what we do…

One of the points that came up was having a school wide “comprehensive program of vocabulary instructions.” This came out of an article the Elementary ITRTs had to read: A Word for the Words

Here’s a quote from the article:
“When it comes to vocabulary learning, a student’s experience across the grades is just as important as what happens at each grade level. Therefore, the entire school needs to buy in to a comprehensive program of vocabulary instruction. Such a school will demonstrate the characteristics shown in ‘Checklist for Word Learning: The Whole-School Approach.‘”

From a leadership standpoint, this is great in theory, but I am torn with how to make this approach happen. With so many different teaching theories being taught to teachers from different places, I find it hard to wrap my head around how to make this happen. I also became more frustrated because we were given multiple list of words to use.

Possible Lists:
The First 4,000 Words *Dolch and Fry are part of this list
Marzano’s Word List
Oklahoma Academic Vocabulary Word List
VA DOE Math Word List

I understand the research of having students in a school using the same lists of words, but from a teacher standpoint, different teachers might buy in to different lists. As the leader of a new school how would you go about changing this in your school? If not done effectively, this could really cause a lot of waves…

The A Word for the Words article was shared with the Elementary ITRTs. If you are interested in the article that was shared with the Secondary ITRTs, you can find this here: Vocab Instruction in the Content Areas

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